Cannabis May Help Treat Traumatic Brain Injuries, Research Suggests


As with many other types of injuries and illnesses, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) trigger an immune response that results in excessive inflammation around the affected tissue, and it’s this reaction that often causes long-term damage. Given the role of the endocannabinoid system in regulating such immune responses, and the ability of cannabis to suppress inflammation, researchers are now increasingly looking towards marijuana as a potential treatment for TBI. Related Post Cannabis Protects The Brain From Traumatic Injury, New Study Finds Cannabinoids and Traumatic Brain Injury When a TBI occurs, the immune system springs into action in order to clean up the damaged cells via inflammation. While this is necessary for healing to occur, too much inflammation can actually damage more of the surrounding tissue, making the injury worse and increasing the chances of brain damage or even death. The body’s natural cannabinoids – or endocannabinoids – are therefore called upon in order to keep this inflammation in check. In particular, an endocannabinoid called 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) is recruited to the site of the injury, where it modulates the immune response and limits inflammation. However, this mechanism is often deactivated because damaged cells secrete an enzyme called monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL), which breaks down 2-AG before it has a chance to do its job. As a consequence, inflammation spirals out of control in the days and weeks following a TBI, often leading to severe tissue damage. Researchers are therefore looking for ways to inhibit MAGL in the immediate aftermath of such an injury, and early research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may be an effective tool for doing so. Because of this, scientists at the Medical College of Georgia are now conducting a study into the efficacy of CBD to treat TBIs[i]. Cannabis and Traumatic Brain Injury The researchers behind the new study have…

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