If you have ever experienced a concussion, you may or may not remember how completely awful you felt afterward. You were most likely feeling the effects of post-concussion syndrome (PCS), a complex disorder that appears after a head injury.
Some signs of PCS include headaches, dizziness, anxiety, and nausea. For those suffering from the effects of a concussion, there is one promising healing solution, however.
Some good old fashioned weed.
What Exactly is Post-Concussion Syndrome?
Cannabis has long been considered a useful tool as both a preventative against head trauma and treatment for PCS.
PCS occurs after a blow to the head and can last months after the injury occurred. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad injury, either. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person does not have to lose consciousness for PCS to occur. Symptoms start to occur a week after the injury and can last up to a full year.
While it is still somewhat unclear what causes symptoms of PCS, medical experts have their theories. Most scientists believe that psychological factors can worsen PCS symptoms after head trauma, and vice versa. It is thought that both the physical and emotional effects from a head injury are linked to PCS.
The overwhelming feeling of sadness and despair? Blame the PCS.
How Cannabis Helps
Extensive research suggests cannabis offers several therapeutic advantages to someone suffering from head trauma.
Take this rat, for example.
According to an October 2012 study, Cannabidiol (CBD) showed neuroprotective effects in an infant rat suffering from hypoxia–ischemia (HI).
HI happens when an infant does not receive enough blood and oxygen in their brain. When the rat was given CBD after experiencing an HI injury, it became noticeably more cognizant. CBD led to a sustainable neuroprotection of the brain, reduced inflammation of the brain, and ultimately reduced the volume of brain damage sustained in the rodent.
Cannabis has also shown to be highly useful to eradicate some of the psychological effects of post-concussion syndrome. It is well-documented that cannabis can help combat certain mental illnesses, so naturally, it alleviates some of the psychological side effects of PCS.
In a 2013 study, CBD oil is shown to be effective in lowering stress, reducing pain, and improving sleep. Additionally, it was proven to be a fast-acting antidepressant.
Cannabis in Sports
Although banned in most professional leagues, there’s little doubt about cannabis’ usefulness in sports.
The NFL, specifically.
With a bevy of information about its potential long-term benefits in concussion treatment, tons of people associated with the NFL are clamoring for the use of medicinal cannabis.
Several retired NFL players are at the forefront of the battle for medicinal cannabis. Jake Plummer and Eugene Monroe have been the most vocal amongst ex- players in their support for the use of medicinal cannabis in the NFL. Recently, the NFL has formed a pain management committee with a sole purpose to further research the benefits of cannabis treatment.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has noted the NFL would find a way to strike a balance with their weed policy for recovering players.
Cannabis still appears to be some ways away from being a universal therapy for PCS. However, it is emerging as one of the more sustainable methods for treating it. Currently, 26 states have legalized the use of weed in some form, and this number appears to be on the rise.
With more and more info about cannabis’ usefulness in PCS treatment coming to light, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a common tool in protecting the human brain.
And hopefully, that time comes sooner, rather than later.