The treatment of former athletes for chronic traumatic encephalopathy and traumatic brain injury has become a focus of research in the past couple of decades. Figuring out how to treat these disorders has been a challenge since the beginning. CTE impacts many people in a variety of sports and careers. CBD is currently being studied for its potential as a treatment for CTE and TBI. Research is showing promising results for preventative and post injury applications.
University of Miami
The University of Miami is currently researching the use of CBD to treat concussion injuries. The $16 million grant will see if CBD has a positive effect on how a concussion impacts the brain. The cannabinoid based pills are given to rodent models that are experiencing TBI injuries. As the 5 year study progresses, researchers will begin pilot human trials. The trials will figure out if CBD can treat swelling in cells after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Inflammation after the injury is extremely hard on the brain and the side effects make healing difficult. CBD activates receptors producing a response and repairing the damage on a cellular level. The implications of this could be a huge breakthrough for CTE and TBI patients. Another compound being studied during this trial is dexanabinol, another cannabinoid, to see how it can reduce calcium build up in cells. This drains the cell of it’s energy. If these are found to help with post TBI and CTE treatment, the applications are endless.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem found that mice experiencing TBI recovered much better if cannabinoids were used during treatment. Researchers tried to mimic how the brain would normally protect itself and were surprisingly successful. The trial showed improvement even after 3 months and a massive reduction in inflammation. Reducing swelling would be a major improvement for other side effects and research is ongoing.
CBD and Neuroprotection
A 2012 study of newborn rats with HI, hypoxia ischemia, that were treated with CBD had reduced swelling in the brain. The treatment also seemed to prevent brain impairment in the long term. CBD also reduced the extent of the injury. The study showed that after treatment with CBD, the rats were neurologically similar to the rats with no brain injuries. If the results can be reproduced, this could be ground breaking.
Chronic brain encephalopathy (CBT) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have been historically difficult to manage and treat. Understanding why the brain reacts to trauma and how CBD can aid in healing trauma are seeing major strides. The application could be used for all kinds of brain injuries that involve inflammation, and cell damage. More studies are currently underway for the potential uses for cannabidiol to treat multiple neurological injuries and disorders.