Fitness & Nutrition

Affected Athletes Are Using CBD for Traumatic Brain Injury

By Harris Wheless
Morgan Sarkissian

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a common injury in football and other contact sports, and one of the more difficult sports-related injuries to treat. This condition can manifest after some kind of blow to the head or violent collision undergone during a physical activity.

Because of the greater likelihood that they will engage in high-risk behaviors, males between ages 15 and 24 have the highest risk of brain injury. High school and college athletes are especially vulnerable to this. If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury and is having difficulties managing symptoms, there may be some therapeutic potential in using CBD.

What you need to know about TBI

Traumatic brain injuries occur as a result of damage to the brain or skull by an external force, often in the form of a blow to the head. Any significant impact that causes the brain to move inside the skull, or fractures the skull, will result in damage of some sort to the brain itself.

TBI differs from acquired brain injury (ABI), which happens on a cellular level and is caused by pressure on the brain. This pressure can manifest from a tumor or a neurological illness. Both of these conditions impair the brain’s ability to function normally, but neither are degenerative, so they don’t cause progressive deterioration of any sort. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), however, is degenerative. This brain disease is found in athletes, military veterans, and others who have sustained repetitive brain trauma.

Head injuries usually result in either focal (localized) brain damage, or diffuse brain damage where several areas of the brain are affected. The severity of damage and symptoms experienced vary depending on the nature of the injury. Brain traumas can be measured on a scale of severity that ranges from mild and moderate to severe. A mild brain injury, referred to as a concussion, may seem less serious, but should be treated with the same caution and attention as a more severe brain injury. Regardless of how concerning you believe a brain injury to be, it’s better to be overly cautious during treatment and recovery.

A little background on CBD

CBD (or cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid most commonly derived from hemp plants and used as a wellness supplement. The market has been flooded recently with an overwhelming variety of CBD products, which many people use to ease symptoms for many ailments. CBD’s effects stem from the way it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS. Once CBD is consumed, it affects different receptors within various bodily systems to produce positive effects on many different conditions. Possible benefits of CBD include reduction of symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, pain and inflammation, the latter of which plays a key role in TBI.

How CBD can help

Head injuries require immediate medical attention. If you’ve sustained any injury that could cause damage to the brain, make sure you are seen by a medical professional to get a swift diagnosis and treatment. It should be noted that CBD is not an approved treatment for TBI, nor is it a cure. Instead, this supplement may help manage your symptoms or prevent neuroinflammation.

An injury to the brain can cause various symptoms associated with cognitive, perceptual, physical, and behavioral functioning. TBI patients often experience headaches, confusion, memory problems, nausea, and other related issues. Effective treatments for brain damage will promote recovery and help get the body back to functioning normally.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the effects of CBD products can be positive and reinvigorating for those suffering from TBI. Research has shown that CBD can have neuroprotective effects on those with TBI, as well as decrease inflammation after brain trauma. Most of all, CBD can be used as an aid in improving quality of life and making the user feel more comfortable, relaxed, and positive.

The substance is also generally considered to be safe with relatively few side effects. CBD’s recovery capabilities stem from its ability to trigger repair mechanisms in the body. CBD has shown some successful in easing symptoms like post-traumatic convulsions or seizures and anxiety.

If you or someone you know has TBI, it’s important to do research and talk to your doctor to ensure proper treatment and recovery for TBI. For more tips to help you navigate the CBD market and understand its potential benefits, read more about full-spectrum CBD, CBD oil, and other related topics.

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