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weed and concussions

Cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use during the acute post-concussion period

Affiliations

  • 1 Hull Ellis Concussion and Research Clinic, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 2 Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • PMID: 31621424
  • DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2019.1679885

Cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use during the acute post-concussion period

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Authors

Affiliations

  • 1 Hull Ellis Concussion and Research Clinic, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 2 Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • PMID: 31621424
  • DOI: 10.1080/02699052.2019.1679885

Abstract

Objective: To document the prevalence of acute post-concussion cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use and their association with clinical recovery and symptom burden.Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted. Concussions were physician-diagnosed and presented to the emergency department and concussion clinic within 7 days post-injury. Participants were assessed weekly and followed for a minimum 4 weeks. A survival analysis (using physician-determined recovery to both cognitive and physical activities) in addition to a weekly symptom score analysis was conducted.Results: A total of 307 acute concussions with a mean age of 33.7 years (SD, 13.0) were included. Acute post-concussion cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use were identified in 43 (14.0%), 125 (40.7%) and 61 (19.9%) individuals. Acute cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use were not associated with recovery to cognitive (p > .05) or physical activity (p > .05). Acute cigarette use was associated with a higher unadjusted symptom severity score at week1 (p = .003). Acute cannabis use was associated with lower symptom severity scores at week-3 (p = .061) and week-4 (p = .029).Conclusion: In conclusion, cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use were prevalent in the acute period post-concussion; however, were not observed to impact recovery within the first 4 weeks post-injury. Amongst unrecovered individuals, acute cannabis use was associated with lower symptom burden, while cigarette use was associated with greater initial symptom burden.

Keywords: CBD; Concussion; TBI; alcohol; cannabidiol; cannabinoids; cannabis; marijuana; tobacco; traumatic brain injury.

<span><b>Objective</b>: To document the prevalence of acute post-concussion cannabis, alcohol and cigarette use and their association with clinical recovery and symptom burden.<b>Methods</b>: A prospective cohort study was conducted. Concussions were physician-diagnosed and presented to the emergency depa</span> …

Your brain on weed: concussions and cannabis

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If one chooses to inhale cannabis via smoking or vaping, tiny doses should be utilized sequentially with 10 to 15 minute pauses. Photo by iStock / Getty Images Plus

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    Article content

    During the 2019 Cultivation Classic, Dr. Ethan Russo of the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute presented his latest research findings on cannabis and traumatic brain injury.

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    Your brain on weed: concussions and cannabis Back to video

    Conventional wisdom is that if the symptoms persist for a year, the symptoms will be present. But as Dr. Russo illustrated during his talk, this conventional wisdom is not always the case and certain things can be done. This includes some promising research into the role cannabis can play in recovery from traumatic brain injuries.

    THC and CBD As Recovery Agents

    Both THC and CBD are neuroprotective antioxidants, which Dr. Russo observes is a fancy way of saying they help reduce the effects brain damage whether due to trauma or things like strokes or other disease. An antioxidant is something that prevents rust. And according to Dr. Russo, “rust in the brain means deterioration in the brain structures.”

    Glutamine is a neurotransmitter that produces an over abundance of glutamine following a head injury that produces glutamate excitotoxicity whereby the cells stimulate themselves to death. This can lead to a neuronal demise after a traumatic brain injury. In Dr. Russo’s research, he’s observed that CBD and THC may help prevent glutamate excitotoxicity. Also, THC and CBD, have been extremely helpful in treatment of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTI) symptoms experienced by football players and anyone else engaged in contact sports.

    Using Cannabis to Treat Concussions

    While one should consult with their personal medical provider before beginning any regime, Dr. Russo offered these overall guidelines for those looking to treat a conclusion with cannabis.

    If one chooses to inhale cannabis via smoking or vaping, tiny doses should be utilized sequentially with 10 to 15 minute pauses. This should help lift “brain fog or allay symptoms such as headache or dizziness. For chronic problems, oral administration of low doses via capsules or tinctures are preferable.

    Here’s what you need to know