In one of our articles, we wrote about the use of cannabidiol in the treatment of traumatic brain injury. You can read it here — Cannabidiol To Protect The Condition of The Brain After Injuries.
From what it seems, there is presently an ongoing research pertaining to this. The American University of Miami has received a $ 16 million scientific grant for an experiment to check the potential use of the preparation (ultimately a tablet) containing cannabinoids in the treatment of concussion.
The experiments themselves will last about 5 years and will consist of three stages.
Researchers believe that the use of cannabinoids will reduce inflammation within the brain tissue affected by stroke. Dr Michael E. Hoffer explains the necessity of research:
Dr. Michael E. Hoffer Explains the necessity of the research
Traumatic brain injury or otherwise concussion (these are synonymous terms) is a big problem for the whole country (the United States). Therefore, we need to find remedies to help patients as soon as possible after the shock and to prevent long-term health consequences resulting from the shock.
This project will investigate the effectiveness of just one of these potential remedies that can be applied to people with head injury.
The ingredients of the drug are cannabinoids. We realize that most people who hear this concept will think that we are using marijuana. But there is an extract of cannabis that contains active substances, including the cannabidiol we test, which is not a psychoactive compound.
People do not know that there is an endocannabinoid system in our body, which is responsible for many important life functions. We extract from the hemp plant compounds that affect the physiological system.
The most common head injuries occur in victims of various types of accidents and athletes. Most of them (around – 70%) manage to return to full health, however, 30% of complications appear.
Many of them have long-term consequences. We hope that you will find a medicine, a safe (without serious side effects) i.e. pill that you can give to patients in the event of a suspected concussion or after the final diagnosis.
Researchers began pre-clinical experiments with animals this spring. It is worth mentioning that this type of research was carried out already in 2012 when another team of scientists conducted experiments with newborn rats — they limited blood flow in the cerebral arteries and thus the level of oxygen delivered to this organ) brain damage was induced. The researchers found that the administration of CBD oil reduced the volume and degree of tissue damage, and also reduced inflammation and prevented the formation of subsequent neurological disorders.
Efficacy of Cannabinoid-Based Pill To Treat Concussion Injuries
The next stage in the study described at the beginning will be a small pilot study. The medicine containing CBD will be given to patients who have suspected (just after the accident and after the diagnosis) concussion. The final stage will be a full clinical study to determine whether the tablet is effective in patients suffering from traumatic brain injury, whether at an early stage or in those struggling with the consequences of the shock.
The tablet which will be tested contains a synthetic cannabinoid-dexanabinol and also cannabinoid. The latter does not affect cannabinoid prescriptions but acts antagonist (blocks) NMDA receptors. Excessive activation of the N -methyl-D-aspartic receptor (NMDA) causes a very strong influx of calcium ions to the cells (including nerve cells), which is an unfavorable phenomenon. Research shows that such a mechanism may be responsible for the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. The drug that blocks the NMDA receptors, therefore, acts as a nerve cell (neuroprotective). This is how it works in Alzheimer’s disease – memantine.
Jonathan Gilbert, CEO of Scythian Biosciences, a research and development company that finances research at the University of Miami in an interview in December 2016 said:
Cannabinoid administration in the case of concussion may turn out to be a breakthrough, if the effectiveness of these compounds is proven, among others in our clinical trials.
Researchers also count on the fact that in addition to anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, CBD will be useful in alleviating the long-term consequences of the shock, in the form of i.e. increased anxiety or insomnia.