What Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms Can Be Treated With Cannabis?


What Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms Can Be Treated With Cannabis?

Post-concussion syndrome is somewhat clouded in mystery. We know it’s caused by a traumatic injury to the brain that results in a concussion, but we don’t understand why it develops or really what heals it. Why do some patients get the condition while others do not? Most of the time, it resolves after a matter of weeks or months.

Even a minor head injury can lead to post-concussion syndrome, while, oddly enough, more serious head injuries don’t typically develop the condition. As patients recover from this disorder, there are very limited treatment options doctors can offer. Pain medications can worsen the headaches associated with post-concussion syndrome, and other side effects are usually left to resolve themselves over time.

Post-concussion syndrome can take up to a year or more to go away, leaving patients to deal with symptoms like pain, insomnia and depression. With the advent of medical marijuana programs in states throughout the U.S., cannabis could be the key to treating these patients so their brains can naturally recover from trauma.

Symptoms Associated With Post-Concussion Syndrome

Trauma to the head can have a severe effect on the brain and nervous system. Even if there’s no visible sign of injury, shaking or jostling can damage the brain. A concussion may appear minor without any loss of consciousness, but post-concussion syndrome may still result.

Depending on the patient, symptoms have been known to affect a patient’s day-to-day life, lasting for days, weeks or months. Doctors look for at least three of the following to determine if a patient has post-concussion syndrome:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Vertigo
  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Standard Treatment Practices for Post-Concussion Syndrome

Medical science doesn’t entirely understand the physiology of post-concussion syndrome, so it’s difficult to apply a singular treatment plan. Tissue damage sustained by the brain needs time to heal. In the meantime, doctors treat the symptoms associated with the condition. Common treatment options include:

  • Pain Relievers: These are used to treat headaches, migraines or nerve pain. However, if overused, even over-the-counter medicines can worsen post-concussion headaches.
  • Drug Therapy: For patients struggling with emotional symptoms like anxiety or depression, they may need help regulating these feelings. Certain medications also help patients struggling with insomnia.
  • Physical, Cognitive or Behavioral Therapy: In some cases, patients will seek the aid of a qualified therapist to help them deal with physical, mental or emotional symptoms. Whether patients need help with mobility, cognitive functions or anxiety or depression, there is medical and therapeutic assistance available.

There’s no cure for post-concussion syndrome, and although many patients find some help with the above treatments, most are left to heal on their own. There’s not much doctors can do besides provide limited relief while the brain heals itself.

Symptoms Addressed by Medical Marijuana Treatments

The main benefit of using medical marijuana to treat post-concussion syndrome is its ability to address many of the symptoms associated with the condition. Other options only treat one or two of the disorder’s effects. As we understand cannabis and how it interacts with our body’s chemistry, we see its incredible health benefits. Plus, it has very few side effects.

Patients with post-concussion syndrome have seen the following beneficial results by using medical marijuana:

  • Pain Reliever: Even marijuana with low psychotropic side effects are effective at relieving all sorts of pain, including the migraines and nerve pain associated with this disorder.
  • Reduced Brain Swelling: Cannabis reduces pressure in the skull which also helps with headaches.
  • Clears Toxic Chemicals: When a traumatic brain injury occurs, it can release a toxic chemical that could cause further brain damage. Marijuana can block this chemical from being released.
  • Increased Blood Supply to the Brain: Oxygen and nutrients present in the blood speed up healing.
  • Helps With Emotional Symptoms: Cannabis has been known to aid patients with both depressive or anxious symptoms as the plant works with our body’s chemistry to stabilize mood.

If you’re considering medical marijuana treatments, our opinion shouldn’t replace that of a doctor or budtender. An expert can look at your exact circumstances and provide personalized care. Search our directory to find a doctor near you or a local medical marijuana dispensary.

Additional Post-Concussion Syndrome & Cannabis Resources

For more information about how cannabis can be used to treat Post-Concussion Syndrome, check out our resources: