But although anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD may be safe and effective for professional athletes, it also may show promise for the treatment of TBIs caused by youth sports, falls, car accidents and military combat injuries. And, researchers are investigating CBD as a potential treatment for other conditions that affect the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and HIV-associated dementia.
Repeated TBIs can cause a buildup of Tau protein, which can lead to a degenerative neurological condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families because it can cause a variety of symptoms that affect memory, emotions, behavior, movement, and mental functioning.
Although CBD has shown promise for brain injury treatment in the research lab, anecdotal evidence also is strong — especially among some former professional athletes in sports with a high risk of head injuries, such as boxing and football.
The Benefits of the “Entourage Effect”
Activating another cannabinoid receptor in the brain, called CB2, has been shown to promote the creation of new brain cells, as well as regulate inflammation after brain injury. A 2014 animal study found that mice that were genetically engineered to lack a CB2 receptor had worse outcomes after TBI when compared to mice that had a CB2 receptor. The study also found that the lack of a CB2 receptor impaired the creation of new brain cells.
Although further research is needed, some studies suggest that when CBD is used shortly before or within 12 hours of a brain injury, it may help to prevent or limit the damage that occurs after a TBI during the secondary injury cascade.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a condition that occurs when a head injury, such as a bump, blow, or jolt, causes your brain to slam into the inside of your skull, which results in brain damage.
And, CBD may also affect your glial cells, which insulate your neurons and facilitate your brain’s immune response after injury. Research shows that CBD seems to have the strongest effect on two types of glial cells: astrocytes and microglia. A 2017 animal study showed that CBD suppressed the activity and swelling caused by astrocytes;  another 2017 study showed that stimulating cannabinoid receptors in the brain suppressed inflammation caused by microglia in rats.
The neuroprotective properties of the cannabis plant have been studied and accepted for over 20 years now. A 1998 report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that cannabinoids, specifically CBD and THC, served as powerful antioxidants and neuroprotectants. As a result of this report, a year later the U.S. government applied for a patent that holds THC and CBD “to have particular application as neuroprotectants… in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke or trauma.”
Traumatic brain injuries can have serious adverse effects on everyday life. Current research indicates that CBD oil may be an effective way to deal with the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries, protect the brain from further damage, and start the path to recovery.
CBD Oil for Brain Protection
Here’s what to look for in a CBD product to ensure you are only getting the best:
The best CBD oil for TBI patients will depend on the patient and the extent of the injury. There is no one brand or product that will be best. What is best will be a high-quality and safe product that produces the desired effects.
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are among the most prominent causes of death for people under the age of 45. In America alone, 1.7 million people every year are affected by a brain injury, with older teens (between 15-19 years old) and adults over 65 being most at risk.