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Weeding Out Brain Injury Treatments With Marijuana

Posted on Apr 11, 2014

Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law, which allows physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy, suffering from glaucoma, or living with severe cerebral palsy—may change to include the treatment of traumatic brain injuries as well. A new study, which will be making its way to trials in the US within the next year, proposes that marijuana can largely decrease TBI symptoms and help treat the disorder on a chemical level.

Israeli research has recently discovered that specific chemical compounds in marijuana, called THC cannabinoids, offer a lot of hope for those who suffer from brain injuries. The use of cannabinoid compounds at the scene of an accident, may be able to help prevent death or serious brain damage and decrease the odds of permanent disabilities.

Marijuana/Cannabinoid Benefits


  • It can reduce the production of the toxic brain chemical, glutamate, which is released after injury.
  • It reduces one of the most deadly aspects of brain injuries by blocking harmful chemicals that can induce inflammation when the brain is traumatized.
  • Cannabinoids can also increase blood supply which may increase healing and circulation


European trials have recently began to test a cannabinoid-inspired Israeli drug called Dexanabinol, and US trials of the same compound will begin later this year.

The drug affects slightly different parts of the brain than marijuana, as it has a slightly different chemistry than THC, and doesn’t produce the normal side effects one would expect from marijuana. Dexanabinol will not, for example, produce a high, or cause the munchies. It simply mimics marijuana’s natural blocking effects and blood circulation benefits. 

Do you think the medical exploration of marijuana is a good avenue to pursue, if it can help effectively treat brain injuries? Share your opinion with us and your friends by sharing this article and leaving your comments on Facebook.

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