Despite everything we know about brain trauma and the vast amount of available medications, treatment for sports-related concussions is severely lacking. The CDC reports that there are between 1.6 to 3.8 million brain injuries a year in the US alone. Even though contact sports like hockey lead to high rates of brain trauma in both the US and Canada, nobody wants to see an end to these thrilling athletic showdowns.
So, what can be done to help mitigate brain trauma caused by a sports injury? With CBD gaining so much attention right now, medical professionals are hoping that a new cannabis study can offer help to athletes in need and fill a treatment gap in concussion management.
Contact Sports and Brain Injury
There’s no question that our culture loves contact sports, but unfortunately, all the fun often comes at an enormous cost to the athletes. Many of them deal with issues like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. Sports injuries frequently require treatment with prescription opioids, but those come with unwanted side effects and risk of dependency. That’s very dangerous for athletes whose brains are damaged and vulnerable, and they deserve a better solution.
A New Study Looks into Using CBD for Brain Trauma
The NHL Alumni Association has partnered with Canopy Growth to fund a double-blind, randomized study of over 100 retired NHL players to find out how cannabis can benefit traumatic brain injuries. Fifty players will receive experimental CBD therapy while the other fifty players get a placebo. The results will be monitored for a year, and if they are positive, the study will move onto a second phase with a larger group of participants.
Despite the overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence that cannabis can help heal and ease the pain of sports-related injuries, there haven’t been many clinical studies done to back up those claims. Unfortunately, medical cannabis research in the US is often restricted to using low-quality government supplied samples, which makes proving the efficacy of cannabis even more difficult.
Unlike the United States, Canada has legalized the use of cannabis on a national level, allowing studies like these to access to the highest-quality medical cannabis available. The study will also take advantage of state-of-the-art technology like high-resolution imaging, biomarkers, and vestibular testing.
CBD for Brain Trauma: Anecdotal Evidence
The primary goal of the researches will be to evaluate the effectiveness of cannabidiol (CBD). Many athletes have already been vocal about how CBD has provided them with anti-inflammatory benefits and pain relief. This study wants to use data to prove these types of claims in a clinical setting.
The study will only look at the efficacy of CBD on neurological conditions, rather than full spectrum medicine which is thought to be more beneficial for athletes than CBD alone. Researchers are still hopeful that this multidimensional study will provide cutting-edge information on the benefits of CBD on the brains of former hockey players living with post-concussion symptoms.
When the results of the study are published in 2021, doctors may finally have answers about safer treatments for sports-related brain injuries. It could revolutionize the way we look at cannabis for the treatment of concussions and other brain injuries. And that will give both sports fans and athletes a reason to cheer!
Want to learn more about how cannabis can treat your specific condition? Drop by or schedule an appointment and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to help.