Study Points to Marijuana’s Potential Benefit Post Concussion

A highly respected journal, Cerebral Cortex, has published the results of a study, which points to the potential benefits of certain ingredients in Marijuana to activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors and lead to neuroprotective benefits, which can help heal the brain after a traumatic injury, such as a concussion.

“The results provided the first evidence for the involvement of ECS [endocannabinoid system] in the neuroprotective action of minocycline on brain edema, neurological impairment, diffuse axonal injury, and microglial activation, since all these effects were prevented by the CB1 and CB2 receptor antagonists,” according to the study.

The authors further suggest that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors through the consumption of cannabis is vital in bringing about the neuroprotective effects of the drug minocycline. Further, activation of the cannabinoid system may increase the beneficial effects of a number of other prescription drugs, and may, on its own, have “vast” neuroprotective capabilities.

The abstract of the study can be found here: http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/08/19/cercor.bht202.abstract

The legal and policy consequences of such studies as the sports industry grapples with the concussion crisis are significant. The two-pronged effect of the growing medical evidence of the positive impact that marijuana can have in the aftermath of TBI along with emerging societal acceptance of the use of marijuana, at least from a medicinal standpoint, may put pressure on leagues and other entities that ban the use of marijuana to reconsider those policies or risk legal exposure. A story on this topic was written in the September issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter.

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