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How Hemp Works for Brain Injuries

April 20, 2020

cannabinoids and brain injuries

If you're wanting to learn how hemp works for brain injuries keep reading as we cover the ins and outs of cannabinoids effects on memory, mood, nerve damage and neurodegeneration.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is described as being caused by an external force that can change the state of consciousness, causing an impairment of cognitive or physical functioning.

Falls are the most common cause of such an injury, weighing in at 47% according to the organization Brainline. Other sources include strikes, assault, and traffic accidents.

Professional contact sports players are at an exceptionally high risk by the nature of the profession. While each case varies in terms of severity, the long term effects include mood imbalances, memory loss, sensation issues in the extremities, impaired cognitive functioning, increased risk of stroke or seizure, and the development of brain neurodegenerative conditions (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.)

How Hemp Works for Memory

Cannabinoids can improve learning abilities and memory, alongside boosting serotonin levels, which impact on memory retrieval, spatial memory (remembering information about one's environment), emotional memory (activating emotions associated with a memory), and the reduction of fearful memories. For more information on how cannabinoids work for Alzheimer's and dementia see this article.

Acetylcholine is also increased after the utilization of cannabinoids. Acetylcholine is responsible for encoding new memories, which directly affects one's ability to learn.

Memory loss and other brain deterioration indirectly leads to increased oxygen in the brain. The cannabinoid CBD is an antioxidant, which helps reduce the problems associated with oxygen stress. In clinical trials, CBD has shown the ability to reverse and even prevent the development of Alzheimer's negative impact.

How Cannabinoids Work for Nerve Damage

Painful stinging and burning in the extremities can be caused by damaged nerves. Cannabinoids work as an analgesic (painkiller), working on the same pathways as opioid medications. This, along with whole plant hemp’s anti-inflammatory properties, can provide long-lasting relief. Whole plant hemp extractions also work to reduce muscle spasms, which are a side effect of nerve damage.

Specifically, when cannabinoids such as CBD are introduced in the endocannabinoid system, it creates positive responses within the peripheral nervous system and central nervous system, such as pain relief. This relief is noted with multiple types of pain, some of which include chronic pains such as nerve pain (neuropathic pain) or even cancer pain.

How Hemp Works for Mood Imbalances

how hemp works for brain injuries

Mood swings are commonly associated with those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Cannabinoids power the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help create stable, balanced, and improved moods. Cannabinoids are anti-anxiolytic and antidepressants, meaning they can help reduce anxiety and depression in the user. 

As mentioned earlier, cannabinoids increase serotonin levels, thereby regulating mood and social behavior. Cannabinoids also interact with dopamine, which increases desire to participate in reward motivated behavior.

Hemp contains many vitamins and nutrients that have been shown to elevate mood and combat anxiety. Omega-3 fatty acids are another essential nutrient that hemp is rich in. They help combat anxiety by boosting mood and boosting cognitive function in the brain. This is before we consider the effects of cannabinoids.

How Cannabinoids Work for Neurodegenerative Conditions

Traumatic brain injuries can hasten the onset of degenerative brain conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective, meaning it stops further damage to the brain and regenerates the brain and nervous system. 

As an antioxidant, cannabinoids fight free radicals to protect cells and inhibit the development of disease. By reducing oxidative stress, the imbalance of free radicals to antioxidants, cannabinoids fight against damage to cells and aid in recovery.

The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants for mental and motor dysfuction in neurodegenerative diseases.

With neurodegenerative conditions, sleep disturbance and changes in mood and/or behavior are common. As discussed earlier, cannabinoids can help improve and balance moods. Additionally, cannabinoids work with the ECS to reestablish healthy sleep patterns, which help the user get quality, restful sleep.

We hope this article covered for you how hemp works for brain injuries and how cannabinoids can assist with memory, mood, nerve damage and neurodegenerative conditions. If you would like to learn more about hemp and cannabinoids effects on specific conditions and ailments, you can visit our Blog.

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