Concussions & Medical Marijuana Explained
So what exactly is a concussion? A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, it can cause a temporary loss of normal brain function and even be fatal. This injury happens from a hit to the head hard enough and causes your head and brain to move. This rapid movement back and forth causes your brain to release chemicals.
Physical and mental rest are needed. And medications for headaches, pain, and nausea are often prescribed.
Here’s everything you need to know about concussions:
Common ways to get a concussion
Concussions are one of the most common types of brain injuries. There are different ways to get a concussion, and the most common causes of them include vehicle accidents, falls, and contact sports such as football, basketball, ice hockey, wrestling, or soccer. But concussions can even be caused by falling off a bike or at the playground.
However, you don’t have to hit your head to suffer from a concussion. A bump can also cause it to the head or a violent jolt that shakes the brain. It’s not uncommon to get a concussion from falling on or getting hit in the jaw or chin.
Signs you have concussion
After any time you hit your head, you must look for the signs and symptoms of a concussion, which often show up shortly after the injury. Symptoms may include headache, confusion, lack of coordination, memory loss, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing in the ears, sleepiness, and excessive fatigue.
The severity of the injury might not be known immediately. Symptoms can take hours or even days to appear, which is why it’s essential that you are checking for signs immediately and up to a few days after the injury. At the first sign, you’ll want to go to the emergency department.
While most effects are usually temporary, such as headaches and problems concentrating, memory loss and balance, and coordination there can be lasting effects.
Here are some of the other signs you have concussion,
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Temporary loss of consciousness.
- Balance problems such as lightheadedness.
- Double or blurry vision.
- Ringing in the ears.
- Sensitivity to light and noise.
- Changes in sleep patterns sleeping more or less
- Trouble concentrating or understanding.
- Depression or sadness.
- Irritability, nervousness, and anxiety.
- Just not feeling right.
How is a concussion diagnosed and treated?
A doctor will do tests such as an MRI or CT scan. They will be looking for bruising or bleeding in your brain. The treatment will depend on the symptoms but often include rest. Therapy can also include anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medications. There has been a link between TBI and marijuana. Marijuana has properties that help to reduce inflammation, eliminate nausea and reduce pain with brain injuries, including concussions.
How to prevent concussions
There is no real way to prevent concussions from happening, and you are at an increased risk when doing certain activities. You can, however, reduce the risk with the following concussion safety tips,
- Always wearing seatbelts when driving in the car.
- Always wearing a properly fitting helmet when biking, riding a motorcycle, skating, skiing, horseback riding, or playing contact sports.
- Holding onto handrails when climbing stairs to prevent falls.
- Strengthen your neck muscles so that the neck muscles can absorb some of the impacts when playing sports.
Marijuana and concussions
Marijuana has been known to help the brain repair after a traumatic injury by reducing the inflammation in the brain. The THC in Cannabis has been associated with decreased mortality in adult patients that have suffered from a traumatic brain injury. Other than reducing inflammation and swelling of the brain after impact, marijuana can also help with recovering faster by promoting the growth of new brain cells.
There are two main types of cannabis,
Indica for concussions
This cannabis plant, Indica, is higher in CBD with lower THC levels. This strain is an effective pain reliever, but it will also provide you with a relaxing high, which is best for recovering from a concussion.
Sativa for concussions
The cannabis plant Sativa has higher levels of THC than CBD and provides a more energizing high. However, Sativa provides relief from headaches and nausea.
How to get a medical card for concussions
Most states that have legalized medical marijuana currently do not have concussions listed as qualifying medical conditions for a medical marijuana card. But this doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to qualify for medical marijuana.
Every state has chronic pain as a qualifying condition, which is a symptom of a post-concussion disorder. The best way to determine if you’ll qualify for a medical card is to schedule an appointment with a cannabis doctor. At Elevate Holistics, we offer in-home appointments through our telehealth services and qualify your condition without ever leaving your home.
What are the different grades of concussion?
There are 6 types of concussions – vestibular, ocular-motor, cognitive, post-traumatic migraine, cervical, and anxiety/mood. Each of these will affect you differently and have different grades of severity.
Grade 1 Concussion
With a grade 1 concussion, you’ll experience headaches, have memory loss, dizziness nausea, and difficulty focusing. In a few days following this level, you’ll be able to return to normal activities.
Grade 2 Concussion
With a grade 2 concussion, you’ll experience dizziness, amnesia, confusion, ringing in the ears, and/or irritability. There will be cloudy senses that last longer than a grade 1 concussion.
Grade 3 Concussion
With a grade 3 concussion, the symptoms will be more severe. They include speech difficulty, vomiting, seeing stars, and amnesia that last longer than 24 hours and are the longest-lasting concussion grade.
How do you treat concussions?
There is no cure for a concussion, but you should know things when it comes to treating a concussion. Here’s everything you need to know about how to treat a concussion. The most important thing is resting physically and mentally, allowing the brain to recover, and taking medications that help reduce headaches, pain, and nausea. Restricting activities such as sports, video games, and television will allow the brain the rest it needs to recover.