Scientists at Lovelace Biomedical, led by their Mind Research Network subsidiary, and the University of New Mexico, have published a report in the latest issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma reviewing the evidence for medical cannabis in the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The review identified significant gaps in the current understanding of the ability of medical cannabis to treat the many negative effects of TBI. Animal models of TBI suggest cannabinoids have neuroprotective and psychotherapeutic properties whereas human studies with recreational cannabis have consistently shown detrimental effects. The review identified a paucity of high-quality studies examining the beneficial and adverse effects of medical cannabis on traumatic brain injury, with only a single clinical study performed.
The authors note that observational studies demonstrate that TBI patients are using medical and recreational cannabis to treat their symptoms, highlighting inconsistencies between public policy, perception of potential efficacy, and the dearth of empirical evidence.
The full report, “Use of Medical Cannabis to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury,” is found here: https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2020.7148