Is It Okay to Smoke Pot After a Brain Injury?

Question: 

I had a brain injury more than two years ago. Among other symptoms, I lost my sense of smell. What I’m wondering — as un-PC as this is — is whether I can still get high if I smoke marijuana.

Answer: 

Some people lose some or all of their sense of smell after a traumatic brain injury. However, there is no relationship between losing your ability to smell and the effects that marijuana have on your brain. You should also be aware that marijuana can be especially harmful after a brain injury.

There are many reasons not to use alcohol or illicit drugs, including marijuana after a brain injury. If you use drugs or alcohol, you could:

  • Not recover as fully or as quickly
  • Have more problems with concentration, memory, or balance
  • Increase your risk of seizures
  • Increase your risk of having another brain injury.

So, the bottom line is that whether you can smell or not, you shouldn’t being using marijuana.

 

 

Posted on BrainLine November 15, 2010

John Corrigan

Dr. John Corrigan is a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University, and director of the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation. He is the project director for the Ohio Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System.

Comments

This is sooo true . I was wondering why I felt like I was going to have a seisure after smoking and drinking .

I live with TBI. Ask those of us who chose to not to use SRI drugs . We chose a natural antidepressant. I have no taste or smell and have lost 50 pounds. Get an education.

Marijuana is being studied for its healing effects on serious brain injuries in the NFL. Smoking high cbd weed after my TBI was encouraged by both my specialist and my psychiatrist. Smoke up man

drs don't support Marijuana at all no point talking to them about it

I have a relative that has had a TBI, they smoked quite a bit after, and it didn't do anything good for them. At first, it took all that ailed them away, relaxed them, etc. But they started to become way more forgetful after smoking more frequently; and feared that everyone was after them. I'd saw her getting better, stronger, healthier, even her memory was improving — and then I saw her take 50 steps back and end up in a terrible state of depression. I don't think weed is harmful to the average person at all. But I honestly don't feel that for someone who's still in recovery for such a traumatic injury, it's good to smoke.

Maruina makes me feel a lot better

Honestly pot helps me out honestly it does!

My brother (53 years old) is 9 1/2 years post-TBI... He is ambulatory but has memory and cognition problems, with agitation issues being our biggest problem.  We tried meds, SSRIs, Depacote) but with absolutely NO help with the agitation episodes which were increasing.  He was always a big pot smoker in the past.  We hesitated to let him smoke for years after his accident.  So we started it slowly, mainly to help with the extreme agitation episodes. He can go from extremely angry to very friendly and even empathetic in just one toke.  His vocabulary and sentence structure goes through the roof and his sociability level allows us to be out in public without the agitated behavior, which is usually F bombs and flipping off the world (pretty disconcerting, huh?!) ... Unfortunately we live in a backward state that has JUST passed MMJ legislation but iis trying to find every way it can be limited.  

I can just speak from my experience. I sustained a severe tbi 3 years ago, and have found that now my brain function is horrendous when I smoke. It's the thc and it messes with me so much now
Then why would my s sons Dr. prescribe a medical marijuana?

In 1972 I was involved in a car accident and I had a subdural hematoma I was in the hosptial 1 1/2 years....after the accident I was put on medication to control seziures(I hated it!)I smoked pot but for no other reason than to get high,then I stopped the meds and was convultion free...I didn't put pot and no seziures together....about 3 years ago I stopped smoking pot i had a seziure....then I read the resrerch about CBD oils....so I am thinking about starting again cause the meds they put me on are full of undesireable effects.Any coments would help...God Bless

Is it better to drink alcohol or smoke weed after TBI?

I had an abi 9 months ago (multiple bleeds, 3 on CCS, 28 days in PTA) I tried "pot" 6 months after with no negative effects so I kept on smoking weekly for 6 weeks, I started to feel slower, "dumber" and more forgetful for a few days after I smoked so I haven't smoked for about a month and will not smoke again until it's been 12 month's since the abi.

I think a lot of you that have commented need to do more research. You are confusing THC & CBD. Both are in Marijuana but thc has a lot of side effects for tbi patients. TBI patients benefit from CBD. If you smoke after a tbi you are slowing the brain down. That is not what you want to do.

20 years ago I became TBI. When that happened I lost everything. I had to drop out of college, my girl dumped me (wasnt part of her ten year plan), my high school friends said I changed too much and didn't want to be my friends anymore, and my grandma and mom died. I was passenger in the car. I was alone in the world but for some reason I lived. With no money, no place to live, no friend,s no living family, I had nothing and i cursed my God. Living on the streets during winter I did what I had to do to survive. I was in constant level 10 pain. I was wondering, why am I alive? I was wishing I was dead. Knowing I was going to kill myself then I was introduced to weed it took my pain away. It put me in a really good mood. It helped me to forget about all the bad things that happened to me. Marijuana saved my life and now doctors try to say its not good for TBI..... wtf? Where were these people 20 years ago to help me? I was homeless. These people mocked me, laughed at that guy who smells and hasn't taken a shower in forever. These people would not help me out.

Actually, it is the lack of abundant scientific research and FDA approval of marijuana use after a brain injury that keeps us in the dark. Thank you Big Pharma.

The "answer" is absolutely wrong. Use google, countless scientific articles have been made on the effects of marijuana use before and after having a traumatic brain injury.

I suffered a TBI that resulted in right frontal scarring. I've found that I get a quicker, happier, and lengthy high since my injury. Before my injury, I experimented with pot and had little success. I'd smoke a whole joint by myself to get a buzz. Imagine my surprise at three months after my injury, approximately a year and a half since I last smoked! One puff from a pipe and I was a happy, high, free from pain person. It helps me relax and frees me from the dull pain on my bones that exists since my TBI.

I had a 30 km/h longboard crash with no helmet on and it cause a fractured skull, epidermal hematoma and my heart stopped working a few hours after. I should be in a wheelchair and relearning basic life skills but within around 4 or 5 days after I was able to walk without my walker. It was brought up buy a friend that my marijuana use may be why I recovered so fast since he had heard it before . Around a year after I read a something about a study in Israel done on soldiers showing that cannabis not only helped in the recovery of tbi patients but also prevented brain damage if smoked 3 days before the cause of your injury. The first few months I had migraines from the time I woke up to the time I fell asleep, The first time I smoked weed after the crash was a little over a month later and my migraine was gone for 2 days. It has almost been 2 years since the crash and the only problems I deal with is migraines and headaches through the day, mood swings, handful of sleep problems and I twitch. Cannabis helps me with almost everything but twitching. The reason cannabis helps me function better is because I have a tolerance to the point that it doesn't make me impaired when I use it.

I would like to comment..that cannabis has been proven to aid in the brain's healing process. It may take the brain slightly longer to heal. When we heal, our bodies try to do that as quickly as possible. So, the human body kicks into overdrive and starts using many different building blocks in a sporadic attempt to heal in the quickest, not always most efficiently built healing process. Cannabis eliminates inflammation, and allows the brain to heal slowly. Cognitive outcomes fair better when the healing process is slow and uniform..

I would like to say as a survivor of a TBI, I was violently attacked by a man who was trying to kill me with a kitchen knife and I ended up having my neck broken, the back of my neck was stabbed, my head was stabbed over 6 times and the last time the blade broke off in my skull and pierced the center line of my brain. The bottom line is I've been using cannabis oil illicitly and have experienced an incredible recovery, to say the least. I was told I wouldn't walk again, I was told I would be having constant seizures due to the severity of my brain injury, the blood loss, and the fact I couldn't be put on pain meds and was kept awake during the craniotomy. I answered the neurosurgeon's questions while he pushed the blade from my brain and skull, and proceeded to put a metal nanowire mesh and part of my skull back on. I was put in a medically induced coma to lower my brain swelling, they really weren't expecting me to wake up after that, but I woke up after 11 days, and was out of the hospital in a month and into a rehab hospital for 1 month. I was 18 years old when this happened to me. I'm now 21 years old and my life is a wreck. I can't keep a job, I can't pay for what happened to me. I ended up putting my hands on my girlfriend in a nightmare, had the cops called on me, and am being charged with domestic violence. The man who tried killing me with a knife and snapping my neck got 15 years in jail in the state of Kansas. It took a group of 6 cops to get this man off me. I've been dealing with the nightmares and PTSD for so long without help or being able to deal with it because of memory problems and overall life situation, and the fact I would have to move to a state to use medical cannabis is purely criminal. Luckily, I was able to have a friend who worked in the industry and heard about what happened to me and brought me cannabis oil which healed me illegally in the hospital, all documented fact that my condition improved so dramatically after that first dose, they didn't have to perform the extra brain surgery to drain the fluid off my brain,or surgery for a poop sack, due to the fact my friend brought me the right strain of cannabis oil. I could not even comprehend my mental condition if I had not been taking that oil, that is FACT. I would not be alive. Doctors need to stand up for their oath, and speak on the truth of the endocannabinoid system and stand up for the truth. If you're a doctor, you know the book truths you've studied and whatever experience you've had, and ultimately what you decide. By the way, the man who attempted murder on me somehow bought legal bath salts or some compound from a gas station and was drunk, he was a 38-year-old man who was renting a room at the person's house I was staying at for the night.

I have a friend with a traumatic brain injury that works for me and uses marijuana. It helps with mood but causes cognitive impairment to be worse. It over loads his brain and causes burnout and depression. I would not want him to drive after smoking it, because I would fear for his and others safety. He is not allowed to come to work if he smokes because he can't do his job. Research has also shown it to cause early onset dementia in TBI patients.

That's a hard one. Anyone who knows me since I had a brain injury, and disagree with it before my injury say I'm a jerk on it, not to mention they say this after drinking or doing stuff more messed up, while when I talk to important people they love my company without knowing I smoke beforehand, and had a brain injury, so it's a catch 22 thing.

This article is in serious need of an update by someone who knows.  In Colorado there is nothing illicit about cannabis, as for it's use with brain injury and I'm speaking from over 20 years first hand experience of Cannabis in my life, I have found the following to be true.

There is nothing wrong with Cannabis use and TBI, in fact I would give it a try if you are wondering about the benefits it has on brain injury.  It's not for everybody but its a personal choice you need to make and try.

I have lost 40+ pounds and am quite active even though I still have right side hemiparisis (sp). It has lessened the affects but not 100% which is bonus, my speech has improved and my life processing speed has shown me the world has slowed down to real time and I can pay attention .All. The. Time. 
Heck I even play golf and as any seasoned TBI veteran will tell you, is a great challenge for those with a with with this dreaded beast.

- TBI Insider.com (Give it a Google to learn more)

This is ridiculous anti-marijuana propaganda. CBD is a neuro-protectant found in marijuana and will alleviate pain as well as aid in recovery after injury. The PH.D (my ass) is selling you a bullshit answer by being clever and including alcohol and other illicit drugs in with his answer as to whether marijuana (not alcohol, not cocaine) would aid in recovery after brain injury. Marijuana, unlike alcohol or some other drugs, (disregarding legality due to the surge in research and legalization) is in fact not harmful to the brain and will alleviate pain as well as aid in recovery.

Absolute hooey.. I had a TBI 2 years ago.  3 strokes and I began having seizures.  THC and CBD are known neuro protectants.. and that is not debatable since our own government has patents on them as such.. so done with the discussion. Without High THC marijuana, I cannot live.  I am in constant seizure and after 2 years of medications that did not work and made things worse.. MMJ is the only medicine that should be used for Brain injury..

It's important to note that safest way to inhale cannabis is by using a herb vaporiser, that way there are no burnt hydrocarbons. Also it is most INADVISABLE to mix the cannabis with tobacco, that combination is not medical.
Since both THC and CBD are neuroprotectants and reduce brain inflammation they can be used but care should be taken to find a plant that is not so strong in THC and has a high amount of CBD. CBD is also an antipsychotic.

Many prefer to use cannabis butter (not as strong as a full extract oil) taken sublingually (under the tongue) as can CBD oil/paste. This is a good way of balancing out any unwanted side effects of the THC.

http://chroniccafe.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Brain-Injury-TRENDS-in-Molecular-Medicine-Feb-2002-Vol8-No2.pdf

Also the brain is densely packed with CB1 receptors except for the brain stem where because there are so few receptors there, cannabinoid cannot stop your heart or your breathing, unlike opioid medicines. It's worth noting that accidental opioid overdose is now one of the biggest killers in the USA. (Death by pharmaceuticals) Cannabinoids are humane and effective.

Pierre Marcar (trustee at ECS Support)

Before anyone reads my post, I think it is important to disclose that I am a strong proponent of legalizing marijuana but recognize its dangers. While marijuana used to have THC levels around 4% a few decades ago, it now has levels that reach 20 to 30% and it is possible to buy wax/dabs that are close to 90% THC. The increased potency of pot has increased the drugs unwanted side effects and led to higher chances of becoming dependent on THC and addicted to it.

I don’t like telling anyone what to do or put in their bodies and, frankly, don’t care. However, I personally have seen the dangers of smoking after TBI in the form of an addiction and increased psychosis that has led to psychotic violent behavior that ripped my own family apart and brought us close to bankruptcy. Like many other Americans, I grew up smoking pot and have fond memories of getting high with my friends. HOWEVER, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THC IS A DIFFERENT DRUG FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE SUFFERED FROM TBI. I have spent hours reading medical journals on the effects of smoking cannabis after suffering a TBI and felt that I should probably share what I have found. I recognize that people are entitled to their own opinions, and have based my conclusions on unbiased articles from well-respected medical journals that I have access to through my graduate school library. Unfortunately, you will probably have to find the articles I cite at your own library or pay to read them. You can use links provided to read the summary of findings or abstracts.

MY FINDINGS: There are two reasons that it may be a bad idea to start smoking after a TBI:

1. After a TBI, you are more susceptible to becoming addicted to THC and other substances:

I have focused my research on addiction of adolescents and young adults (14 – 29), and there are numerous studies that have found post TBI victims are around twice as likely to develop addictions to THC. If you are older, do your own research. Here is a link to just ONE recent study I found. There are tons more if you look for them. (this link goes to a pdf of the article) - https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/69975/1/POST_Substance%20Use%20Related%20Harms%20Among%20Adolescents%20With%20and%20Without%20Traumatic%20Brain%20Injury.pdf

While I did find an Australian study from 2010 that claimed there was no relationship between increased chance of addiction to THC and TBI, the authors noted that when people who could not remember their age when their BI occurred were included in the sample, their model indicated there was, in-fact, an increased risk of abuse. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20350327

Don’t hesitate to do some research for yourself. There are a ton of studies that come to the same conclusion. Chances are that smoking once or twice isn’t going to kill you, its when it becomes a daily habit that you should be worried. The problem is that when someone is an addict, they magically convince themselves its okay to smoke all the time. TBIs seem to help people justify making themselves feel good using drugs.

2. Post TBI cannabis use can delay recovery and lead to increased symptoms of psychosis:

From what I understand, post TBI problems can be categorized as cognitive or behavioral. Cognitive problems include things like test performance and memory issues while behavioral problems include problems like anxiety, depression or violence. While there have only been a few case studies that are limited due to problems finding enough people with TBIs to conduct a full study, I was able to find 2 articles that discuss the effects of THC on post TBI mental health.  

The first study is from 2010 and involved 1 person. The authors found that THC did not alter the subject’s cognitive function but that it did seem to have led to higher levels of anxiety and depression. While the authors did not go as far as to say that THC was detrimental to the subject’s behavioral health for sure, they did cite papers linking increased anxiety and depression to psychosis. The authors also noted that the subject did not abstain from smoking during the entire study and that while his anxiety and depression decreased after abstaining from smoking, he began smoking less than he had before and was able to keep his depression and anxiety levels lower after using other methods to help lower his depression and anxiety. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10834343  

In the last two weeks, a study came out with findings that cannabis may act as a psychological stressor that increases a TBI victim’s risk of psychosis significantly more than it can provide therapeutic benefits. The authors also noted that THC is the least beneficial drug in cannabis and that most people have medical marijuana that contains high levels of THC. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26849855

If you aren’t worried about behavioral problems, then these articles aren’t relevant. However, most people don’t know the extent of their TBI related behavioral problems until 3 years after their injury and many are in denial that their problems even exist. If you’re worried about behavioral problems, you might want to think twice about starting to smoke again.

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Unfortunately, there is a plethora of incorrect and biased propaganda circulating the internet on this topic. Almost every article found using a simple google search or post found on this website either cites a personal experience or study that was conducted on the neuro protective benefits of marijuana achieved a few hours after the occurrence of a traumatic brain injury. PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT WHILE THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF WEBSITES CLAIMING THAT MEDICAL MARIJUANA HELPS TBI RECOVERY, THEY ALL CITE ARTICLES THAT ONLY CLAIM TO SEE THOSE BENEFITS IF MARAJUANA IS IN SOMEONES SYSTEM IN THE FEW HOURS BEFORE OR AFTER A TBI!! Any article that talks about neuro protective benefits of cannabinoids is talking about their protective qualities in the time immediately before and after a head injury.

CONCLUSION:

I have thoroughly searched medical journals on the harms and benefits of smoking after a TBI and have only found studies that indicate smoking pot during recovery of a TBI could have negative consequences. In short, the pro-pot people who claim that the government is spouting all kinds of biased and incorrect information, are actually the ones circulating lies.

I do recognize that cannabis is probably a better alternative to the highly-addictive prescription drugs that doctors over prescribe. However, you should be aware that THC is addictive and could have drastic consequences that hurt you and your family. If you’re using drugs in a way that is detrimental to you or the people around you, DON’T BE IN DENIAL, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AND SHOULD GET SOME HELP! Just like chemo therapy isn’t the appropriate drug to treat the flu, cannabis isn’t the right drug to help people that have behavioral problems associated with TBI. Pot has its medicinal qualities but its benefits are not worth risking your mental health.

I'm a T.B.I survivor I had my injury in April of 2013 I fell 12 meters onto railway tracks which resulted in fractured ribs vertebrae chip and two hematoma to the right side of my brain. After three years of no drugs or alcohol besides pharmaceuticals I decided the other day to smoke some cannabis sure the high was great but it is now the 4th day since my balance is terrible I am constantly having head rushes which sometimes require me to sit down and how long will this last I dont know hopefully not much longer.So if your reading this after a brain injury please let it help you decide not to smoke weed because the hour or so high is not worth the uncertainty of your health don't listen to that medicinal marijuana bullshit that people try to preach to you : )

Here's another study that directly contradicts the "doctor's" advice:

http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/2013/09/13/study-points-to-marijuanas-potential-benefit-post-concussion/

and another:

http://www.nature.com/jcbfm/journal/v35/n3/full/jcbfm2014218a.html

This is an expert discussing the potential benefits relating to brain injury in a letter to the NFL:

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/03/01/harvard-professor-to-nfl-treat-concussions-with-pot/

Thank you so much for your time! My wife actually found this article and asked me to read it so I did. I am a TBI victim with mine happening on June 10th of this year so I'm still in its early stages. I recently started smoking again and realize that yes it does affect memory more!

I am quite shocked after finding this page.  Not only is the advice offered by the "doctor" at best completely wrong and without any factual basis, it is at worst outright harmful or even potentially deadly!  As far as I can tell, he's not even a medical doctor, but merely a PhD, who really has no business dispensing medical advice as a supposed "expert", particularly when it concerns something he clearly knows practically nothing about (cannabis).

Some serious issues need to be addressed concerning existing knowledge and evidence.

Some important and relevant facts to consider:

1) The US government holds a patent on the medical use of cannabinoids (including CBD, which is typically the 2nd most prevalent cannabinoid in most cannabis strains) as antioxidants and neuroprotectants (relating to both neurodegenerative disease and traumatic brain injury).  http://www.google.com/patents/US6630507  "The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia."

2)  Already mentioned 2 posts below is the study that found that in serious TBI cases, patients with cannabis in their system were a remarkable 80% less likely to die than those without!

3) CBD and other cannabinoids have been found to promote neurogenesis (production of new brain cells):

Cannabinoids promote embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produce anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects

http://www.jci.org/articles/view/25509

Cannabinoid receptor CB1 mediates baseline and activity-induced survival of new neurons in adult hippocampal neurogenesis

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1478-811x-8-12.pdf

The anxiolytic effect of cannabidiol on chronically stressed mice depends on hippocampal neurogenesis: involvement of the endocannabinoid system.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23298518

Activation of Type 1 Cannabinoid Receptor (CB1R) Promotes Neurogenesis in Murine Subventricular Zone Cell Cultures

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23704915

Now, all that said, I would never recommend smoking anything to someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury (or really anyone wanting to use cannabis for its medical benefits in general).  It would be much smarter to to use non-smoked ingestion methods such as vaporization or consuming edibles or concentrates in order to get the medical benefits.

Okay this is from a wife of a man that received a TBI two years ago. It is a good thing to listen to a person that does not have the injury, but is as close as one can be to the brain injured person. I smoked for many years myself & am a good person to have a good objective opinion. My husband smoked plenty before his TBI happened. After about a half a year from his accident, he had a lot of pain still from other injuries he got. He had been on opioids for this pain for quite a while. He didn't want to take them anymore because they weren't working very well, you pretty much just have to take more and more and more when they wear off. He smokes marijuana anytime before his accident when he had pain or when he had anxiety and it worked pretty well for that. I was very scared for him to try to smoke marijuana again because I didn't know if it would harm him or make him have the really bad symptoms that he had before from his brain injury like memory loss cognitive issues ext. I finally agreed that I would be okay with him trying just a very small little bit to see if it would help. What happened when he did that was it made him very extremely high and he seemed like he was set back to several months before he healed up to the point that he was at. I agreed to let him try it more than once to see if his body could get used to it or to see if he could just find if a less amount would work for him. Well he's been smoking it since. His body did most certainly get used to it. It took quite a while and he still does have a lot of the symptoms of memory loss and cognitive issues & other things like not being able to speak what's on his mind like forgetting what he was saying or even sometimes not being able to spit the words out all the way. He has a lot of emotional issues from his brain injury because a lot of the injury was due to the frontal lobe of the brain that controls a lot of your emotions. Has brain injury was all over his brain but a lot of it was to that frontal lobe. Therefore because of his brain injury he already has a lot of emotional issues like getting angry really easily and upset. Smoking marijuana definitely does help him to feel better in the sense that it takes his anger and anxiety away a lot. It does help him to not feel that pain and feel so bad. He does seem a lot of times more motivated to do things because it makes him happier. There are however some more pretty bad and negative effects to what it does to him. Because it is illegal he can't get it all of the time. When he doesn't have it he is very very angry and very depressed and down and if you ask me that would be a negative side to this that he is using as medication. When he is also using it it does make his memory a lot worse and cognitive abilities a lot worse and his judgment is definitely a lot worse. As his wife I want to see him happy and I don't want to see him in pain but I do wish that there was something else that he would try or that would work for him because of the downsides of when he doesn't have it and when it makes his memory and all that other stuff worse. So in my opinion if it helps you and it doesn't have all these negative effects like it has on my husband I'm all for it especially since it has been proven to help with a lot of stuff and not have negative effects. With my husband using it as a medication I look at it as a medication and I see that all of those negative side effects outweigh the good it's doing. It is hard seeing him almost in a state where he's kind of set back like he hasn't healed as much as he has and that's what it does to him. When you're using it to make you happy and you depend on it that much I don't think it's a good thing. I really feel that that dependency should be placed in our Lord & just trust him to help you with your problems because we don't need to be not clear minded & not know what's really going on around you if that's a it does. So long story short... if you're going to try it after a traumatic brain injury I suggest starting a very very little bit at a time to see how it affects you and also ask someone that you feel comfortable to ask to see from their point of view...someone who doesn't have a brain injury, to see if it is doing too much harm or if it seems to be doing good. Remember that a lot of times it's hard for a person with a brain injury to make good judgement on their own so help them or if you have the injury, the mature selfless thing to do would be to ask someone else's opinion as well.

Another quack doctor making assertions based on cultural biases instead of researched facts.

American Surgeons republished at NCBI, NLM, NIH(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25264643):

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Several studies have demonstrated neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids. The objective of this study was to establish a relationship between the presence of a positive toxicology screen for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and mortality after TBI. A 3-year retrospective review of registry data at a Level I center of patients sustaining TBI having a toxicology screen was performed. Pediatric patients (younger than 15 years) and patients with a suspected nonsurvivable injury were excluded. The THC(+) group was compared with the THC(-) group with respect to injury mechanism, severity, disposition, and mortality. Logistic regression was used to determine independent associations with mortality. There were 446 cases meeting all inclusion criteria. The incidence of a positive THC screen was 18.4 per cent (82). Overall mortality was 9.9 per cent (44); however, mortality in the THC(+) group (2.4% [two]) was significantly decreased compared with the THC(-) group (11.5% [42]; P = 0.012). After adjusting for differences between the study cohorts on logistic regression, a THC(+) screen was independently associated with survival after TBI (odds ratio, 0.224; 95% confidence interval, 0.051 to 0.991; P = 0.049). A positive THC screen is associated with decreased mortality in adult patients sustaining TBI.

I use it occasionally, and I find it can help my muscles, mood, attention, problem solving ability, balance, and even my memory. That is when I use a good kind wt a lot in THC, balanced in wt a little bit of CBD. Unfortunately since it still illegal in my state, finding a good kind is a little bit difficult. Cheaper kinds that I am able to find wt low levels of THC, don't seem to help my abilities, and the high CBD levels just leave me wt a non complacent stoned feeling. I don't like that stoned feeling, as it can really hurt my cognition. Still I do get a lot of benefit from kinds wt higher levels of THC. Even scientists are finally admitting it helps people wt seizures & post concussive syndrome, which incudes a lot of us wt brain injuries. This link is about the benefits to post concussive syndrome. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=mariquana+helps+post+concussive+syndrome&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

I was surprised by this statement:  "the bottom line is... you shouldn't being using marijuana."  I was pleased by the mix of comments.  It's not for everyone, but it should be available to those who need it and choose to use it.  Some of the statements in the Answer above are accurate, but they are misleading.  Not having popper nutrition, lack of sleep and anxiety are more dangerous for me than cannabis with or without THC.

This site seems to have an oldschool/untested point of view. Search "marijuana and brain trauma" and you will see mixed results, however, even the national institute of health has credited thc with neuroprotective properties that can increase survival rates and ease management of severe tbi

i have had a TBI twice my emotions are out of wack smoking helps keep me stable marijuana is medicine for the body and the mind

This is a reply to the person who asked if you can smoke cigarettes post TBI, about ten questions down? I don't see why not, but why would you ever want to? Besides all of the health risks associated with it, it can also cause oxygen starvation, in the brain. Stick wt Mary Jane, both for a healthier body, and brain.

I've read in the comments, that some people who have used it post TBI, have experienced problems with memory, and cognition. I do not, and actually my cognition improves after using, specifically my memory, attention, and problem solving ability. I think that it's affect on people, is largely based, on the percentages of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids found within the plant. Also the areas of the brain that have been injured from a persons brain injury. I think it is largely a learning experience, of what kinds to use, and the amount to use. If you over medicate wt it, you can lose any cognitive benefits, you can gain when using in moderation. The good thing about this plant, is that using too much, cannot cause you any harm, so you can safely experiment wt types, and dosages. Hopefully when the plant is finally legal nationally, purchasing the the specific type, that helps your particular brain injury, will be much easier.

Every brain injury is different. Cannabis isn't going to overdose you. Several prescription drugs used are derived from cannabis. Natural is better and safer. For me dark plants are best in alleviating my plethora of symptoms in small doses. I've tracked several different delivery methods and over twenty strains. I can honestly say six strains are perfection. You don't have to be stoned to get relief just lightly elevated with 15 drops , two capsules, or one light toke. Each delivery method and mixture will relieve different issues without negatives if used responsibly. Permanently free the green for home cultivation of TBI patients and I can teach you to save others lives from the plethora of issues associated with TBI.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25264643

After I use 'some,' I prefer the kind wt more THC, then CBD, my attention, problem solving ability, and directional sense, are all greatly improved. Those abilities were hindered most from my brain injury, because my injury affected much more of the right half of my brain. The way that I think it works, is that it slows down how I perceive what is going on around me, while at same time, doesn't slow down my thinking process. What this does is help gives me more time to think, and react. I tend to try and do everything too fast, because if I don't, I forget my train of thought. Marijuana does effect memory in newer users, which can be a fear for people wt TBI's. Still I find that it can actually help a person figure out how to remember better. Memory is basically a problem solving activity, and it will help you learn how to problem solve. I don't like a whole lot of CBD in it, but a small amount also helps me relax my sometimes contracted left hand, my speech muscles, and it also helps to improve my balance. 

My son had a fairly severe brain injury in his teens, 5 years ago.  For most people looking at and talking with him, they would say there was nothing wrong.  He has pretty severe motivational issues and forgets to do basic things.  If you talk to him he has lots of ambition to achieve all sorts of things but they mostly don't get done.  Of late he has been smoking a lot of weed and I am convinced it is linked to his inability to get things done.  when he stays off it he can be quite clear thinking, as soon as he is on it again everything becomes 'fine' for him, 'I'll do that later', and everything starts to fall apart.

So, I'd say if it is memory and motivation that are the problems then weed is not the answer.

I don't buy this. Daily use of Marijuana keeps me from dependency on SSRI's which don't work nearly as well. The key is small doses!

Have severe tbi . been smoking it since before my mishap mishap was 2004 still smokin it. Whatever ppl say . Its great for me . Stops alot of things

I have a TBI and I smok daily is it really that bad???

I disagree with this article completely. I've had a hard time writing and reading since my brain injury in January 2014, but when I smoke a little, I have no problems! I usually have a hard time writing papers and articles because my brain has a really hard time trying to organize my thoughts. However, after a few hits, I have zero problems and I feel like my brain can function as well as it did before.

Also, weed has helped me immensely with the stress and depression I experienced after the brain injury. If I start having one of my brain injury mood swings (as I call them), a few hits of high quality weed stops it completely and I can think straight again, and this is the kind of mood swing that causes me to cry, scream and break things (something I didn't experience pre-TBI). 

My personal opinion is to smoke. If one strain doesn't work, try another. Neurologists were so quick to try to prescribe me antidepressants, sleeping pills, pain killers and anti-seizure meds, but weed can do most if not all of the things those pills can do. Plus, you won't have to go through the withdrawal in the future if you just smoke instead. 

I find that a few hits does the trick so you don't have to get completely stoned to experience the benefits of this herb.

I received my TBI in November, 22nd when i died 3time's. They brought me back to life for the final time, but i still feel "dead" on the inside.

I've lost 97% of my friend's, some of my speech unless i smoke marijuana. Then i speak better than our president they tell me! My parent's are all against me smoking marijuana, but i tell them "as soon as it becomes legal in T.N or America i will be the first one smoking it"! I write the most AMAZING poetry when i'm high! That's all i have in this world now! THC and poetry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can you smoke cigarettes while in recovery?, if not, list the reasons? Thanks whoever.

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