Can CBD Help With Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Can CBD Help With Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Many service members and veterans can sustain a TBI during daily activities, military training, military deployment, and combat in war zones. Most of the traumatic brain injuries sustained by members of the U.S. Armed Forces are classified as mild TBI/concussion.

As research into the benefits of CBD expands, new health benefits of CBD are being discovered. So far, the evidence shows that CBD has neuroprotective properties. Can these properties reduce the impact of damages caused by TBI?


Any injury to the head can be severe and for a good reason. A series of reactions occur in the brain following a strong blow. The reactions include swelling, inflammation, and immune activation.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is exactly what it sounds like. It is neurological damage caused by an impact injury to the head. Those living with TBI often have a reduced quality of life. Typical TBI patients are football players, military veterans, and car crash survivors. TBI can have long-lasting and debilitating effects and may include physical, emotional, social, and behavioral symptoms.

These effects are often life-changing. Depression and anxiety are standard results, along with reduced motor function and cognitive decline. TBI patients with severe symptoms may even experience seizures.


Research shows that CBD has a protective effect on the brain cells following a traumatic injury. Although many aspects of this process are unclear, it seems that CBD reduces inflammation and increases blood flow in the brain, which lessens further damage after an injury.

The body of research available on CBD’s effects on TBI is growing steadily. Several studies point to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) as an important player in the development of psychological, physical, and behavioral effects following TBI.

Specifically, cannabidiol use changes the balance of function within the ECS. Also, research shows that in the case of TBI, that balance shifts towards the better.

More research is needed to establish specific protocols that can be accessed and prescribed by mainstream medicine. In the meantime, though, individual cases are shining an upbeat light on the prognosis of the condition.


TBI is a complicated condition. The causes, symptoms, and progressions can vary wildly from person to person. It is difficult to ascertain anything as research is relatively new. Over 5.3 million people are currently struggling with traumatic brain injury disabilities in America, and most of them are Veterans. In the last few decades, scientists, researchers, and physicians have been trying to discover alternative treatment methods for TBIs. Veterans and service members in need of additional support for the downstream effects of TBI should consult their medical provider and professional CBD practitioner.

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