Can You Use Medical Marijuana to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Louisiana?
What are Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), once known only as the umbrella term 'concussion', are becoming increasingly common among today's youth, particularly affecting college students as well as people over the age of 65.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5 million people experience a TBI each year in America, resulting in some 230,000 people being hospitalized.
Traumatic Brain injuries qualify for a medical marijuana card in Louisiana.
TBIs can result from a blow to the head and often affect people involved in high impact sports such as football and hockey.
Brain injury occurs when an external force causes structural damage to the brain that disrupts normal biological functioning. This traumatic event results from a violent shake or blow to the head or body which jars or twists the brain inside the skull, causing bruising of brain tissue along with tearing of nerve fibers that connect different areas of the brain together.
A TBI can also result from a penetrating head injury when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue, or when an object explodes near the head releasing energy that damages the brain, similar to traumatic brain injury caused by a car accident or blast waves transmitted during combat operations.
How are Traumatic Brain Injuries Treated?
It is not uncommon for traumatic injuries resulting from high-speed automobile accidents involving young adults or those over the age of 65 to damage more than one area of the brain.
As traumatic injuries are rarely isolated events, multiple traumatic injuries over time can cause cumulative damage, potentially leading to lasting disabilities with long term cognitive difficulties.
A blow to the head can result in many common symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, and disorientation.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury may also include loss of consciousness or coma, seizures, and abnormal behavior such as aggression or agitation.
Treatment for traumatic brain injuries is usually supportive until symptoms improve with medication used to reduce swelling in the brain. Symptoms usually resolve within a few weeks, but recovery from traumatic brain injuries may take several months or longer depending on the severity of the injury.
More severe traumatic brain injuries can lead to persistent vegetative states requiring assisted living arrangements such as nursing home care, with little chance for recovery beyond basic functions such as breathing on their own and minimal physical mobility.
Can Medical Marijuana Help with Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Treatment for traumatic brain injuries may involve surgery to remove clotted blood or bone fragments from the brain, drain excess fluid, relieve pressure inside the skull and treat cerebral edema.
Medication used to reduce swelling in the brain is often accompanied by intravenous fluids or blood transfusions if necessary.
With prompt medical treatment, many patients with TBIs go on to live relatively normal lives with complete recovery of neurological functions beyond any memory loss they might experience resulting from post-traumatic amnesia experienced at the time of traumatic event.
Unfortunately, for some patients who have experienced one or multiple TBIs, the complications that can arise at the time of injury or even years later can be debilitating.
In some cases, residual effects from one or multiple TBIs can cause unpleasant complications such as:
excessive or new pain
problems with cognition and memory
Because TBIs can cause such a wide range of effects seemingly at random, TBIs can be a difficult condition to create treatment plans for, and often individual experiences will dictate the appropriate medications required for effectively treating the symptoms or complications of the condition.
However, medical marijuana has been linked to improved results for all those listed complications.
Further, recent studies suggest that medical marijuana may have neuroprotective properties, potentially improving neurological impairment as well as cognition for those with TBIs and neurodegenerative disorders.
THC has even been linked to decreased mortality in adults with traumatic brain injuries, offering serious interest for medical professionals to look at medical marijuana as a potential treatment option for patients suffering from TBIs.
But despite the increasing evidence, there is a significant lack of studies that should be happening for medical marijuana for TBIs, even though the United States government owns the patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
Get a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card for TBI
TBIs are often easily recovered from, offering most patients a very healthy prognosis without much complication.
However, because of the variance in what complications can arise from experiencing one or multiple TBIs, medical marijuana is approved for patients with traumatic brain injuries in Louisiana.
To find out more about using medical marijuana as a possible treatment option for traumatic brain injury, consult with our staff of qualified doctors that can help walk you through the path of getting medical marijuana to help with TBIs.
Our doctors can be reached at (833) 253-2943 to help answer any questions you may have about getting a Louisiana marijuana card for TBI.
Get Approved in Three Easy Steps!
Schedule a telemedicine appointment by calling us at (833) 253-2943.
Meet virtually with one of our certified physicians through telemedicine to discuss your medical history.
With the doctor's approval, you'll receive your recommendation from the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.