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Cannabis and Brain Injury

Research Reveals Effectiveness of Marijuana in Decreasing Mortality among Patients with Brain Trauma

A study has revealed that the chances of survival are more for the sufferers of traumatic brain injuries who are treating themselves with cannabis.

The present research has been conducted by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in which the emergency patients were examined for different doses of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Here THC is an important constituent of cannabis. The results indicate that those tested negative for this illicit substance have higher death rate as compared with the individuals who tested positive.

It has been discovered that in the condition of traumatic brain injury, the THC compound proves to be significantly effective in protecting the brain.

About 446 patients with traumatic brain injury were taken as participants of the study. To find out the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol in their body, their urine was tested. Out of the 446, around 84 patients were tested positive for this active ingredient of marijuana. Looking at their mortality rate, it was comparatively higher for those testing negative for the drug. The death toll among the users of the illegal substance was 2.4 percent while, on the other hand, 11.5 percent of the patients died who did not use it.

David Plurad is a researcher at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and the frontline author of the study. He said that, in the studies conducted earlier, some compounds were discovered in cannabis which helped in protecting the brain in animals with traumatic injury.

In previous some years, as the fame of marijuana got momentum, some states in the US started decriminalizing it either for medical purposes or its use as a pot drug. Primarily, it is the pain for which the doctors prescribe medical marijuana to their patients. As more states are making efforts to decriminalize cannabis, the results of the present study will prove to be very helpful in the legalization process.

In some other research works, it has been pointed out that THC can inspire desire to eat, decrease ocular pressure, relieve muscle spasms, eliminate ache and treat the symptoms associated with troublesome bowel disorders. Anyhow, there are some conspicuous limitations in the present study.

Plurad added there is no denying the fact that the majority of the deaths in the study were primarily caused by trauma. But, one can also see that patients in both the groups had received same injuries but fatalities in one group were more than that of the other. So, it can be inferred that decreased mortality among individuals testing positive for marijuana was due to the use of the drug.

The results of the study appeared in the issue of the American Surgeon.

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