Treating Post-Concussion Syndrome with Medical Cannabis

by | Nov 28, 2018 | Articles |

A complex disorder, post-concussion syndrome has a combination of symptoms that frequently appear after an injury or blow to the head. A patient might suffer from headaches and dizziness that can last weeks or months at a time following the concussion.

A concussion is a traumatic event that’s normally categorized as mild, but a loss of consciousness isn’t always necessary for the diagnosis of a concussion, or for post-concussion syndrome to take effect. Symptoms can appear immediately, or weeks and months later.

The first symptoms to appear are commonly physical in nature (headaches, nausea, and dizzy spells), but as these symptoms lessen over time, the symptoms change, becoming more psychologically oriented in nature. These are the post-concussion syndrome complications that can seriously affect a patient’s quality of life.

‘Late symptoms’, as the psychological symptoms are called, are the ones that have drawn more and more attention to the problems associated with post-concussion syndrome, and particularly with concussions that former professional sports players have experienced. Sometimes these symptoms can become very debilitating, with fatal consequences.

Post-concussion syndrome symptoms can show up as:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Disruption of sleep patterns
  • Loss of memory
  • Heightened light and sound sensitivity
  • Fatigue
  • Concentration issues
  • Changes in personality
  • Restless behavior
  • Vertigo


Experiencing  a minimum of three of these symptoms is a fairly accurate indication that post-concussion syndrome symptoms are occuring. Plus, a minor impact to the head may be the cause of post-concussion syndrome conditions to appear, where a more serious impact might not result in any conditions developing.


Standard Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatments

There’s a physiological angle to post-concussion syndrome that hasn’t clearly been studied and understood. What is known is that the impact to the brain typically results in swelling and bleeding. The resulting pressure on the brain can be the culprit of headaches and other symptoms that can appear. Here are some of the standard treatment methods medical physicians use to treat patients:


Pain Relief Medications

Treatment for post-concussion syndrome currently includes using analgesics, or pain relievers, to relieve the symptoms that have impacted the brain so that the brain can heal naturally. The pain that the analgesics can help relieve include headaches that are often as intense as migraines or nerve pain. However, prescription or OTC medications may have an adverse effect on post-concussion headaches by worsening them.


Prescribed Drug Therapies

When patients find themselves dealing with the emotional symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, like depression and anxiety, physicians may enlist a regimen of prescription drug therapies that can help manage the conditions, and in some cases, if the patient is experiencing sleep issues, medications that can aid in treating insomnia.


Behavioral and Mobility Therapies

Qualified therapists can help patients that need help coping with the physical, mental, and emotional complications of post-concussion syndrome. Sometimes post-concussion symptoms can appear in the form of mobility impairments, interruption of cognitive abilities, and mood changes in the form of anxiety and depression.  


Medicinal Cannabis and Post-Concussion Syndrome Treatment

The chemical damage to the brain resulting from a concussion may seem like an unlikely condition that could benefit from the use of a psychoactive drug such as cannabis, but a recent study found that there are elements in cannabis that can help diminish swelling in the brain which causes pressure, pain, and chemical damage. Traumatic brain injuries release toxins that are the cause of some post-concussion syndrome symptoms.

When medicinal cannabis is used to treat patients with post-concussion syndrome, the cannabis helps eliminate toxic chemicals that could cause additional damage to the brain by blocking their release. In addition, with the increase in the blood that’s supplied to the brain, the oxygen and nutrients in the blood help to speed up the healing process.

Two common emotional symptoms that are associated with post-concussion syndrome are anxiety and depression. Medical cannabis can be used to help stabilize a patient’s mood because of the ability of properties in the plant that can work with the chemistry of the body.


Strains for Treating Post-Concussion Syndrome Symptoms

There are all sorts of medicinal cannabis strains to choose from, but the ones that are most effective at treating PCS symptoms can be categorized into three overall groups:

  • Indica strains – which have a significant CBD content. They help provide relaxation throughout the entire body.
  • Sativa strains – these have a high amount of THC, which can provide an energy boost and have a greater effect on the mind versus the body.
  • Hybrid strains – the benefit of hybrid strains is that they combine the active properties of both Indica and Sativa. A lot of patients prefer the crossbred effects to help treat their symptoms.

Within these groups of strains are strains that help to treat specific post-concussion syndrome symptoms, such as for:


Sleep-related problems:
Granddaddy Purple 
Bubba Kush 
Northern Lights

Blue Dream 
Sour Diesel 
Blue Cheese

Depression and Anxiety:
OG Kush 
Green Crack 
White Widow

And Fatigue:
Jack Herer
Pineapple Express


Considering Medicinal Cannabis for Treatment?

If you have experienced an event or accident resulting in suffering from post-concussion symptoms and have considered medicinal cannabis as part of your treatment program, you could benefit from consulting  a legitimate medicinal cannabis doctor that has a medicinal cannabis practice and a dispensary clinic that can help you select the products you need to effectively treat your particular symptoms.


Call your nearest location for information/assistance on obtaining your Illinois medical cannabis card.

If you have just received your medical cannabis card, come see us for your new patient consultation.