Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Heather, would smoking pot help with my concussion?”

I’ve been asked this little gem of a question several times in the past year. With the high number of concussions I see each year, combined with the prevalence of marijuana in the news lately, I’m not surprised quite frankly. Cannibis and concussion …. The debate continues. Does it help? Does it harm?


Well, there isn’t a lot of research performed in this area. BUT, looking at several research papers and having experience with patients who have tried putting toxins in their bodies while still compromised, in my opinion the conclusion is, smoking pot (and drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes) is a bad idea.

“Why would someone want to smoke pot while concussed?” you ask? There are several reasons that I have come across. Sleep regulation is the first reason. Often with concussion, a patient’s circadian rhythm is affected, especially if they resort to napping during the day when they can’t sleep at night. Patients in turn, don’t receive the restorative sleep that they need and think that smoking marijuana will give them that relaxing effect and allow them to sleep. The second reason is appetite control. Appetite can be negatively affected after a concussion and often patients resort to different means to increase their desire for food ie. marijuana.

Whatever reason you have for smoking cannabis, research has shown that whatever “positive” effect you think you’re getting, you’re not. Putting a toxin into your body when your system is already compromised is never a good idea. Research has shown that alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana users had far greater length of recovery time. There are far better treatment options and each of them is different depending on the patient. Simply put, there is no “cure-all”. Concussion is complicated enough without adding something that will significantly impact the result.

Heather Marchment, The Sports Clinic

1 comment:

  1. The secret is to understand them more especially. For instance one trigger might be that you've always smoked when you return home from work, just because you decide to give up doesn't imply that trigger goes away. More

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