Case Study: Cannabis Therapy Provides Symptom Relief in Patient with Treatment-Resistant TBI

Albuquerque, NM: The use of medical cannabis is associated with decreases in agitation and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress in a 38-year-old patient with an acquired traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a case report published in the journal Psychosomatics.

Investigators affiliated with the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center reported on the effect of medical cannabis treatment in a TBI patient with post-traumatic stress and major depressive disorder. The patient had been unresponsive to conventional therapies.

Authors reported that cannabis treatment was associated with sustained, “clinically meaningful” decreases in the patient’s “depression, agitation, aggression, and anxiety.” The patient increased his number of social interactions and discontinued his use of opiates. He reported no significant adverse side-effects from cannabis therapy.

Authors concluded: “The improvement of symptoms in [this] case, which is medically and psychiatrically complex, suggests that MC (medical cannabis) can potentially be effective for neuropsychiatric symptoms in acquired brain injury when other psychotropic treatments have failed. … Future studies must be conducted to better meet the needs of survivors of acquired brain injury and to help inform provider and patient decisions in using MC to treat symptoms.”

Full text of the study, “Medical cannabis reduced agitation in acquired brain injury: A case study,” appears in Psychosomatics. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and post-traumatic stress is available from NORML.