Marijuana Use Is Associated With Increased Survival In Brain Injury Patients

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 7, 2014

    Marijuana Use Is Associated With Increased Survival In Brain Injury PatientsTraumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a history of cannabis use possess increased survival rates compared to non-users, according data published this month in the scientific journal The American Surgeon.

    UCLA Medical Center investigators conducted a three-year retrospective review of brain trauma patients. Data from 446 separate cases of similarly injured patients was assessed. Of those patients who tested positive for the presence of marijuana, 97.6 percent survived surgery. By contrast, patients who tested negative for the presence of pot prior to surgery possessed only an 88.5 percent survival rate.

    “[O]ur data suggest an important link between the presence of a positive THC screen and improved survival after TBI,” the authors concluded. “This finding has support in previous literature because the neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids have been implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. … With continued research, more information will be uncovered regarding the therapeutic potential of THC, and further therapeutic interventions may be established.”

    The abstract of the study, “Effect of marijuana use on outcomes in traumatic brain injury,” appears online here.

    39 responses to “Marijuana Use Is Associated With Increased Survival In Brain Injury Patients”

    1. Patricia says:

      My father had PTSD and TBI from being a Marine in the Pacific in WWII. He couldn’t control his violence. I wish I could go back in time and give him weed instead of Johnny Walker as a remedy. How many people have had that same fantasy about their combat veteran fathers, I wonder.

    2. gutter butter says:

      This is very interesting. I had a terrible brain injury about ten years ago back when I was smoking everyday. Doctors said I probably wouldn’t ever be the same. I was in the hospital for five weeks, but when I got out I smoked pretty frequently. I feel like I had a pretty good recovery. Now I got a job that randomly drug tests me so I don’t puff. I sure hope rules change soon…

    3. Galileo Galilei says:

      I finally had some blood work done via my physician’s recommendation. A decade ago I was being treated for high blood pressure, excess cholesterol, addison’s disease, depression, and taking a mild anti-pyschotic. I had very mild cases of all of them from what I can tell, but I no longer need any of them. I’m working out twice a week and doing something else on other days. I avoid fats and sugars. I eat healthy, but not obsessively so. I write songs and play guitar for my soul and record my creations to exercise my mind. I’m vaporizing once a day for writing and practice. Life is good. I’d like to keep it that way.

    4. Dave Evans says:

      I know Dyslexia is supposed to only be about reading letters and numbers backward, and that few people have it. However, that has not been my experience in life. Everyone I have test dyslexia for shows some small signs of it being present. Everyone! This makes me believe it is actually a positive trait that helps humans survive. Perhaps we all have lie detecting hardware in our heads. And the way it works is by instantaneous running what we just saw/heard/read backwards and testing if that is a logical 180. If not, then what was just seen/heard/observed is not true or at least attached to some kind of scam.

      I truly believe some of the people afraid of marijuana literally thinking backward on the subject, and probably apply this backward thinking, a dyslexic style of applying logic in reverse, but it feels correct to them. That is why logic does work at convincing them. They really do think arresting innocent people and making Cartels money is somehow going to work someday… That doing it backward will work, we just have to get everyone to think backwards too! They are logical handicapped, even if they sound like they are intelligent their dyslexia keeps them from adopting solutions that actually work. It just doesn’t feel right to them, like they are a gay person being forced to marry someone of the opposite sex! They have to be forced out of the way for progress to move forward. Logical planning for a better society is something Prohibitionists are not able to utilize; somewhere a long the way they start feeling like they aren’t hurting their neighbors quite enough for things to work out for the better. Sure a lot of it is simple greed, but that doesn’t explain the brain deadness of their policies–you can make money without hurting people and sidelining entire communities.

      Their inability to see a better future with legal marijuana, considering how all other drugs come with a host of health issues and lots of social problems while marijuana does not, is extremely dyslexic in nature. To keep on placing marijuana next to heroin and meth actually demonstrates a handicap in someone of people that believe marijuana is a schedule one material. Prohibition of marijuana for making life better is like someone asking for money to cut down trees to help reduce CO2 emissions, the only question should be, “What the fuck are you talking about?” It just doesn’t make any sense, not in a free country and not even in a fascist country.

    5. Neil Hughes says:

      Good! then give it to the politicians their brains need all the help they can get!

    6. anon says:

      this doesn’t seem very accurate because out of those 446 patients how many actually tested positive for thc? dont you think you would get more accurate results if you took 446 people who tested positive and 446 who tested negative for thc.

    7. Miles says:

      This is the kind of news that will never be seen on shows like Good Morning America. That’s because they truly seem to be very prohibitionist in nature. They were all over a recent study that was very anti-marijuana… I believe the way they reported the studies findings clearly showed an extreme prejudice against anything cannabis.

    8. Voice of the Resistance says:

      Good news, because if a policeman hits me on the head….

    9. Galileo Galilei says:


      From the abstract: “There were 446 cases meeting all inclusion criteria. The incidence of a positive THC screen was 18.4 per cent (82).”

      Out of the 446, 82 tested positive for marijuana. In this study ‘marijuana’ seems to be inferred from a positive THC test.

      This appears to be a meta-study designed to extract significant statistical results from existing data. What you’re suggesting is a study designed from the ground up to test the hypothesis that THC can help victims survive brain trauma.

      Unfortunately, prohibitionists have rigged the government apparatchik by denying marijuana to researchers seeking to investigate its medical efficacy. After assuring this research can’t be performed, they triumphantly declare that the FDA recognizes no medical uses for marijuana.

      To thwart the advance of medical science in this way is a crime against us all. Those most responsible should be pursued with the same zealous cruelty they saw fit to inflict on the rest of their fellow Americans. They deserve it.

    10. Julian says:

      Warning: the following information contains shocking and sometimes violent imagery that may be unsuitable yet necessary for your children to understand; Reader discretion is advised;

      Patent 6630507: “cannabinoids as neuroprotectants,” 2001, is owned by the Department of Health and Human Services; The same Department that will take state custody of your child and place them into potentially violent, unaccountable, unsupervised private adoption for profit. Even if you are supplying marijuana to your child for a neurodegenerative, potentially lethal disease such as muscular dystrophy or epilepsy, or a game of American football, and a non-psychoactive strain of marijuana such as Charlottes Web is the only proven non toxic treatment available to save your child’s life, our current laws will hit you with felony distribution to a child, child endangerment, negligence per SE and all while the Department of Health:
      1) receives federal grants worth millions to meet a quota for private adoption
      2) receives $5,000 kickbacks from the DEA to close drug related offenses through the S.O.D. Program
      3) switches judges until one that receives campaign kickbacks hears their case
      4) requires the foster parent to administer toxic prescription pills for the child even when the side effects are as lethal as the illness itself.
      5) intimidates the parents into signing the rights of their child away as standard operating procedure, bullying them into believing they are bad parents for providing the sick child with marijuana
      6) owns the patent 6630507 that if made open source, would provide the proper treatment that which the D.H.H.S. Is actively prohibiting.

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