Can You Smoke Weed With A Concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that is a result of a bump, blow, or hit to the head that causes the brain to move back and forth rapidly.

These are often described as ‘mild’ forms of brain injury but this doesn’t mean they should be taken any less seriously. 

Can You Smoke Weed With A Concussion?

Sometimes these injuries can be treated at home if they are not serious. If you have recently suffered from a concussion and are resting it at home, you may be tempted to resume your normal activities if you feel okay. This may include smoking weed or drinking alcohol (see also “Does Smoking Weed Make You Age?“).

Others may be tempted to smoke weed in order to actually treat the symptoms of their concussion.  But is it actually safe to do so? This may be a question running through your own mind or of the mind of someone who is looking after you.  

In this article, learn whether or not you can smoke weed after sustaining a concussion. 

The Effects Of A Concussion On The Brain

As concussions cannot be identified with medical equipment such as X-rays, medical professionals must rely on the signs and symptoms that a patient displays. 

Many people will display some of these symptoms directly after receiving a blow to the head, making it easier to detect if they have a concussion. The main symptoms of a concussion include: 

  1. Nausea
  2. Confusion
  3. Headaches
  4. Dizziness
  5. Memory loss
  6. Drowsiness 

No matter how the concussion happened, there are many negative impacts that this type of brain injury can have on a person. These issues may be short-term problems or lead to long-term issues such as sleep disturbances, dizziness, or chronic headaches. 

If a person has hit their head causing a mild concussion, this could stretch or damage the brain tissue and trigger harmful changes within the brain that can impact normal functioning in the long run.  

What Happens If I Smoke Weed With A Concussion?

Those that have suffered from a concussion may not display any symptoms until the day after they sustained their injury.

As a result, it’s important that a person refrains from smoking weed or drinking alcohol during this period of time as it may prohibit any serious symptoms from being recognized. 

Some research suggests that smoking weed after sustaining a concussion can seriously impact the recovery time of the patient and increase the risk of seizures. It may also influence a number of faculties such as balance, memory, and concentration. 

In general, THC has a negative impact on the brain as it alters how the hippocampus processes information and creates memories.

As memory loss and temporary amnesia are common side effects associated with concussions, it may impact a patient’s cognitive function further if they smoke weed after their injury. 

Can You Smoke Weed With A Concussion?

Possible Benefits Of Smoking Weed With A Concussion

Tetrahydrocannabinol or ‘THC’ is the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana that influences the brain when administered into the body. 

There is evidence to suggest that THC can be used to lessen the negative symptoms exhibited when suffering from a concussion up to three weeks later, this also includes the reduction of brain swelling.  

Not only does smoking weed relieve the symptoms of a concussion in some patients, but it also is thought to improve the mood of the patients as well. 

Apart from the mood, some of the most significant improvements are seen in sleep and the reduction of headaches or pain experienced by patients who smoked weed. 

As scientists are still learning and understanding how smoking weed affects the brain, more research is needed to be able to definitively say whether it can help reduce the impacts of a concussion. 

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome occurs when the symptoms of a concussion last longer than expected after the patient has sustained the initial injury. These symptoms include the typical issues associated with a concussion such as headaches, dizziness, and memory loss. 

Marijuana use is thought to be effective in treating these issues in patients due to the number of therapeutic and medicinal properties of the substance. Occasionally, CBD is separated from marijuana and used in its pure form to treat post-concussion syndrome. 

CBD products are thought to help with cognitive impairments experienced by concussion patients. Individuals may not feel the effects of this form of treatment and may also experience some side effects of the drug, but it works for a number of people. 

Can You Smoke Weed With A Concussion?

It is up to the individual whether or not they smoke weed after sustaining a concussion. There is evidence to support both the positives and negatives that this may have on your brain function after. 

Factors such as the severity of the injury and any other medical history of brain injury should be considered when making this decision. Always speak to a medical professional beforehand to decide if it is a safe choice for your particular injury. 

There is increasing evidence that CBD products are more effective in treating symptoms of concussion than marijuana itself.

CBD doesn’t contain the psychoactive element commonly associated with smoking marijuana, which can be beneficial to those already feeling nauseous and dizzy. 

Using CBD products may be able to heal and protect the brain from further damage if someone has received a blow to the head and has a suspected concussion. However, this research is still in the early stages and needs to be further investigated. 

When To Seek Urgent Medical Advice

There are certain signs that you should never ignore if you are aware that someone has experienced a concussion: 

  1. Not being able to stay awake
  2. Not being able to walk or understand you 
  3. Fluid coming from the ears/nose
  4. Bleeding from the ears

The Bottom Line

Smoking weed or marijuana after taking a blow to the head has led to a range of research that makes arguments for and against it (see also “Can You Smoke Weed On Antibiotics?“).

Speak to a medical professional before deciding to treat your concussion symptoms or recreationally use marijuana after experiencing a concussion.

Zack Finch