Does Marijuana Protect the Human Brain from Traumatic Injury?



A new study from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance shows that people who had THC in their systems at the time that they suffered a traumatic brain injury were significantly more likely to survive the trauma. One of the study’s authors, surgeon Brian Nguyen, says that the results show yet again that the federal government should loosen the rules that restrict scientists and doctors from studying the effects of cannabis.
“There are medical benefits to marijuana that aren’t as robustly studied,” he says. “Further research needs to be done on this controversial compound.”

Nguyen and his coauthors reviewed records of 446 patients who sustained traumatic brain injuries and who were subsequently drug-tested in the surgical ICU at Harbor-UCLA between 2010 and 2012.
They found that of the 82 brain-injured patients who had tested positive for THC, 2.4 percent died. But 11.5 percent of the patients without THC in their systems died.
There were other factors: Patients whose urine tested positive for marijuana were more likely to be younger, male and drunk.
More at the LA Weekly.