Administration of THC “Promotes Significant Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury”, Finds Study

According to a study epublished by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9THC promotes significant recovery from TBI (traumatic brain injury).”

Conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida and the James Haley VA Medical Center, the study was published in a recent issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

For the study mice who experience a controlled cortical impact (CCI) were treated for 3 days with 3mg/kg of THC (one of the primary compounds found in marijuana). Motor function on a rotarod was recorded at baseline and 3, 7, and 14 days after the CCI. Following death, “G-CSF, BDNF, and GDNF expression were measured at 7 and 14 days in cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus on the side of the trauma.”

Δ9THC-treated mice ran on the rotarod longer than vehicle-treated mice and recovered to normal rotarod performance levels at 2 weeks”, states the study. “These mice, compared to vehicle-treated animals, exhibited significant upregulation of G-CSF as well as BDNF and GDNF in cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus.”

Researchers conclude the study by stating that “Administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9THC promotes significant recovery from TBI and is associated with upregulation of brain G-CSF, BDNF, and GDNF, neurotrophic factors previously shown to mediate brain self-repair following TBI and stroke.”

The full abstract of the study can be found below.

Abstract

Introduction: The hematopoietic cytokine granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is well known to stimulate proliferation of blood stem/progenitor cells of the leukocyte lineage, but is also recognized as a neurotrophic factor involved in brain self-repair processes. G-CSF administration has been shown to promote recovery from experimental models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to modulate components of the endocannabinoid system (eCS). Conversely, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9THC) treatment of normal mice has been shown to increase blood levels of G-CSF in the periphery. Hypothesis: Administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9THC will enhance brain repair following controlled cortical impact (CCI) by upregulating G-CSF and other neurotrophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor [BDNF] and glial-derived neurotrophic factor [GDNF]) in brain regions. Materials and Methods: C57BL/6J mice underwent CCI and were treated for 3 days with THC 3 mg/kg intraperitoneally. Motor function on a rotarod was recorded at baseline and 3, 7, and 14 days after CCI. Groups of mice were euthanized at 7 and 14 days. G-CSF, BDNF, and GDNF expression were measured at 7 and 14 days in cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus on the side of the trauma. Results: Δ9THC-treated mice ran on the rotarod longer than vehicle-treated mice and recovered to normal rotarod performance levels at 2 weeks. These mice, compared to vehicle-treated animals, exhibited significant upregulation of G-CSF as well as BDNF and GDNF in cerebral cortex, striatum, and hippocampus. Conclusion: Administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9THC promotes significant recovery from TBI and is associated with upregulation of brain G-CSF, BDNF, and GDNF, neurotrophic factors previously shown to mediate brain self-repair following TBI and stroke.