CBD For CTE – CBD Instead


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Have you had your noggin knocked around through sports or other activities that can cause minor or severe concussions? You may be vulnerable to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, also known as CTE. This is when your brain starts to die off and stop functioning, but lucky for us, CBD oil has shown it may be able to help in that area of illness.

CBD oil has shown in studies that it may have the ability to help the body protect itself against this type of trauma, as well as help in the areas where the brain is failing. By elevating chemicals in the brain, CBD oil may be able to help treat CTE as well as make the symptoms like memory loss and aggression more manageable.

What Is CTE

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in people who experience frequent brain trauma. This isn’t just full-blown concussions; this also includes asymptomatic subconcussive hits which don’t offer any symptoms after the trauma.

People Who Can Develop CTE

  • MMA Fighters
  • Boxers
  • Martial Artists
  • Motorcross Racers
  • Professional Football Players (Retired And Current)
  • Military Veterans
  • People Who Played Sports In High School Or College

Repeated brain trauma can cause progressive degeneration in brain tissue as well as a build up in a protein called tau. These changes can begin in a few months, but they can also take decades since the last trauma to start developing.

Common Symptoms of CTE

  • Memory Loss
  • Confusion
  • Impaired Judgement
  • Impulse Control Issues
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Thoughts Of Suicide
  • Parkinson’s
  • Progressive Dementia

How Do You Know You Have CTE?

If you are experiencing these symptoms and you used to live a lifestyle that brought on head trauma, it is likely you are developing CTE. Before, it used to be that you had to be dead to have a definitive diagnosis, which really isn’t the best way to find out. But now, doctors believe that they can scan the brain and find the areas that have lost brain mass to indicate a CTE diagnosis.

What Are Treatment Options?

Currently, there are no treatment options for CTE. Right now, it is all about preventative measures, so be sure to wear your helmets! But as studies continue to prove how good CBD is for the brain and injuries that occur, it CBD hemp oil could be the future of CTE treatments because of its neurogenesis properties.

What Is CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that is found in the ever so controversial cannabis plant. At CBD instead, all of our products come from the hemp plant, which means there is very little THC in the product, less than .03% in fact. CBD hemp oil doesn’t show up on drug tests, and you don’t feel the same sensations you would smoking a THC heavy cannabis product like the munchies, drowsiness, or that euphoria known as being high.

CBD has been heavily studied in the medical community because of its medicinal properties and the inability to get the user high. It has even shown that you can’t get addicted to it, there are no reported overdoses, and unlike many medications on the market, you don’t build up a tolerance to it.

What makes CBD so interesting is that it doesn’t do any of the healing, it makes your body do it instead. By elevating chemicals that already exist in your body, stimulating receptors, and opening pathways, CBD has shown to enhance what is called the endocannabinoid system which is why it’s list of healing benefits is becoming so long the more it is studied.

Endocannabinoid System

Our endocannabinoid system is what keeps us running efficiently. It controls our body and mind in a way that keeps us regulated and healthy. When you get a paper cut, your endocannabinoid system is the reason you don’t get an infection or bleed out. When you get angry, this system is the reason that your anger doesn’t last forever. The parts of the endocannabinoid system, the endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors, are how the endocannabinoid system helps you stay functional.


Your body makes chemicals called endocannabinoids that bind to cannabinoid receptors to help mediate certain functions in your body. Cannabidiol has shown to be so effective because it enhances these endocannabinoids, helping the endocannabinoid system work more efficiently. The two endocannabinoids that are the most well known are Anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

Cannabinoid Receptors

You have two cannabinoid receptors, and possibly a third, that are all over your body. They are found in your skin, organs, brain, and bones. The first, CB1, primarily binds with the endocannabinoid anandamide and it controls the functions of your neurological system. These functions include your appetite, sleep cycle, mood, and your sensitivity to pain.

The CB2 cannabinoid receptors bind primarily with the endocannabinoid 2-AG. This cannabinoid receptor helps to regulate your immune system. The 2-AG endocannabinoid binds to the CB2 receptor and can help control how many attack immune cells are sent out, helping to reduce inflammation when it occurs.

CBD And The Brain

CBD And Tau

In patients with Alzheimer’s Disease, they also have an issue of tau build up. This build-up of proteins starts to change their behavior as it deteriorates their brain. Studies have shown that CBD may be able to help inhibit the production of tau in the brain.

Cannabinoid Receptors And Brain Health

Research has shown that once the cannabinoid receptors are activated through binding with endocannabinoids, they provide protection for the brain. Because CBD elevates these endocannabinoids, it may be able to help make that protection more effective. CBD hemp oil also activates the 5-hydroxytriptamine1A receptor which has shown to have neuroprotective effects when activated. Some studies have even suggested that CBD may reduce brain cell death after administration.

CBD And The Symptoms Of CTE


Researchers believe that people who have depression have brain damage in their medial prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus. Studies have shown that CBD hemp oil may be able to elevate chemicals that are lacking in people with depression, as well as elevate a chemical called BDNF which helps with brain growth and repair. The best part is that scientists believe that CBD could be a fast-acting anti-depressant, which is an exciting discovery for those who are looking for something that works quickly.

Memory Loss

The limbic system is a system in your brain that controls your memory along with other things like emotion, motivation, and learning. When you have brain damage that involves memory loss, it may be because it has damaged parts of the limbic system.

The hippocampus is part of the limbic system and having damage in this area may contribute to memory loss. Studies have shown that cannabidiol may be able to help with memory loss by repairing the cells in the hippocampus.


Another part of your limbic system is your amygdala, which is in control of your fear response. Aggression is closely linked to anxiety, which comes from fear. When the amygdala takes damage, it becomes overactive creating a stronger fear response. Cannabidiol may be able to help by reducing the activity in the amygdala.

Impulse Control Issues

The hippocampus also plays a role in impulse control. With damage to this area, someone may find it harder to control themselves. Considering that cannabidiol may be able to help with the damage done to the hippocampus, it may be able to help with impulse control as well.

There Is Still Much To Learn

Considering we just recently have been able to find a way to discover if someone has CTE before death, there is still much to discover about this illness that is affecting so many people. There has yet to be a definitive study that relates CBD oil and CTE. Though, there are former NFL players who have found relief using CBD and are trying to convince the NFL to use CBD oil instead of painkillers for their ailments, including trauma to the brain. But until the research papers exist, it isn’t likely that anyone will be prescribed cannabis anytime soon for their CTE.

If You Have CTE

If you have CTE and you are thinking about taking CBD to help with your symptoms, talk to your doctor about it. The best thing you can do is go in prepared with what you do know, which is that CBD may be able to help repair the damage. Have your studies on hand, and your doctor can assess whether or not CBD is the right treatment for you. They can also help you monitor your condition more closely than you would at home because of their knowledge of your body as well as the tools they have available.


Have you used CBD oil for CTE or another brain injury? We would love to hear if it was effective for you! Leave your story in the comment section below, and you may be able to help someone who is also going through these issues.


Sarah Potts

Sarah Potts has been writing about the wonderful benefits of cannabis for CBD Instead since 2017. Medical cannabis has changed her life, and her goal is to show others how it might help them as well.


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