Cannabis & Spinal Cord Injuries



4 Minutes Read from Hamilton Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Spinal cord injuries are catastrophic injuries with devastating impacts including far-reaching physical, social, and psychological consequences. There is no doubt that suffering a spinal cord injury (SCI) can profoundly change a person’s life as it affects nearly all body systems. It also affects the perception of the person by others. Spinal cord injuries bring about permanent health changes in strength, sensation and other bodily functions below the site of lesion.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord is typically injured by a sudden and traumatic blow that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. Spinal cord damage occurs when displaced bone fragments, disc material or ligaments tear into the spinal cord tissue. Nerve function is cut off or damaged beyond repair and neural cell membranes are permanently broken.  After a traumatic accident, a spinal cord injury victim may have varying degrees of symptoms associated with the severity and location of the SCI (with the location of the injury on the spinal cord determining how severe the injury will be.)

From a pain perspective, For example, spinal cord injury victims often suffer such symptoms as (but not limited):

  • Infection
  • Blocked blood supply
  • Blood clots
  • Chronic pain neurogenic pain resulting from damage to nerves in the spinal cord
  • Pain causing intense burning or stinging sensation due to hypersensitivity
  • Weakness
  • Loss of muscle function
  • Muscle spasms
  • Loss of sensation
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Increased susceptibility to respiratory problems
  • Increased susceptibility to heart problems
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pressure sores
  • Reproductive and sexual dysfunction
  • Chronic fatigue

From a psychological perspective – major personality, behavioural and cognitive changes may occur to individuals with spinal cord injuries, especially if victims suffer a comorbid traumatic brain injury (TBI). Even those victims lucky enough to not suffer from a traumatic brain injury often end up suffering from negative emotional reactions, and other psychosocial changes such as:

  • Mourning and grieving
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Difficulty perceiving their own body
  • Difficulty handling emotions
  • Loss of control
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Low-energy
  • Feelings of sadness and tearfulness
  • Social withdrawal
  • Impatience, irritability and moodiness
  • Feelings of guilt loneliness, disbelief and agitation

Obviously, many of these physical and psychological symptoms may be short or long-lived, depending on the individual. Many spinal cord injury victims, however, go on to permanently suffer a substantial amount of ongoing physical and psychological symptoms.  Many spinal cord injury victims go on to suffer chronic complications that negatively impact their functional independence and quality of life from a physical, psychological and socioeconomic perspective.

Can cannabis help with chronic complications of SCI?

As of October 17, 2018, cannabis is now legal in Canada – however long before this, medical cannabis was available for people through the authorization of their healthcare providers for therapeutic purposes.  Medical studies as far back as 2006 reported that spinal cord injury victims had in fact reported a reduction of SCI related neuropathic pain and SCI related spasticity.  For example – it has been well published that cannabis could help with:

Pain – Chronic and permanent pain is a very serious issue plaguing people with spinal cord injuries – and cannabis has been reported to be an effective pain reliever (to some) because it helps regulate neuropathic pain perception. Cannabidiol, one of the primary cannabinoids that can be found in marijuana, is the foremost reason as to why this relief of SCI symptoms is possible, with the substance helping to boost a person’s motor function as well.

Anxiety, Worry & Other Symptoms – Cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD) have also been reported to help signature symptoms incluing panic disorder, insomnia, anxiety, depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

How should you consume Cannabis?

There are four main ways to ingest CBD:

Inhalation Method – Smoking Cannabis is not recommended.  You can vaporize CBD oil will cause you to feel the effects nearly immediately.  Inhalation is probably the most efficient CBD delivery system. It’s properties get into the bloodstream right away.

Ingestion – You can add CBD to your drinks of food and allow it to metabolize through the liver. CBD oil normally can be purchased in capsules, or in the form or candy, foods, or drinks. CBD oil can also be mixed with most foods.

Under your Tongue  -With a dropper. Speak to your doctor or clinic about the appropriate dosage however.

Topically – you can also can also run CBD oil on different parts of your body. It can be purchased in the form of oils or creams.

If you suffer from a spinal cord injury we can help cost project your lifetime requirements

CBD is no doubt gaining wide momentum as a powerful cure, not only due to it’s remarkable painkilling and anti-anxiety abilities, but also its ability to reduce spasticity and improved motor function in people that suffer from spinal cord injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s important that you retain a Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyer with experience and expertise. If you’ve been hurt by the wrongdoing of another or in a serious accident you will need to be compensated and have your future protected.

Our Hamilton Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers will, among many experts, ensure to retain a suitable life-care planner to objectively evaluate your current and future needs resulting from the onset of injury from medications to vehicle and home modifications. Cannabis and/or CBD cost projections can quantified based on your anticipated needs throughout your life expectancy.  If you have any questions or if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury call us at 905-333-8888 24/7. We will return your call promptly. You may also enquire online and we will answer you within 1 hour during regular hours.