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Updated on January 18, 2024


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Key takeaways

  • CTE is a health problem that happen to some people due to constant injuries to the brain.
  • Symptoms may include aggression, depression, impaired judgment and mood swings.
  • Scientists have discovered the role of CBD in managing brain injuries.

What is CTE?

CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, is a health problem that happens to some people, like athletes, who have had a lot of concussions and brain injuries. The main idea is that when the brain gets hurt many times, it can cause a special protein called tau to build up and interfere with how the brain works. But not everyone who has brain injuries or repeated hits to the head gets CTE. Right now, scientists are still figuring out who might be at risk.

CTE has been discovered in the brains of individuals who played sports like U.S. football and boxing, and even in military members exposed to explosions. Signs of CTE may include difficulties with thinking, emotions, physical issues, and other behaviors. These problems are believed to show up many years after experiencing head injuries.

What are the symptoms of CTE?

CTE usually shows up with symptoms similar to other memory problems like dementia or forgetfulness. These symptoms can include but are not limited to the following;

  1. Memory loss
  2. Aggression
  3. Confusion
  4. Depression
  5. Impaired judgment
  6. Difficulty controlling impulses
  7. Erratic behavior
  8. Suicidal tendencies
  9. Anxiety
  10. Trouble sleeping
  11. Dizziness
  12. Trouble balancing.

These changes in the brain and symptoms might start a long time after the last time the head was hurt.

CTE vs. Alzheimer’s Diseases: Difference

Alzheimer's and CTE can have similar symptoms, but they're different. Alzheimer's usually starts with memory issues, while CTE often begins with problems in making good decisions, controlling impulses, and being aggressive.

Can CBD assist people with CTE?

Although research on the role of CBD in treating or helping people with CTE is scarce, there are numerous reports and how CBD can help with symptoms related to the condition. At the time of writing this article, researchers have identified the role of CBD in relieving nausea, psychosis, agitation, dizziness, insomnia, nausea, and headache. All of which are symptoms associated with CTE. Another study in 2017 also reported the potential roles of CBD in the treatment of brain injuries.

Other studies have discovered the healing benefits of CBD for athletes in the following ways;

  1. Anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties: This describes how CBD can protect the neurons and reduce inflammation to brain tissues. Note that CTE is strongly associated with chronic inflammation and damage to brain cells, and CBD’s potential to reduce inflammation and protect neurons may be relevant.
  2. Symptoms management: some scientists have explored the potential role of CBD in managing symptoms associated with brain injuries, such as cognitive impairment and mood disturbances. However, the evidence in the context of CTE specifically is limited.
  3. Anxiolytic Effects: CBD show anxiety-reducing properties which may be beneficial for individuals experiencing anxiety or mood disturbances associated with CTE.
  4. Sleep Improvement: CBD has been explored for its potential to improve sleep, and individuals with CTE often experience sleep disturbances. Quality sleep is crucial for overall brain health and recovery.
  5. Anti-Seizure Properties: CBD is an FDA-approved treatment for certain types of seizures, and there is ongoing research on its potential role in managing seizures associated with traumatic brain injuries.

Frequently asked questions

Can CBD help with symptoms of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)?

Yes, CBD can assist with symptoms like cognitive and emotional difficulties, headaches, anxiety, depression, nausea and insomnia.

How does CBD potentially work for CTE?

CBD can interact with several receptors including neurotransmitters and the endocannabinoid receptors which plays a role in regulating various physiological processes, including inflammation and neural function. This interaction may contribute to the potential anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of CBD, which could be relevant for conditions like CTE.

What symptoms of CTE might CBD address?

CBD may be explored as a supportive measure for symptoms commonly associated with CTE, such as cognitive challenges, emotional disturbances, and physical issues.

Is CBD a cure for CTE?

No CBD is not a cure. Think of it as a supplement that allows your body to heal itself. It achieves this via the endocannabinoid system. CBD will essentially activate the ECS and promote internal balance in your body.

What is the recommended dosage of CBD for CTE?

There is no recommended dosage for CTE because CBD dosage is a complex matter and should be individualized. It's recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase while monitoring the response.

Want to Learn More?

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  5. Leverage The Power Of CBDa For Weight Loss


Baugh CM, Robbins CA, Stern RA, McKee AC. Current understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2014 Sep;16(9):306. doi: 10.1007/s11940-014-0306-5. PMID: 25023937; PMCID: PMC4255271.

Aychman MM, Goldman DL, Kaplan JS. Cannabidiol's neuroprotective properties and potential treatment of traumatic brain injuries. Front Neurol. 2023 Feb 2;14:1087011. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2023.1087011. PMID: 36816569; PMCID: PMC9932048.

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