Understanding the Benefits of Medical Cannabis for Stroke Victims

Strokes are the nation’s 5th largest killer and affect approximately 800,000 people each year.  A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is disrupted. Upon disruption, brain cells that are deprived of vital oxygen and/or glucose can die. This interruption can cause permanent brain damage and in some cases, death.

There are three primary types of strokes, as listed below. Regardless of type, all strokes share the fact that they result from a lack of fresh blood to the brain, which in turn causes injuries that impair proper brain functioning and motor skills.

  • Ischemic: This type of stroke is caused by a blockage, or clot, in a blood vessel leading to the brain. It is the most common type of stroke, accounting for 87 percent of all stroke incidences.
  • Hemorrhagic: As the name implies, a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures. Hemorrhagic strokes include aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). The most common cause of a hemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure.
  • Transient Ischemic: Like a ischemic stroke, but resulting from a temporary clot. Often called “mini strokes,” this variety serves as a warning sign that patients need to improve their lifestyle with exercise and better diet to reduce hypertension.

The symptoms that reveal that a stroke is occurring include:

  • Numbness or weakness in the face, an arm, or a leg, especially on one side.
  • Confusion or trouble understanding other people.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Difficulty walking, maintaining balance, or coordinating motor movements.
  • Dizziness.
  • Severe headache for no reason.

How You Can Use Cannabis to Prevent a Stroke

Various research and studies are continuing to expand as more and more tests yield positive results for cannabis as an effective neuroprotective against brain and stroke trauma. Cannabinoids have been shown to prevent glutamate neurotoxicity by turning on cannabinoid receptors, thereby reducing the calcium influx. It’s important to note that diet and nutrition in addition to responsible cannabinoid consumption may reduce the risk of stroke. The right fruits and vegetables combined with physical exercise help to maintain healthy brain oxygen levels and blood flow. 

Stroke discussions are very serious and there are a number of other considerations that should be discussed with your healthcare provider should you exhibiting symptoms or fear certain risk factors. And for those who wish to utilize the natural healing properties of cannabis, there are various methods to responsibly consume cannabis of which include juicing raw/decarboxylated cannabis flower in smoothies, smoking or vaping, eating edibles, applying topicals, and more. It’s just a matter of choosing a responsible method of consumption with proper dosing that fits you or your loved ones’ needs. 

Many patients and consumers have safe and convenient access to the benefits of responsible cannabinoid consumption.