A stroke is one of the most severe medical conditions a person can experience. Unfortunately, it’s also widespread and currently the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Moreover, about 14000 Canadians die of stroke yearly.
This begs the question: is there anything else to help speed up the recovery process?
Candian CBD oil bloggers have spoken about how CBD is a promising option that has recently received a lot of attention. Cannabidiol (CBD) has already been used to treat many physical and mental health concerns, but what does the research say about its potential to help with stroke recovery?
While recovery from a stroke is possible, many factors are at play, and progress can vary significantly from person to person.
In this article, we’ll examine what scientists discovered about CBD and stroke recovery.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
Although many people associate CBD with marijuana, it differs from the THC-containing cannabis plant we’re all familiar with. Rather than binding to your brain’s receptors and producing a high, CBD works more indirectly through the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a network of cell receptors (which have cannabinoid receptors), and their associated molecules regulate various bodily functions.
It acts as the bridge between your mind and body, helping to keep your body balanced no matter what’s going on, whether physical or emotional trauma.
It has wide-ranging effects, including pain relief, inflammation regulation, and improved cognitive function—all desirable outcomes for stroke recovery.
Studies have found that introducing cannabinoids like CBD into the system can potentially reverse some of the damage caused by stroke. So, it’s a promising potential treatment in this area.
CBD’s Role in Reducing Inflammation in the Human Brain
A stroke occurs when a disruption to the blood supply or blood clot in the brain cuts off essential oxygen and nutrients, leading to potentially long-lasting damage. This could result in inflammation in the brain, which causes cognitive problems and further health complications in the long term.
So, what role does CBD play in this? Studies have suggested that CBD may curtail brain inflammation. Cannabidiol activates various receptors throughout the body, including those that respond to inflammation and pain.
Researchers have found that CBD minimized inflammatory markers related to stroke recovery.
While more research is needed to confirm these findings, it’s possible that CBD could offer an effective way of reducing inflammation after a stroke. This potentially assists people with their recovery and long-term health.
Can CBD Help Stroke Recovery?
You probably know that cannabis has some pretty interesting effects on the body. But did you know it might help with stroke recovery?
It’s true. The study shows promising results regarding CBD’s potential benefit in stroke care. Here’s what we know so far.
Helping Reduce Inflammation and Neurodegeneration
The Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism published a study proving CBD was used in a specialized animal model that mimicked human stroke symptoms.
The findings suggested CBD could drastically minimize inflammation and neurodegeneration in ischemic stroke patients’ brains.
This means that it could reduce brain damage caused by interrupted blood flow to the brain.
Making Positive Effects on Memory and Consciousness
The same study showed that Cannabidiol may also positively affect cognition and consciousness after a stroke.
What’s more, animals that received CBD treatment experienced a significant improvement in their brains’ vascular permeability. It means their brains had increased blood flow following a stroke. While more research is needed to understand this further, these initial results are very encouraging!
CBD May Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression After a Stroke
You may be surprised that CBD has healing properties that help with anxiety and depression after a stroke.
In a 2018 study, stroke survivors reported fewer anxiety and depression symptoms when CBD was administered.
The researchers followed up one year later to see if these results had any long-term effects. And they found that these same stroke survivors still reported fewer anxiety and depression symptoms while taking CBD.
Another study published in 2019 yielded similar results when studying mental health states before and after a stroke.
Participants who took CBD reported lower levels of generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and major depressive disorder than those who didn’t take CBD oil.
These researchers concluded that the administration of CBD may provide mental health benefits for people who have experienced a stroke or any traumatic brain injury.
It potentially reduces the severity of associated mood disorders.
Potential Side Effects of Using CBD After a Stroke
You might be wondering whether there are any possible side effects to taking CBD after a stroke. Although the research is still in its infancy, what we know so far suggests that CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated by most people.
However, some side effects could occur, though they are rare. These may include:
- Weight gain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes to appetite
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Dry mouth
Stroke survivors must understand and watch for these potential side effects when taking CBD. If any of the side effects mentioned above occur, we recommend you stop taking the product and consult a medical professional as soon as possible.
How to Use CBD to Support Stroke Recovery
You may be wondering how to use CBD to support your stroke recovery. Most studies suggest that CBD should be taken orally in a tincture or gel capsule form.
You typically want to start with a low dose (less than 25 mg) and gradually increase the dose over several weeks or months.
However, there is no one size fits all approach. Feel free to experiment with dosage and frequency of administration before finding the best protocol for your specific needs.
It’s also essential to know the laws regarding CBD. In Canada, it’s legal to use marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. When traveling internationally, you must confirm CBD is legal in your destination country before you purchase and take any product.
The key takeaway is that while research supports the potential of CBD as an adjunct therapy for stroke recovery, it’s not conclusive. More studies are needed on dosages, methods of administration, types of stroke, and other variables before definitive recommendations can be made.
If you are considering CBD for stroke recovery, speak with your healthcare provider first to confirm compatibility with any other treatments you may already be taking.
Other Benefits Of CBD
Another great thing about CBD is its numerous other potentials that can help with stroke recovery and beyond.
CBD has the potential to aid stroke recovery, but there is also a range of other benefits that come with it.
For example, research shows that CBD might be effective in:
- Relieving and managing symptoms of anxiety
- Reducing nausea and vomiting
- Acting as an anti-inflammatory, aiding with pain and discomfort
- Assisting with getting better quality sleep
- Reducing the frequency of seizures from epilepsy and other conditions
- Minimizing high blood pressure
- Protecting nerve cells
- Finally, cannabidiol prevents cerebral infarction
Research on the impact of CBD on stroke recovery is still ongoing. But what we do know for sure is that if you’re looking for relief from the symptoms above, CBD oil can help.
As with most studies on Cannabidiol, the research on its effect on stroke recovery isn’t defined. While much anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can aid in stroke recovery, there is not enough scientific evidence to conclusively prove this.
The verdict on CBD and stroke recovery is still out, but it’s clear that the research is encouraging. But more studies must be done to fully understand CBD’s potential in helping stroke victims.