A stroke occurs when the blood supply to any part of the brain is interrupted or cut off. With no oxygen or nutrients, brain cells begin to die. CBD for stroke recovery may be a worthy alternative. The neuroprotective effects of CBD following brain injury of any kind are well documented, and world champion kickboxer Joe Valtellini credits CBD with his full recovery from brain injuries.
What is a stroke?
A stroke is the immediate result of either a blockage or tear in an artery supplying blood to a part of the brain. About 80% of strokes result from blockages. The remaining 20% are caused by a ruptured vessel. The reduction in blood flow caused by a blood clot is called ischemia. However, in cases of ruptured blood vessels, the blood which leaks into the brain cavity causes further damage or brain tissue that may not have been affected by the reduced blood flow. The symptoms of a stroke are denoted by the acronym ‘FAST’.
Face : Ask the person to smile. Does one side of their smile seem to drop?
Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
Speech: Does the patient have slurred speech or difficulty forming complete sentences?
Time: if all of these signs are observed, call 9-1-1 immediately. Every minute that passes during a stroke accounts for between 1 and 10 million lost brain cells, depending on the magnitude of the stroke; if the stroke were to last 5 hours, the equivalent of 36 years of neuronal tissue loss can occur.
Causes of Stroke
There are various factors which can lead to a stroke. Many similarities are shared between stroke and heart attack; both are ultimately caused by loss of blood flow to some or all of the brain or heart, respectively. Clogged arteries, high blood pressure, and diabetes are all signs that a blood vessel may be close to complete blockage, or worse, rupture.
The difference between a blocked artery and one that ruptures defines the difference between the two basic types of stroke: ischemic (blocked artery) and hemorrhagic (ruptured artery).
Diagnosis & characteristics of a stroke
According to Mayo Clinic, to diagnose you, a physician will begin with a physical examination and determine if you have the symptoms of a stroke, the time frame from when they began and such. Then he or she will move forward by questioning you about what medications you taken or are taking and if you have had any recent traumatic head injuries.
The experienced physician will diagnose you after they check for any signs of problems with your heart. Next, a physician can go down many routes of various tests to determine if you have had a stroke, including:
- Blood Test: to determine-how fast your blood clots or hardens, blood sugar abnormalities, and critical chemicals of the blood that should be balanced.
- CT Scan: this scan uses a series of X-rays to create a detailed image of your brain. In the pictures of your brain, the physician will be able to see a hemorrhage, tumor, and a stroke.
- MRI: this technology uses powerful radio waves and magnets to create a detailed view of your brain. An MRI can detect brain tissue damaged by an ischemic stroke and brain hemorrhages. Your doctor may inject a dye into a blood vessel to view the arteries and veins and highlight blood flow (magnetic resonance angiography, or magnetic resonance venography).
Current treatment options and best practices for stroke
Timing is everything with stroke, and immediate treatment is imperative. After it has been determined you. After it has been determined that a stroke is indeed the cause of symptoms, the type of stroke is the next fork in the road of treatment.
Emergency treatment with medications. Therapy with clot-busting drugs must start within 4.5 hours for any meaningful effect – the sooner, the better. Quick treatment not only improves your chances of survival but also may reduce complications.
Intravenous injection of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). This drug restores blood flow by dissolving blood clots, and it may help people who have had strokes recover more fully. Your doctor will consider certain risks, such as potential bleeding in the brain, to determine if tPA is appropriate for you.
Removing the clot with a stent retriever. Doctors may use a catheter to maneuver a device into the blocked blood vessel in your brain and trap and physically remove the clot. This procedure is particularly beneficial for people with large clots that can’t be completely dissolved with tPA, though this procedure is often performed in combination with intravenous tPA.
Several large and recent studies suggest that, depending on the location of the clot and other factors, endovascular therapy might be the most effective treatment. Endovascular therapy has been shown to significantly improve outcomes and reduce long-term disability after ischemic stroke.
Other procedures. To decrease your risk of having another stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA, also known as mini-stroke; a blood clot which resolves itself before brain damage occurs), your doctor may recommend a procedure to open up an artery that’s been narrowed by plaque.
Is endocannabinoid deficiency involved in stroke?
The endocannabinoid system is involved in the maintenance of ischemic tissues (tissues which have been deprived of blood flow). Ischemic tissues have demonstrated an accumulation of free endocannabinoids. According to research, inhibition of CB1 receptors and activation of CB2 receptors proved beneficial following a period of ischemia.
While the endocannabinoid system is not necessarily implicated in precipitating a stroke, it is heavily involved in the body’s maintenance of stroke-like symptoms.
- CB1 receptor activation reduces flow of calcium inside nerve cells. Excess calcium is related to cell death via excitotoxicity, which is one of the mechanisms of cell death during a stroke, as oxygen is required to remove calcium from neurons.
- CB2 receptors, which are found on microglial cells, the brain’s immune system representatives, inhibit the secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules, reducing the inflammatory activity of microglia.
Does CBD improve cases of stroke?
The immune system is triggered during a stroke, and it is the mediator of much of the damage which occurs during a period of ischemia in the brain. CBD is effective during and after a stroke because it promotes the activity and signaling of the endocannabinoid system. In the brain, this is beneficial during a stroke because of the protective effect that ECS activation has on neurons.
CBD reduces oxidative stress, inflammation, and calcium build-up, which are three of the main causes of cell death during a stroke. In addition, CBD promotes the transcription of genes which promote healing and repairing mechanisms of the immune system, which helps with the recovery process following a stroke.