Using CBD Oil For Stroke Recovery In Patients
Strokes can cause serious neurological damage. Research indicates that you may lose up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute during the course of a stroke. Strokes are very common. In fact, by the year 2030, approximately 4% of the US population will have suffered from a stroke.
Traditional recovery techniques can have limited success, depending on the severity of the stroke. However, using CBD oil for stroke recovery has shown to be extremely promising in not only protecting the body during a stroke but also aiding to the recovery process as well. CBD has also been shown to be effective as a preventative measure and is a safe, natural, and can be purchased by anyone online.
What Is A Stroke?
A stroke is basically an acute medical condition in which blood, and therefore oxygen, is blocked from traveling to some part of your brain. Because the human brain is so complex and needs a constant supply of oxygen, cells begin dying immediately during a stroke. It should be treated as an emergency and medical care is needed immediately. There are two basic types:
- Ischemic, which account for nearly 90% of all strokes. They are usually triggered by high blood pressure and are essentially a clot or narrowing (ischemia) of the blood vessels in the brain. The two most common types of ischemic strokes are thrombotic and embolic. When a clot develops in a vessel that supplies blood to the brain, then a thrombotic stroke is triggered. An embolic stroke occurs when plaque or cholesterol from diseased blood vessels breaks apart and travels to the brain.
- Hemorrhagic, which are far less common, account for only about 10% of all strokes. However, they are far deadlier and contribute nearly 40% of all stroke-related deaths. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel actually ruptures, causing internal bleeding and catastrophic injury or death.
High blood pressure is generally the most recognizable risk factor for having a stroke, but there are other factors at play as well. Contrary to popular belief, not all stroke patients are elderly. In fact, roughly 25% of strokes occur in patients under 65 years old. Strokes can even affect infants.
Symptoms of a stroke include:
- Confusion and difficulty speaking or understanding language. The stroke usually results in severe confusion as well as the possibility of a condition known as aphasia. This is a language disorder of the brain. The patient may also experience slurred speech due to paralysis in the face.
- Numbness and/or paralysis of the face and extremities. This usually occurs on only one side of the body. In severe cases, there are patients whose faces will droop on only one side or will be unable to use one of their arms or legs.
- Impaired or double vision. The patient may have temporary blindness in one or both eyes.
- Severe headaches as well as intense nausea and dizziness.
- Extreme vertigo, loss of balance, and difficulty walking.
What are the causes of a stroke?
There are various risk factors that greatly increase the chance of having a stroke. These include:
- High blood pressure, usually from too much sodium in the diet.
- Smoking or using tobacco products. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict. This, in turn, raises blood pressure and contributes to hypertension.
- Obesity and diabetes are also substantial risk factors. Having unstable or uncontrolled blood sugar levels results in serious damage to the blood vessels. Furthermore, if a stroke occurs while blood sugar levels have spiked too high, then the damage to the brain is even greater.
- Genetics also play a major role. If there is a family history of hypertension or strokes, then there is a drastically increased risk of having a stroke.
- Heart disease and the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) caused by a buildup of plaque can result in a piece of that plaque breaking away and creating a clot known as an embolus. This can then travel to the brain and create a blockage.
A stroke is a profoundly damaging condition. Survivors, as well as their support networks and caretakers, have to learn to live with potentially permanent disabilities that can range from mild to debilitating. These disabilities may include physical, physiological, emotional, mental, and cognitive defects. These will then adversely affect the patient’s quality of life. However, CBD has emerged as a promising and natural treatment. It helps stroke survivors and improves their quality of life. It also treats their symptoms while complementing more traditional recovery strategies.
How Does CBD Protect the Brain After A Stroke?
Inflammation is the body’s response to medical trauma or injury to the body. When a patient suffers from a stroke, the body undergoes a profound process of inflammation at the site where the clot or hemorrhage occurred. This inflammation is part of a wider defense mechanism that the body’s immune system activates in response to a traumatic incident.
After a stroke has occurred, the brain has substantially increased levels of inflammation and oxidation in the damaged cells. A cell receptor called TLR4 interacts with a protein called galectin-3 which causes cells to release cytokines. This causes the body to continue producing an inflammatory response even after the stroke has stopped. This seriously damages the brain cells and surrounding tissues.
CBD protects the brain after a stroke by inhibiting these various mechanisms. It naturally lowers cytokine levels and prevents the inflammatory immune response that can kill healthy brain cells. CBD is also a powerful antioxidant. These molecules are well known in nutrition for being excellent sources of health and healing for the human body. CBD’s antioxidant properties allow it to counteract excessive cellular oxidation. This also allows CBD to remove toxins and dead cells from the blood vessels.
Using CBD Oil for Stroke Recovery
CBD is also a major contributor to good cardiovascular health. When there is an excess buildup of cholesterol and plaque in blood vessels (atherosclerosis), the risk of stroke increases. This is because an embolus can become dislodged from the wall of the blood vessels and travel to the brain. This will then trigger an embolic stroke. CBD is shown to decrease levels of bad cholesterol and actually increase levels of good cholesterol. This lowers the risk of an embolic stroke occurring.
CBD also has powerful properties in increasing blood flow. Paralysis is one of the most severe consequences of a stroke and is particularly difficult to overcome in recovery. Most recovery techniques consist of intensive and prolonged physical therapy. CBD increases the recovery of motor skills as it increases blood flow to the areas that have been damaged. It effectively works together with traditional physical therapy to speed recovery in the patient.
CBD Oil For Stroke Pain
Strokes are extremely painful. Usually, the pain and discomfort happen on one side of the patient’s body. During a stroke, large parts of the brain and nervous system are deprived of oxygen. This then triggers a massive, wide-scale death of cells. This may include the cells that allow our body to sense and process pain.
When these pain cells are damaged or killed, there is profound neurological damage. This results in what is known as “neuropathic pain”. This is a specific type of pain that is characterized by its severity and a feeling of being stabbed or electrocuted. Traditional treatments for this particular symptom have long included the use of prescription opioid painkillers. However, these medications can result in severe side effects, including but not limited to addiction, intoxication, depression, and even death.
CBD oil is a safe, natural, and effective alternative. This is because it binds to a type of cannabinoid receptor in the brain known as a CB1 receptor. These receptors manage the expression and sensation of pain. Because CBD binds with these receptors, it effectively goes directly to the source of the pain and can allow a stroke patient to live a more fulfilling life.
CBD and Stroke Prevention
These CB1 receptors, as well as the closely related CB2 receptors, are all part of what is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays a crucial role in the human body.
The ECS controls various processes including:
- Psychiatric and psychological, which are the conscious activities of the brain like speaking and cognition.
- Cardiovascular, which delivers oxygen all over the body via the heart and its blood vessels.
- Autonomic nervous system, which regulates unconscious activities like breathing, heart rate, and digestion.
- Inflammatory response, which regulates the body’s immune response to an injury or traumatic medical condition.
CBD oil for stroke recovery is promising as a preventative measure precisely because it so actively binds with receptors all over the ECS. When it binds with these receptors, it strengthens the signals within the ECS. This is called “potentiation”. Essentially, this means that CBD acts as a consistent and crucial component of overall health. It also has powerful qualities in increasing cerebral blood flow. This allows for the brain to be sufficiently oxygenated and decreases hypertension. CBD is not psychoactive so it does not inhibit regular function and consciousness. CBD plays an active role in inhibiting inflammation and oxidation as well as promoting overall health and function within the ECS.
CBD is well tolerated in most patients and has few side effects. However, it should be used under guidance from a health care practitioner to determine the correct dosage. Any CBD oil that is being purchased should be done so from a legitimate provider that has proper milligram dosages on the products being sold. The traditional recovery techniques for stroke survivors are challenging and slow-moving. Using CBD oil for stroke recovery is great for complimenting traditional recovery techniques as well as being a safe, effective, and viable medicine in its own right.
Research & Studies - CBD for Stroke
Below is a compiled list of scientific research and studies on Cannabidiol (CBD) and it’s potential use for treating Stroke.
- Cannabidiol reduces brain damage and improves functional recovery in a neonatal rat model of arterial ischemic stroke
- Cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive Cannabis constituent, protects against myocardial ischemic reperfusion injury
- Cannabidiol prevents infarction via the non-CB1 cannabinoid receptor mechanism
- Cannabidiol administration after hypoxia-ischemia to newborn rats reduces long-term brain injury and restores neurobehavioral function
- Repeated treatment with cannabidiol but not Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol has a neuroprotective effect without the development of tolerance
- Protective effects of cannabidiol against hippocampal cell death and cognitive impairment induced by bilateral common carotid artery occlusion in mice