Does CBD Help Stroke Survivors?

With the legalization of Cannabis in many states, I wanted to know whether or not CBD (cannabinoids) help stroke survivors. My grandmother recently had a series of small strokes and I would like to know if CBD will be an effective treatment option. CBD is found in Cannabis. Cannabis contains the psychoactive component delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC). It also contains the non-psychoactive components cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol, and cannabigerol. It is well-established that delta9-THC and other cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists are neuroprotective during global and focal ischemic injury. Additionally, delta9-THC also mediates psychological effects through the activation of the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system. Given this information, I wanted to know how participants respond to CBD treatment following stroke (or acute ischemic injury). 

Research from Hayakawa et. al (2010) assesses the therapeutic potential of CBD in ischemic stroke. What they found is very interesting. Dr. Hayakawa and her team concluded that CBD may have a unique therapeutic profile, #1 –  a cannabinoid receptor-independent mechanism, #2 – long-lasting cerebro-protective effect after ischemic stroke, and lack of development of tolerance. Thankfully – CBD has almost no side effects, including psychotropic activity. This is what makes CBD research so compelling. Stroke is consistently one of the top ten leading causes of death in the United States and affects over 1,000,000 Americans annually. CBD has been explored as a potential solution for stroke survivors, but there is still more research to be done. An analysis that I especially enjoyed was researched conducted by Choi et. al (2019). Dr. Choi and his team detail Cannabis and Cannabinoid biology in stroke recovery. Their research highlights compelling points about biosynthesis and degradation of endocannabinoids in our neurons. As is the case with many other research experiments, Dr. Choi concludes that CBD can have a positive effect on Neurovascular complications, intracranial hemorrhages, and ischemic strokes. But there is still more research to be done. The last research article that I would like to bring up was written by Singh et. al (2020) and evaluates CBD’s role in Neuroprotection following concussion. I thought this research was interesting because consistent head trauma can lead to TBI. Ischemic strokes are a specific form of TBI. How can these two issues be expanded upon, and potentially answered, with CBD. With the legalization of recreational cannabis around the country, more studies are needed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of CBD. 

Sources:

Singh, J., & Neary, J. (2020). Neuroprotection Following Concussion: The Potential Role for Cannabidiol. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences / Journal Canadien Des Sciences Neurologiques, 47(3), 289-300. doi:10.1017/cjn.2020.23

Hayakawa, K., Mishima, K., & Fujiwara, M. (2010). Therapeutic Potential of Non-Psychotropic Cannabidiol in Ischemic Stroke. Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland), 3(7), 2197–2212. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph3072197

Choi SH, Mou Y, Silva AC. Cannabis and cannabinoid biology in stroke. Stroke. 2019; 50:2640–2645. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.118.023587

Bergeria, C. L., Strickland, J. C., Spindle, T. R., Kalaba, M., Satyavolu, P. U., Feldner, M., Vandrey, R., Bonn-Miller, M., Peters, E. N., & Weerts, E. (2022). A crowdsourcing survey study on the subjective effects of delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol relative to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000565

Ma, J., Lyoo, I. K., Renshaw, P. F., & Yurgelun-Todd, D. A. (2022). Effect of cannabinoids on brain metabolites: A review of animal and human studies. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000553

De Vita, M. J., Maisto, S. A., Gilmour, C. E., McGuire, L., Tarvin, E., & Moskal, D. (2021). The effects of cannabidiol and analgesic expectancies on experimental pain reactivity in healthy adults: A balanced placebo design trial. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/pha0000465

5 thoughts on “Does CBD Help Stroke Survivors?

  1. I really enjoy this post, as it offers some new insight into the world of cannabis and how it can help stroke survivors. With cannabis becoming more and more popular and strokes still being a fatal occurrence, this is a pressing issue. Something I learned from your post is that CBD can aid in an array of neurobiological complications such as strokes. One thing that really surprised me is that strokes are one of the top ten most deadly things, killing so many people. I wonder if CBD has preventative effects for stroke, or if there is another substance that could be preventative?

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  2. I enjoyed this post and found this topic very interesting. I have seen many articles recently about how CBD can act as a medicine for many different situations, and I wonder if the legalization of marijuana is making nonpsychoactive compounds such as CBD less stigmatized. I took away from this article that CBD has positive effects on Neurovascular complications, intracranial hemorrhages, and ischemic strokes. With CBD use on the rise, I wonder how more research will change our current findings. Overall I enjoyed reading about this topic, and I like how you added a personal connection at the beginning, which helped draw me in.

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  3. This blog post was a very interesting read. It was interesting to learn the potential medicinal factors CBD can have on neurovascular complications, intracranial hemorrhages, and ischemic strokes. With cannabis becoming increasingly legalized in many states this will open up a huge window of research that for many years was kept closed. The most surprising thing in this article to me is the research on CBD’s role in neuroprotection following head trauma. For these treatments to be fully accessible and accepted socially a lot of change has to happen around the stigmatized view of the drug but I think psychologists are helping immensely with that through research.

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  4. At what point do doctors start prescribing CBD rather than other drugs? Is it one of the first ones offered because it has almost no side effects as opposed to other drug, or are drugs that had been used before CBD was legalized preferred because they are not as new?

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  5. Hi,

    I am quite curious whether this CBD would have addictive effect on people? Because this CBD is from Cannabis and we all know that overuse of the Cannabis could lead people to experience negative reinforcement; therefore people may continue to overuse. Will the stroke patient have the same responses as normal people and what should be the proper amount for using CBD. I know these are hard questions but I really think we need to take them into consideration if we want to use them massively.
    Thank you!

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