CBD has a long list of potential health benefits. One area that hasn’t received much attention is stroke, which occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted.
Although some people make a full recovery after a stroke, others are left with lasting damage, affecting their ability to walk, talk, and take care of themselves.
There aren’t many treatment options for someone who has suffered a stroke. That’s why many people who’ve had or are at risk of stroke are turning to alternative, natural solutions like cannabis and CBD oil.
There’s some evidence that CBD may help with recovery after a stroke. Here’s what the research studies tell us about CBD’s potential benefits for stroke victims.
Types of Stroke
A stroke is when blood flow to the brain becomes interrupted, which means brain cells don’t receive sufficient oxygen and nutrients. If the blood flow is not restored quickly enough, a stroke can cause brain cells to die, leading to lasting damage.
A stroke is a medical emergency that affects about 1.7% of Australians at some point in their lives. There are two major types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic.
Ischemic strokes are far more common and occur when arteries that supply the brain with blood become blocked. On the other hand, hemorrhagic strokes are more serious and occur when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures.
Strokes are associated with numerous risk factors, including elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and atrial fibrillation (rapid heartbeat).
How CBD Can Help
CBD may be beneficial to stroke victims in several ways. First off, CBD has neuroprotective properties, which means it can protect the brain’s neurons from all sorts of damage, including stroke.
CBD’s neuroprotective effects are closely related to its antioxidant qualities. Although oxidative stress is a normal process, it can rapidly build up during a stroke due to insufficient oxygen supply. In fact, oxidative stress is the main cause of lasting brain damage after a stroke.
There’s also some evidence that CBD can increase blood flow to the brain. Most notably, a review of 25 studies concluded that CBD increased cerebral blood flow during stroke in mice. This means CBD can counteract the reduced blood flow that occurs during a stroke.
Finally, CBD may be able to reduce elevated blood pressure, which is one of the major risk factors for stroke.
What the Research Says
There isn’t a lot of human research looking at the use of CBD in stroke sufferers and most of the evidence is from animal studies.
One mouse study reported that CBD reduced brain damage and improved long-term recovery when administered immediately after a stroke.
Studies in mice have also shown that CBD may help reduce neurological deficits, improve survival, and promote overall recovery in mice even when given 1-3 days after a stroke.
There are also some promising early human findings. One high-quality clinical trial found that CBD increased cerebral blood flow in healthy individuals, an effect which can benefit people during and after stroke.
Another study in healthy adults reported that CBD reduced resting blood pressure and the rise in the blood pressure that occurred due to stressful situations. Since elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke, this offers another potential benefit of CBD.
Overall, scientists are optimistic about the potential of CBD to protect and benefit the brain before and after a stroke. As summarized by one group of researchers, “CBD offers new therapeutic possibilities for treating ischemic stroke.”
Better yet, CBD seems to work both as a preventative and post-stroke treatment.
Using CBD for Stroke
CBD oil is the most effective form of CBD because of its efficient absorption and long-lasting effects.
More specifically, you should go with full-spectrum CBD oils, which contain all of the cannabinoids and other beneficial hemp compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids.
Research shows that all of these active substances work together in a synergy that scientists call the “entourage effect.” That’s why products containing pure CBD by itself are not as effective.
It’s also important that you only buy CBD oils that come with third-party lab tests. These tests are the best way to verify that you’re getting a safe and effective CBD product.
As one final tip, if you’re taking CBD oil after a stroke, it’s best to use it daily for maximum benefits.