People who do survive strokes are often encumbered with neurological issues that can be very debilitating and without quality of life. The rehabilitation methods for stroke victims under mainstream medical care are long and arduous, often with very little improvement.
Now a potential cannabis solution has been discovered with a study published in April of 2017.
The cannabis solution does not involve THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) the psychoactive compound. Instead, the chemical solution for neurological damage in the aftermath of cerebral ischemia is CBD or cannabidiol, which is a major cannabinoid among at least 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis.
It does not offer the high, and cannabis or marijuana plants can be hybrid to negate THC, the other major cannabinoid, while enhancing CBD.
Better yet, industrial hemp can be imported and CBD can be extracted from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp import products are legal in the United States. If you’ve visited health food stores or supermarkets with supplement sections, you may have noticed hemp seeds, for example. There are even hemp clothing and building materials also available.
Hemp seeds are densely nutritious and their omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids are in perfect balance. It’s a superfood by definition. They are imported from nations that allow industrial hemp agriculture. Among those are Canada, China, and some European nations.
The Hazard of Surviving a Stroke or Brain Blood Blockage from Any Source
Ischemia is defined as a drastic reduction of blood flow to a particular organ, usually the heart or the brain. This results in sudden oxygen and other nutrient deprivation, which can cause that organ to completely cease functioning to the point of death.
Most strokes are of the ischemic variety, although a minority are hemorrhagic. Although the study to be disclosed later in this article focused on ischemic strokes, the nature of CBD is such that it offers neurological protection regardless of which type of stroke has occurred.
Whether from a stroke, heart attack, or respiratory arrest from any other cause, the rescue from cerebral ischemia involves restoring the blood flow as soon as possible to prevent death. So instead of dying from cerebral ischemia, the rapid restoration of blood, though necessary, results in a secondary injury known as ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRA) in the area of the brain that had suffered ischemia.
The IRI creates inflammation in the cells that have already suffered oxidative stress from the lack of oxygen during ischemia. This is what leaves a surviving stroke victim in a chronic state of lowered functionality, perhaps for life. Those affected brain cells are badly damaged or destroyed.
One’s future after a serious episode of cerebral ischemia usually involves extensive rehab and pharmaceutical blood thinners that do little to improve lifelong difficulties with speaking, memory impairments, walking difficulty, and other disabilities.
According to anecdotal experiences and clinical cases, CBD is the solution to post cerebral ischemia or hemorrhagic strokes and brain injury in general. The earlier mentioned in vitro (lab cultures) study explains why.
What to Take Away from this Latest Study
The study is titled, Cannabidiol attenuates OGD/R-induced damage by enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics and modulating glucose metabolism via pentose-phosphate pathway in hippocampal neurons, and it was published in April of 2017 in Elsevier’s ScienceDirect.
A few definitions of the words used in the title may tell you all you need to know:
Cannabidiol: This is CBD, a major cannabinoid molecule of cannabis that is not psychoactive.
Attenuate: To lessen or reduce.
OGD/R: A convenient way to say oxygen–glucose-deprivation/reperfusion, the biological activity from suddenly reversing clogged blood flow in blood vessels after oxygen-glucose deprivation from the lack of blood to an organ.
Mitochondrial bioenergetics: The mitochondria are tiny rod-shaped organelles that convert oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the chemical energy “currency” of the cell that powers the cells’ metabolic activities. This is the foundation for healthy organs and overall health.
Pentose-Phosphate Pathway: This biological pathway generates NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate), an agent involved in the production of lipids and nucleic acids, both of which are vital to cellular formation and maintenance.
Hippocampal neurons: Neurons are highly specialized nerve cells responsible for communicating information in both chemical and electrical forms. The hippocampus is a small region of the brain that is associated with some emotional responses for hormonal activities, memory, and spatial navigation, which is the capacity to understand and remember spatial relations among objects.
Once damaged, neurons are not easily automatically replaced or recreated spontaneously by neurogenesis, which is why brain damage injuries leave chronic or permanent impairments. Cannabidiol (CBD) does encourage neuro-genesis as a precursor, most likely even more than supplements designed for that. It is probably wise to use both those supplements and cannabis CBD for brain damage from any source.
The study authors conservatively conclude the following:
In summary, our results suggest that CBD exerts a potent neuroprotective effect against ischemia/reperfusion injury by attenuating intracellular oxidative stress, enhancing mitochondrial bioenergetics, and optimizing glucose metabolism via the pentose-phosphate pathway, thus strengthening the antioxidant defenses and preserving the energy homeostasis of neurons.
This is pretty much what you can take from the study, unless you wish to parse it more with the study’s full text accessed here.
A Short History of CBD and Its Neuroprotective Attributes
The most dramatic example of CBD’s medicinal and neuroprotective effects were presented on mainstream media a few short years ago with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s TV special, “Weed,” that focused on a little five year old girl, Charlotte Figi, in Colorado, who was experiencing dozens of epileptic seizures daily. Some were life threatening.
All of her prescribed medications were failing and the side effects were creating other health issues as well as exacerbating the seizures, almost killing her at times. Out of desperation, the family discovered online that cannabis had positive effects on intractable (hard or impossible to control) epilepsy. The following video is a shortened version of the Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special report “Weed.”
The original telecast and subsequent YouTube video versions made CBD the choice of many throughout the world for children with intractable epilepsy. And the rush for CBD began, not only from parents with epileptic children, but from many whose children had other neurological problems, even brain cancers.
Adults were not excluded from the CBD rush, especially among those who were in situations or states that were not allowing full plant medical cannabis products with THC. Some ex-NFL football players used CBD to overcome their pain or neurological issues from concussions.
Former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer has used CBD to become healthier after his years of football, and he advocates the NFL should use CBD instead of pharmaceutical pain killers and as a protection against concussions and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). (Source)
This surge in CBD interest threatened the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to create synthetic CBD products that could be patented and sold for high profits, which the FDA would approve and receive their million dollars plus for each pharmaceutical company’s license to market fee.
So the FDA and DEA started playing rules and regulation games that began to threaten cannabis plant CBD providers in 2016.
However it appears the CBD providers who import industrial hemp to extract cannabidiol or who merely market CBD manufactured from industrial hemp from Europe are able to provide CBD tinctures, oils, and capsules to anyone in need with online purchases. The threats have apparently dissipated.
If industrial hemp’s THC level does not exceed .3 percent its products are legal federally. But federal law does not permit growing hemp on U.S. soil, even though 23 states do. Selling home grown hemp products across state lines could be considered illegal.
But industrial hemp from outside the USA is legal. So CBD products are available online and in some stores today, as long as it is sold as a neuro-protective supplement and does not mention it as curative for any specific disease or malady.
The importance of quality is contained in how the CBD is extracted. It’s important to know if harsh chemicals were used and the possibility of residual toxicity from them.
On the other hand, completely synthetic pharmaceutical versions of CBD are devoid of most of the elements the whole cannabis plant offers to create a naturally positive synergistic effect without adverse side effects. (Source)