Stroke Awareness Month and National Blood Pressure Month
May is Stroke Awareness Month as well as National Blood Pressure Month.
As you may know, having high blood pressure is a risk factor for having a stroke. Strokes occur when there is a blockage of blood flow from the brain which causes the brain to be unable to receive nutrients and oxygen. Brain cells begin to die from this almost immediately.
The faster a person receives medical treatment after a stroke, the less likely they are to suffer brain damage.
Tinctures are a form of medical marijuana that absorb quickly into a patient’s system through entrance into the bloodstream after being placed under the patient’s tongue. There are also spray options in which the medicine would be sprayed into the mouth of the person who has had a stroke.
Cannabis helps minimize the effects of a stroke by protecting astrocytes and neurons from nerve damage. This in turn leads to the improvement in neurobehavior, histological, biochemical and functional recovery.
THC and CBD, the primary components of cannabis, have both been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The CB2 receptor in particular regulates the inflammatory response, as well as promoting neurogenesis and helping patients recover their motor functions after a stroke.
Also, studies have found that regular cannabis use over extended periods of time helps reduce the risk of stroke due to the improvement in flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
Though Pennsylvania does not list stroke as a qualifying condition, it does fall under a symptom of sickle cell anemia. A stroke can occur if sickle cells block blood flow to an area of your brain. Signs of stroke include seizures, weakness or numbness of your arms and legs, sudden speech difficulties, and loss of consciousness. If you or anyone you know begins to experience any of these signs and symptoms, seek medical treatment immediately. A stroke can be fatal.
In addition, marijuana has been approved in Pennsylvania to treat the complications that may occur after a person has had a stroke. Seizures are one of these complications that occur, and they are symptoms of two qualifying conditions, epilepsy and intractable seizures.
Pain is another side effect of having a stroke and chronic pain is a qualifying condition for Pennsylvania medical marijuana. Cannabis has been proven to reduce inflammation, swelling, tension and sore muscles. Cannabinoids work in parallel with the endogenous opioid system, which controls pain. The endocannabinoid system modulates the mechanisms that become hyper-responsive in chronic pain states. Both THC and CBD are effective cannabinoids for targeting pain relief.
In addition, emotional problems may occur after a stroke and this can be considered a symptom of PTSD, another qualifying condition. The seizure would in this case be the traumatic event that caused emotional distress. THC can cause memory impairment, reduce stress, and promote sleep, which makes it a good therapeutic tool for combating PTSD