According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), strokes affect over 795,000 Americans annually. Among these, approximately 600,000 experience a stroke for the first time, while 185,000 have previously had one.
Many stroke victims wonder–what’s the natural recourse? Can cannabis-infused gummies support stroke recovery? Can they help take the edge off post-stroke complications, like spasticity, spasms, mobility, and mood issues?
According to science, there are both benefits and drawbacks to using cannabis-infused products after a stroke. Here, we will take a deep dive into the question “Can you eat edibles after a stroke?” to help you weigh the benefits and risks.
Let’s jump in:
Table of Contents
What are Cannabis Edibles?
Potential Benefits of Edibles for Stroke Survivors
The Risks of Consuming Edibles After a Stroke
Recommendations for Safe Consumption
Conclusion: Can You Take Cannabis Edibles After a Stroke?
Cannabis edibles are a delightful way to consume the various cannabis derivatives, including THC, CBD, and other minor cannabinoids. Many of these cannabinoids are associated with therapeutic values that make them intriguing to stroke victims, like improved relaxation, pain relief, mood-support, sleep-support, and more.
Cannabis edibles come in various forms, such as gummies, chocolates, and more. But what makes them special is their infusion with specific cannabinoids profiles and terpenes, each of which carry unique therapeutic value and contribute to the entourage effect of cannabis. These little treats can offer promising therapeutic benefits for stroke patients.
Let’s explore the different types of cannabis edibles:
Edibles infused with CBD and THC can have different effects on the body. CBD is known for its pain-relieving and anxiety-reducing properties, making it relevant for stroke recovery.
On the other hand, THC has potential benefits for appetite stimulation and improved sleep quality for those struggling with sleep disturbances. In some cases, THC has also been medically approved for pain relief and relieving symptoms of muscle spasticity and spasms, such as those related to Multiple Sclerosis.
Keep in mind that you need a doctor’s recommendation to qualify for a medical marijuana card, but anyone can access cannabis edibles for recreational or therapeutic purposes, especially those made from hemp, which are legal and accessible on a wide scale.
CBD, a superstar cannabinoid found in edibles, may hold promise for easing pain and discomfort in stroke survivors. By acting as a potent antioxidant agent, CBD can provide neuroprotection and potential anti-inflammatory effects without developing tolerance over time. It's like having a magical pain-relieving potion in the palm of your hand.
Research suggests that both THC and CBD could have pain-relieving benefits that are useful for post-stroke recovery. However, it is essential to note that most studies to date are animal experiments rather than human clinical trials, and the results should be taken into consideration with some caution.
A study published in the Neuropharmacology journal in 2007 highlighted the findings and the ability of CBD to be of great use when treating ischemia. It found that “cannabidiol is a potent antioxidant agent without developing tolerance to its neuroprotective effect, acting through a CB-1 receptor-independent mechanism.” In other words, CBD protects injured brains without having to increase the dose over time as needed with other cannabinoids, such as THC.
A 2022 studymirrors similar results “Pretreatment of CBD could ameliorate the stress oxidative in cortex (as center of ischemic damages) and neuronal death in cortex and striatum (as penumbra), which it can be a great achievement.”
In a comprehensive review published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism in 2014, researchers explored the potential of cannabinoids as "promising candidates for future treatment" in stroke recovery. The study focused on administering THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to animals shortly after an experimental stroke.
The findings shed light on the crucial role of the endocannabinoid system in the body's response to a stroke. During the administration of cannabinoids, the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 became more active, leading to the release of beneficial endocannabinoids. This activation seemed to play a protective role, shielding nerve cells from damage.
However, it's essential to note that the most significant effects were observed when cannabinoids were administered within 4 to 5 hours after the stroke. This suggests that cannabinoids might have the potential to mitigate brain damage to some extent, though they may not fully reverse it. The study highlights the potential of cannabinoids in stroke recovery, paving the way for further research in this exciting field.
Stroke recovery can be a roller coaster of emotions, but CBD might come to the rescue. According to current data, anxiety affects 25% of stroke survivors. Luckily, CBD may be useful for easing anxiety-related discomforts.
In a comprehensive review conducted in 2015, researchers explored how CBD interacts with various receptors in the brain, such as the cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1R) and the serotonin 5-HT1A receptor. These receptors play a crucial role in regulating fear and anxiety-induced behaviors.
The review also revealed both preclinical and clinical evidence supporting CBD's effectiveness in treating different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
A 2020 study found similar results. Here, researchers assessed the effects of CBD on 397 adults in New Zealand who received medical CBD prescriptions for various ailments. The participants reported improvements in their overall quality of life after three weeks of CBD treatment. Those receiving CBD treatment for anxiety or depression experienced enhanced daily functioning, reduced pain, and alleviated anxiety or depression symptoms.
Furthermore, 70% of the study participants expressed satisfaction with CBD treatment, with only 9.9% experiencing adverse side effects, such as sedation and vivid dreams. A smaller portion of the population (0.8%) reported worsening symptoms.
Losing interest in food can be a tough part of stroke recovery. Loss of smell or taste can stifle the desire to eat, and it’s common for post-stroke patients to push away food and have trouble meeting their daily nutritional and caloric needs.
Cannabis edibles may offer some help. In fact, THC is well-known for its ability to stimulate appetite. It’s sometimes recommended as a treatment for cachexia, nausea, vomiting, and other appetite-affecting issues.
Sleep is essential for healing, and THC in edibles might lend a helping hand. Studies suggest that THC could potentially improve sleep quality for those experiencing sleep disturbances after a stroke. It's like entering a realm of peaceful dreams and restorative rest.
In a study evaluating the effects of THC on patients suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders, 39% of patients were able to reduce or completely discontinue a prescription medication they typically used for sleep. Overall, 71% of people reported an improvement in their sleep or related condition.
Evidence has found that short term use of THC may help to increase total sleep time and reduce sleep latency, or the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Long term use may have the opposite effect, however, so THC is best used for a period of up to 2 weeks as a sleep-enhancing supplement.
While edibles show potential for benefiting stroke survivors, we must also explore the possible risks involved.
Edibles containing THC can produce mind-altering effects, and it's crucial to manage your dosage wisely. Starting with low THC doses is key, ensuring you enjoy the experience without any unexpected detours. It's like finding your perfect balance between the clouds and the ground.
A 2017 report published in the Journal of Thoracic Disease suggested that recreational marijuana use raises the risk of hospitalization due to ischemic stroke by 17% in the 18–54 age group. The report stated that cannabis has several significant effects on the cardiovascular system, including increased heart rate, irregular heartbeat, vasospasms, irregular blood flow to the brain, and acute rises in supine blood pressure.
Additionally, the World Health Organization has put out a report that suggests the risk is higher in chronic and current cannabis users. Strokes are most likely to occur during use or within the first few minutes after consumption and are generally thought to be linked to overconsumption.
Safety should be a top priority, and that means no driving after consuming edibles. The road to recovery should be free of impaired driving, no matter how euphoric the edibles make you feel. It's like taking a detour away from the wheel to a space of safety.
Edibles hold promise as complementary therapy for stroke survivors, but it's essential to consider both the benefits and risks. Consulting your healthcare provider, starting low with THC, and choosing reputable products will pave the way for a safe and potentially beneficial experience.
As the healing herb continues to unveil its secrets, stroke survivors can explore its potential with the guidance of medical professionals and their own curiosity. While the journey might have some twists and turns, responsible cannabis use might become a sweet ally in the path to recovery.
And, if you're looking for high-quality, lab-tested edibles, look no further than Vida Optima. Our range of hemp CBD and THC gummies and vaporizers are 100% Farm Bill compliant, made from U.S. grown hemp, and manufactured with GMP compliant practices.
Check out our full hemp collection and find the perfect product to suit your needs, with third-party test results available on every product page! Your well-being is our priority, and we're here to help you embrace the potential benefits of cannabis edibles safely and responsibly.
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