A Stroke is marked by reduced blood flow to the brain. This reduction can be due to a blocked blood vessle (ischaemia) or a ruptured blood vessle (aneurism). Either way, as a result (part of) the brain is deprived of oxygen and nutrients which in turn causes neuronal degradation and cognitive decline. Several cannabinoids (such as THC and CBD) and endocannabinoids (such as Anandamide and PEA) have been shown to have neuroprotective properties and thus to have therapeutic potential in the treatment of Stroke. This is supported by several clinical trials showing that cannabinoid treatment after Stroke significantly reduces the volume of degenerating tissue.
Several clinical trials have tested the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids after Stroke. Meta-analysis revealed that both endocannabinoids like AEA, OEA or PEA and plant cannabinoids like THC or CBD can significantly reduce neuronal degeneration after Stroke (England et al., 2015). Specifically activating CB1 and/or CB2 receptors had the strongest protective effect but other receptors such as 5-TH1a and PPARα are also likely to be involved.
England, T.J., Hind, W.H., Rasid, N.A., and O’Sullivan, S.E. (2015). cannabinoids in experimental Stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. Off. J. Int. Soc. Cereb. Blood Flow Metab. 35, 348–358.