This is an article recently published, we’re currently analysing it. What are the thoughts on this article? It’s surely going to give the media something to play on in the coming months. Article is available here.
Ok, so we’ve done our research, and after reviewing the article a number of times we propose a counter argument. Lets shorten the article a little.
“In many cases the strokes appeared to have occurred while the drug was actually being smoked or within half an hour of smoking, which is in accordance with another study showing that cannabis increases MI 4.8-fold during the hour following intake.
The authors caution that the reality of the relationship between cannabis and stroke is, however, complex because other confounding factors have to be considered. These include potential triggering factors of sexual activity or concomitant alcohol consumption. There may also be genetic predisposition to susceptibility to stroke from cannabis use, but this needs more study.”
Firstly attention has to be paid to the second paragraph where the authors quite rightly pay attention to their lack of research into incredibly important factors such as sexual activity, alcohol consumption or genetic predisposition. At this point we can introduce our first medical research for the counter argument that marijuana (MMJ) can help victims of a stroke.
‘Cannabinoid Receptor Subtypes 1 and 2 Mediate Long-Lasting Neuroprotection and Improve Motor Behaviour Deficits After Transient Focal Cerebral Ischemia. (CB 1 and 2 receptors control long lasting protection of nerves and lessen the damage to the ability to move normally after a stroke. THC activates both CB1&2 receptors.)’
Back to the Medical article
In terms of mechanism, Wolff said cannabis appears to be associated with multifocal intracerebral stenosis, which can cause a stroke. “We have seen these stenoses in people who are regular cannabis smokers, and when they stop smoking the stenoses disappear. How cannabis causes the stenosis, we do not know. This needs to be studied,” she said.
“The stenoses are caused by shrinkage of the blood vessels and can occur in several different areas of the brain. It appears that cannabis may cause the arteries to constrict. These stenoses can be difficult to see. They can be detected with magnetic resonance angiography, but careful scrutiny of the vessels is required. Many are missed,” Wolff added.
At this point Wolff continues with the use of ‘may cause’ another loose attribution of marijuana to the support of his argument.
“In light of this review, cannabis has to be considered as harmful and the cerebrovascular risk when cannabis is consumed is probably underestimated,” the authors conclude.
Well, as two further points for the potential importance of MMJ treating stroke victims:
The Cannabinoid WIN 55212-2 Mitigates Apoptosis and Mitochondrial Dysfunction After Hypoxia Ischemia. (WIN keeps brain cells from dying and being damaged in strokes. WIN and THC act the same in your body.) (abst – 2012)
Cannabidiol reduces brain damage and improves functional recovery after acute hypoxia-ischemia in newborn pigs. (CBD, the #2 compound in pot reduces brain damage and aids recovery after strokes.) (abst – 2011)
So, we are presented by an argument which plays on a loose attribution in a minority of stroke victims vs one that scientifically backs the use of marijuana. Whilst it is not possible to disregard the points put forward the question has to be asked, would marijuana be prescribed to stroke victims as a helpful, aiding medicine, when it could be the cause of their illness? This is obviously one article that will continue to be used and researched further, but at this early stage it is severely lacking in scientific backing than the many many positive stories about marijuana and stroke sufferers.