New research has emerged that may shed some light on the conundrum surrounding marijuana and strokes. While a French study linking cannabis use to strokes appeared in the media last month, a recent investigation into the effects of marijuana in relation to these cerebrovascular accidents, commonly referred to as strokes, indicates marijuana users are actually less likely to suffer the wrath of this disease.
Last month, during the American Academy of Neurology’s 66th Annual Meeting, researchers from the University of Maryland presented the results of their analysis entitled “The Stroke Prevention in Young Adults Study,” which set out to capture a glimpse into the past marijuana use of several hundred stroke victims and controls.
After 16 years of examining these cases, researchers concluded that those who had used marijuana were not at a greater risk for suffering a stroke. In fact, the overall results actually pointed towards a slight reduction in stroke risk -- nearly 29 percent of stroke victims used marijuana compared to the 33 percent that had not suffered a stroke.
Researchers are quick to note that they are not suggesting marijuana can prevent stroke, only that it does not appear to contribute to the condition and has the potential to benefit. “We don’t suspect that this implicates a protective effect of marijuana on ischemic stroke risk,” said lead researcher Dr. Tara Dutta, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “We will go back and look at our data more carefully and do some additional analysis to see if we can look for potential confounders.”
Medical experts in attendance said they believe that while more research is necessary before solid evidence can be made available, the study “should be reassuring” because the Baby Boomer generation has not given any indication that their past marijuana use has caused negative health effects.
A previous study from 2013 also noted that marijuana compounds seem to play a significant role in the reduction of stroke gravity. “The data are guiding the next steps in experimental stroke in order to be able to progress onto initial safety assessments in a clinical trial,” said lead researcher Dr. Tim England, from the University of Nottingham.
Another study conducted in 2012 found that cannabinoid receptors have the ability to protect the body against severe stroke because of their “potent anti-inflammatory” properties.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.