Cannabis For Cerebral Aneurysms

overview

Weakness in the wall of a blood vessel is called an aneurysm. This weakness causes the vein to bulge as blood flows through it. When this occurs in a blood vessel in the brain it is referred to as a cerebral aneurysm. An individual may be born with a cerebral aneurysm, or it may develop later in life. Aneurysms are categorized as small, saccular or berry aneurysms depending on their size. Most aneurysms usually go unnoticed unless they rupture or are viewed in an MRI scan. This is because they are symptomless if they don’t rupture. Immediately after an aneurysm ruptures, patients can experience double vision, severe and sudden headaches, neck stiffness and even loss of vision temporarily. The rupture of an aneurysm is usually considered a medical emergency.

Conventional treatments for aneurysms

Generally, medical practitioners treat aneurysms through surgical operations. One of the surgical methods applied is microvascular clipping. Here, the surgeon cuts off blood flow to the aneurysm by use of a small metallic clip. This usually prevents the aneurysm from reoccurring or effecting the individual later on. In case the aneurysm has damaged the artery, then the surgeon instead performs an occlusion. This procedure blocks blood flow to the entire artery that leads to the aneurysm.

How cannabis is effective for the treatment of aneurysms

Marijuana is rich in cannabinoids. These components of cannabis activate receptors across the central nervous system in the same way endocannabinoids – which are produced naturally by the body – do. Marijuana’s cannabinoids offer the nerves protection1. When cannabinoids are introduced to the system, they lower the hypothalamic set-point. This causes one to begin experiencing hypothermia. Hypothermia is a very beneficial process for people who have had brain injuries. One of the causes of these injuries is an aneurysm, which could swell to the point that it pressures other parts of the brain around it. By inducing hypothermia, the cannabinoids present in medical marijuana could prevent further damage as well as encouraging healing to the region by increasing blood flow.

During the aneurysm’s healing process, marijuana’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties come into play. In one study conducted by scientists on lab rats, they found that cannabinoids are necessary to reduce levels of cytokine in the blood1. Cytokines are a component in our bodies that encourage inflammation. With low levels of endocannabinoids in place such as during trauma, cannabinoids can be used as a useful substitute and prevent inflammation from occurring in an area. What’s more, the lowering of the levels of cytokine best occurs when one is experiencing hypothermia. That means that the cannabinoids in marijuana help create an optimal environment for the reduction of swelling and the onset of healing for an aneurysm.

Although medical marijuana is not currently used to treat aneurysms, its neuro-protective and anti-inflammatory properties make it a logical remedy for them.