Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol
Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are a major cause of mortality, morbidity and disability. Current therapy is limited with no significant improvement in the last 10 years. Recent discoveries in TBI indicate the newly identified endocannabinoid system plays a major role in orchestrating patient neurologic injury and recovery. Natural cannabinoids and associated molecules offer significant neuroprotection with little risk of adverse effects. Cannabinoids and terpenoids are contained in many plant species including hops, flax and hemp. A 2014 study of 446 TBI events found a 78% reduction in death for those with evidence of cannabinoid use. Preclinical studies in stroke models have reported protective effects of cannabidiol from hemp up to 6 hours after an acute event. The pharmaceutical industry has failed to bring to market a safe or effective synthetic cannabinoid modulating drug over the last decade. In contradistinction, natural cannabinoids of cannabidiol and tetra-hydro cannabinol are effective for multiple conditions and pending FDA approval. New protocols for the use of natural cannabinoid combinations are urgently needed immediately as part of a comprehensive strategic approach to stroke and TBI.