A Stroke is a serious life-threatening condition caused when the blood supply to brain is cut off. A Stroke is a medical emergency and urgent medical treatment is required to limit the damage caused.

What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of a Stroke can be recognised using the

‘FAST’ acronym:

  • Face - the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
  • Arms - the person may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
  • Speech - their speech may be slurred or garbled, or they may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you're saying to them.
  • Time - it's time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

After a Stroke, there is often sustained injury to the brain that can cause prolonged symptoms. These long-term problems can include:

  • Disrupted communication
  • Loss of spatial awareness
  • Loss of memory
  • Loss of vision
  • Double vision
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of executive function
  • Problems swallowing
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Movement problems or paralysis
  • Fatigue or insomnia

Cause and treatment

A Stroke is caused by a lack of blood reaching the brain. Like all organs, the brain requires the oxygen and nutrients delivered by the blood to function properly. When blood supply is restricted, brain cells begin to die, leading to brain injury, disability and even death.

There are two main causes of a Stroke: ischaemic – where the blood supply is stopped because of a blood clot (accounts for 85% of cases); and haemorrhagic – where a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.

The best treatment for a Stroke will depend on the type of stroke you have, including what part of the brain was affected and what caused it. A Stroke is usually treated with medication, including medicines that prevent and dissolve blood clots and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. In some cases, procedures and surgery may also be necessary.

Strokes can lead to a number of long-term problems which may require a long period of rehabilitation to enable the patient to recover their former independence. However, they may never fully recover and may need on going support.

Medical Cannabis and Strokes

Symptoms, including Chronic Pain and Insomnia, can last for the rest of a person’s life following a Stroke. For people who are not seeing adequate results from first-line treatments, medical cannabis may help to manage some of these symptoms.

Our specialist physicians are experienced in assessing individual cases and helping to determine whether medical cannabis could be an effective option.