New experimental research shows that certain cannabinoids can protect the brain and spinal cord from damage after a stroke.
The results were even better in strokes that caused severe and permanent nerve damage.
That surprised even the researchers.
Using genetically engineered mice, the research team first “removed” the CB1 cannabinoid receptor.
They expected that “deleting” the receptor from the cells would lead to poor outcomes after a stroke.
But the mice fared much better after the CB1 receptor was removed.
The researchers expected that treating them with cannabinoids would protect the nerve cells. They were right.
Then they moved onto the CB2 receptor.
They left the CB1 receptor intact but removed the CB2.
In another strange twist, the stroke damage was worse when the CB2 receptor was removed.
Now onto part three of the experiment.
Naturally, the research team expected negative results when both types of receptors were removed.
Instead, the mice with both types of receptors removed experienced much better outcomes.
This fascinating research from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia will be an important building block as scientists continue to seek better treatment for patients suffering the devastating results of a stroke.
“Surprising outcomes in cannabinoid CB1/CB2 receptor double knockout mice in two models of ischemia,“ was published in Life Sciences in February 2018.