Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug among adolescents and young adults. Despite its widespread use, only a few reports exist on the association of cannabis use and stroke. A 26-year-old Nigerian male, developed right-sided ischemic stroke few hours after smoking three wraps of cannabis. He had smoked cannabis consistently for the past 4 years prior to the development of the stroke. Known stroke etiology and abuse of other illicit drugs were ruled out from history and investigations. Neuroimaging studies of the brain revealed infarcts in basal ganglia secondary to occlusion of blood flow in the left anterior and middle cerebral arteries. The mechanism of stroke in this patient was thought to be a cannabis-induced vasculopathy. Many cases of stroke in the young are increasingly being seen in hospitals in resource scarce countries. There seems to be a predilection for the basal ganglia in ischemic stroke following cannabis abuse. Therefore, cannabis abuse should be considered in young adults with basal ganglia infarcts, after excluding other known etiologies.
Keywords: Ischemic stroke; marijuana; neuroimaging.