It has long been said that cannabis for glaucoma is a viable treatment. In fact, it was the reason why the first Federal medical marijuana program was created several decades ago. Today we take a deeper look at how cannabis for glaucoma work.
Medical marijuana is used to treat many different diseases. Cannabis for Glaucoma is not an exception. Interesting enough, it was by accident during a study at UCLA that it was discovered that THC reduced eye pressure by 25 to 30 percent. But in order to understand how cannabis can help, we also need to understand what glaucoma is.
What is Glaucoma?
If not treated it could lead to blindness. One cause of optic nerve damage is higher-than-normal pressure in the eye. There are currently various treatments for glaucoma like eye drops, laser treatment and surgery, but in some people there are side-effects and alternative methods are looked for. In order to treat glaucoma the intraocular pressure (IOP) needs to be controlled.
Is Cannabis for Glaucoma Effective?
As glaucoma is a condition where pressure needs to be controlled and lowered, marijuana seems to be an effective option as treatment. Studies show that inner pressure on the optic nerve is reduced when consuming cannabis. Further research was done to see if THC could be used to lower IOP. The result was positive but with the drawback that it only lasted for a short time, approximately 3 to 4 hours.
This means you constantly would have to smoke or digest marijuana to control eye pressure that could have other side effects like not being able to work with heavy equipment or loss of concentration among other.
More research also found that apart from reducing eye pressure, cannabis also reduces blood pressure and that could lead to a reduced blood flow that leads to causing glaucoma. Some medical doctors say this counter-acts the positive effect of THC with regards to lowering eye pressure.
How Could Cannabis for Glaucoma work?
There is still controversy about treating Glaucoma with marijuana as some say you can use cannabis together with other treatment and some advice against it. If medical marijuana is used for this treatment, look for strains high in cannabinoids CBG and CBD. Blueberry and Cherry Kola are good for treating glaucoma.
Treatment favorable for Glaucoma in its later stage
Ophthalmologists are more inclined to use cannabis for the treatment of Glaucoma when it is in the later stage. When it comes to the end stage of Glaucoma, the target is not as such to target the glaucoma but more to treat the side effects thereof. Common side-effects for advanced Glaucoma are nausea, anxiety, and vomiting.
With further studies in progress, it is promising that Cannabis in the not too far future will have a bigger role in treating Glaucoma. The endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in neuroprotection and inflammation. Developing a cannabinoid-based medication for the treatment and prevention of Glaucoma would be a very large benefit.
Can Cannabis Treat Glaucoma Then?
Research is still inconclusive and for now, it could be seen as not advisable because in order to keep inner eye pressure low, you would have to be smoking 6 to 8 times per day. Then there still is the risk of lowering blood pressure. It is possible that not too far from now it would be possible, but best is now to rather speak with your ophthalmologist about the best treatment for Glaucoma.