Treatment

Using Medical Cannabis as a Remedy for Glaucoma

April 23, 2020 10:22 am ET
Using Medical Cannabis as a Remedy for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness affecting over 60 million people. The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), is a progressive disorder that leads to the destruction of cells in the eye’s retina and it also leads to the degrading of the optic nerve. Eventually, patients with glaucoma will lose their sight. Luckily, cannabis has proven worthy of treating glaucoma and has become one of the most common reasons for using medicinal cannabis. How exactly does cannabis help with Glaucoma? Before we can get into that, it is important to understand the condition first, which you may already do if you are one of the many struggling with this condition. 

Glaucoma Explained

Glaucoma is a condition that damages the eye’s optic nerves which also worsens over time. It has been linked to a buildup of pressure in the eye and tends to run in families. Your optic nerves are what sends images to the brain and the intraocular pressure can lead to permanent vision loss and in worse cases, total blindness. Intraocular pressure is the increase of pressure in the eye. 

Once the vision has been lost, it cannot be brought back. However, there are measures to take in order to help keep the sight/vision that remains. These measures include a treatment plan and regular eye exams. Symptoms of glaucoma include, but are not limited to, eye throbbing pain, eye redness, headaches (usually on the same side as the affected eye), blurry vision, nausea, vomiting, and a dilated pupil. 

The main goal of traditional treatment is to relieve as much pressure in the eye as possible. This is done in order to ensure that glaucoma does not progress. Traditional treatment often includes prescribed medication (such as a topical medicated eye drop), using laser treatments or surgery. 

How Cannabis Can Help

The main use of cannabis for glaucoma is that it has been proven to lower eye pressure, in patients with glaucoma and in general. Glaucoma needs to be treated 24/7 which means daily and frequent use of medication such as the eyedrops. Patients who are struggling to deal with those typical, traditional measures should consider using cannabis as it can effectively do the same as those eyedrops, it lowers eye pressure. From a health point of view, cannabis is a great alternative to the standard. It is natural, has very few adverse effects, safe to use as well as easy and affordable to access.

Scientists have shown how effective cannabis is with lowering eye-pressure, but they also found a catch. While cannabis is an effective and natural option for treating glaucoma, it only does so for 3-4 hours. Therefore, patients would have to consume cannabis every 3 hours in order to ensure that the eye pressure is adequately lowered, which can be inconvenient for many. Consuming cannabis can lower intraocular pressure by 25-30%. 

Apart from being able to attain the main goal of glaucoma treatment (lowering the eye pressure), cannabis can also assist with the alleviation of the many symptoms. Cannabis can assist with lowering the pain and throbbing, reduce nausea and vomiting, alleviate headaches as well as reducing the levels of stress and anxiety associated with glaucoma. Cannabis can also be consumed to protect retinal cells. 

Cannabis is able to do all these wonderful things for the chronic condition is because of the endocannabinoid system in our own bodies. The system runs nearly every aspect of our health, which includes pain and inflammation, and they can be located throughout the whole body. There is a prominent amount of cannabinoid receptors in the ocular (eye) tissue which is responsible for regulating the pressure in the eye. The cannabinoids from the cannabis plant are received by our body’s endocannabinoid system which contains the cannabinoid receptors. Together they bring significant improvement in and prevention of conditions and illnesses. 

Cannabis for treating glaucoma can be smoked, ingested, and even applied directly to the eye topically. The difference between direct topical application of traditional treatment and cannabis is that cannabis is tolerated far better by the body than it tolerates the traditional treatment. 

Since glaucoma is a chronic disease, it is important to try and minimize any adverse effects. This means that patients should ensure to consume Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cannabigerol (CBG) products over products containing Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). If you decide that you would like to use cannabis as a treatment for glaucoma, remember to be honest and to consult with your optometrists and physicians to ensure an effective cannabis treatment plan is in place.

Post Your Comments

Jessica James says:

I’m in love with your blogs. You talk about everything. From Laws to Medical issues related to cannabis. As told, Glaucoma is an eye condition, and eyes are a very sensitive organ of our body. Cannabis has always proven to be a good treatment option for many medical conditions. But unfortunately, not many doctors prescribe it, maybe because of its long time after-effects. Even if few doctors prescribe medicinal cannabis, it’s illegal in particular states, or it needs many dollars to afford. Alas!! Many of our lawmakers haven’t recognized yet what wonders cannabis could do, so many medical professionals do not much recommend it.

Reply
Chane Leigh says:

Hi Jessica 🙂
Thank you so much for contributing and I am so happy you like the blog. You make many good and valid points (I saw your other comment too), keep em coming! We love to make our articles as holistic so that we can do our part in educating people in all aspects relating to cannabis. Whether cannabis is taken for pleasure, or medical purposes, the more you know the better. Hope to see you enjoying and contributing to more articles in the future!

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