1. Hepler RS, Frank IR. Marihuana smoking and intraocular pressure. JAMA. 1971;217(10):1392.
2. Cairns EA, Baldridge WH, Kelly MEM. The endocannabinoid system as a therapeutic target in glaucoma. Neural Plast. 2016;2016:9364091. doi:10.1155/2016/9364091
Research such as that by Tomida et al, 3 however, suggests that the mixed results of earlier studies with regard to the effect of cannabis on IOP may be related to the use of various strains with differing proportions of THC and CBD. Future studies investigating cannabis and IOP lowering should therefore specify the strain and THC/CBD composition to best assess therapeutic potential.
Most studies of medical cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma have shown a limited duration of action and associated systemic effects, including euphoria and hypotension. Because of these issues, several esteemed medical societies have taken the position that the risks associated with cannabis ingestion outweigh any potential benefit. Furthermore, currently available IOP-lowering therapies using medical, laser, and surgical modalities are more effective than cannabis-derived therapies in their current state. 5
Cannabis is approved for medicinal purposes across most of the United States. A growing number of states have approved this substance for recreational use as well. In addition to glaucoma, medical cannabis is approved for the treatment of conditions such as cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and various pain disorders. It is important to note that states that have approved medical cannabis for these indications do not distinguish among strains of the cannabis flower. THC and CBD levels therefore vary among products, yet studies have shown that not all cannabis strains produce similar effects. 2-4 As described earlier, those with higher THC content can be expected to lower IOP, whereas strains with higher CBD content can be expected to increase IOP. It is therefore important that eye care providers caution patients who are interested in treating their glaucoma with medical cannabis that products with a high CBD content may have a detrimental effect on their disease process.
The Highest IOP I Ever Measured
4. Miller S, Daily L, Leishman E, et al. ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol differentially regulate intraocular pressure. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2018;59(15):5904-5911. doi:10.1167/iovs.18-24838
Glaucoma causes nerve damage and blindness due to the excessive production of glutamate. This chemical is capable of killing neurons in the retina, which takes place when it facilitates the formation of peroxynitrite. As per scientific studies, the usage of CBD can prevent the formation of peroxynitrite. This means that it acts as a shield for the neuron nerves and provides protection to the eye, even if the person is predisposed to the condition. This minimization of cell death is considered to be the biggest benefit of CBD use for glaucoma patients.
Several studies have been able to showcase that CBD, when extracted from the marijuana plant, contains many valuable medicinal properties. It acts as a vaso-relaxant, which means that it can help increase the level of ocular blood flow. Along with this, CBD also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce or treat the common side-effects of glaucoma. CBD is a known analgesic and anti-nausea drug, which is why people turn to this medicinal plant to deal with nausea, vomiting, and pain. Either way, CBD can help the glaucoma patient get a hold over their condition, and avoid further discomfort and pain.
Over the years, several studies have been carried out to understand the medicinal value of CBD. This miracle plant has been in use since time immemorial and has helped alleviate painful symptoms associated with several illnesses.
As we mentioned earlier, there are two primary types of glaucoma. Most people around the world who suffer from this condition have either one of the two types of glaucoma discussed here.
In this article, we look into the benefits of topical CBD application and how effective it is for people suffering from glaucoma.
Several doctors and eye experts around the world remain perplexed due to the lack of a straightforward solution or treatment to prevent glaucoma. Several studies have been carried out over the years to understand how this condition can be avoided or treated without the need for eye surgery. Of these, many studies have sought to understand the effects of CBD on patients suffering from glaucoma.