Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma

Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma

Glaucoma is responsible for over 75% of all cases of blindness among senior citizens over 65. While glaucoma affects older people more, it can occur at any age. This disease is caused by Intraocular Pressure (IOC), which leads to the destruction of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is the transmitter cable that connects the eye to the brain. If left unattended, glaucoma can cause partial or total blindness.

In some instances, blindness occurs even after treatment. The traditional treatment is medicine such as eye drops, but more and more people are now open to the use of medical marijuana as an alternative therapy.

What is Glaucoma?

Effects of glaucoma manifest so gradually that the loss of sight only becomes evident when it is at a very advanced stage. Unfortunately, the optical nerve can’t be regenerated, and therefore effects of this disease can’t be reversed. Patients have hope because the loss of sight can be slowed down or entirely stemmed at any point when the condition is noted.

It is, therefore, a matter of great importance for you to form a habit of going for regular eye checkups, especially as you get older. An ophthalmologist establishes whether you have glaucoma by conducting an eye pressure test.

There are four types of glaucoma primary open-angle glaucomaprimary angle-closure glaucomasecondary glaucoma, and developmental glaucoma.

Treatment should start immediately after diagnosis to stem the slide, owing to the possible consequences of this condition over time. With the use of the currently available medicine, an average of 15% of the patients lose the ability to see in at least one eye in 20 years. 

The cause of glaucoma is not fully known, but doctors have established that some families are more predisposed to the accumulation of aqueous humor. This build-up is due to the eye’s inability to drain excessive fluid as it normally should — increase of this fluid in the ocular causes IOC, which leads to the gradual destruction of the optical nerve.

Marijuana Effect on Glaucoma; How Does Marijuana Help Glaucoma?

Interest in the cannabis glaucoma interaction isn’t a recent phenomenon; research began in the 1970s.  However, recently, weed has gained more acceptance as a legal substance, and this has led to more exploration of its possible uses.  

Studies have shown that glaucoma and smoking marijuana are a good combination. Smoking weed reduces intraocular pressure by up to 30% in the short term.  Effects, although encouraging, couldn’t be sustained in the long run, and users would have to smoke weed regularly in short intervals to keep lowering the pressure. Further research has shown that taking THC pills can also help reduce IOC. 

 A patient can also use the non-psycho active CBD for the management of glaucoma. CBD is also believed to reduce the pressure according to studies conducted among senior citizens over the age of 60. As a result of the limitations of the subjects of this study, it is not clear whether CBD oil would have the same therapeutic effect on younger glaucoma patients. 

Medical Marijuana vs. Traditional Treatment

Medical Marijuana And Glaucoma

Ophthalmologists use different approaches for the treatment of glaucoma. These include medicine such as eye drops and laser surgery. Traditional medicine is longer acting when compared to marijuana, and when used regularly in the right dosage, it can be useful in slowing down the destruction of the optical nerve. While this is the case on average, some patients have difficulties finding the medicine that can significantly reduce intraocular pressure. 

This lack of effective medicine necessitates the pursuit of alternative therapies such as pot for glaucoma. Some people are allergic to traditional medicine. They can use medical marijuana as an alternative.

While medical marijuana reduces eye pressure considerably, its main disadvantage is that it is short-acting when compared to traditional medicine. It being short-acting means that if you are using medical marijuana exclusively, you will need to take it at much shorter intervals than conventional medicine. 

Benefits

Marijuana effects on glaucoma are mostly positive for the patient. One of the main benefits is the fact that it rarely causes allergic reactions.  Glaucoma poses a real threat of blindness, and this is a cause of anxiety for the person who has it. Besides reducing the intraocular pressure, marijuana helps the user to manage the stress that comes with glaucoma, thus increasing the user’s quality of life. 

Besides the above, marijuana contains vaso-relaxants that increase blood flow in the eye and thus slowing down the advance of glaucoma. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent that helps keep your eye healthy, enabling the body to focus its resources on slowing glaucoma down.   

Possible Risks and Side Effects

In some instances, marijuana can cause palpitations, which put the user in danger of getting a stroke. Another possible side effect of weed is the reduction of a user’s blood pressure, which could lead to further damage to the optical nerve. 

THC glaucoma management leads to depression in the long run, further exacerbating the anxiety the user may be feeling for having glaucoma. THC is also psychoactive, and it, therefore, has a mind-altering effect on its user. Marijuana eye pressure reduction is short term, and consequently, it has to be taken many times, thus increasing the intensity of side effects. 

Marijuana Products for Glaucoma

The following are some products you might want to check out if you are looking for medicinal marijuana for glaucoma. 

Oils: – These are usually extracted from the marijuana plant for use as health supplements. When an extract is from a high CBD or THC marijuana strain, the oil is referred to as CBD oil or THC oil respectfully. These references are used even when the extracts contain other cannabinoids or compounds present in the plants from which they were extracted. 

There are, however, some oils that contain only one cannabinoid; they are referred to as isolates because the production process isolates the single form all other compounds to produce it. 

Oils are typically used by taking drops under the tongue directly from a dropper or formulated as capsules

Edibles: – These are snacks and candy that have been infused with some cannabinoid. The cannabinoid may be CBD, THC, or Cannabigerol – which has shown some promise in the management of glaucoma. Edibles include gummies, chocolate bars, and cupcakes, and so on.

Beverages: – These are ordinary drinks that have been infused with cannabinoids, carbonated, frothy drinks mix well with oils while others such as drinking water are better off mixed with tinctures.

Take Away

Research on the relationship between glaucoma and weed is still ongoing. There is a lot we are yet to know about glaucoma treatment by weed. Findings in the future will provide more details on the usefulness of marijuana for cataracts and other eye ailments. A doctor should endorse all measures for the management of glaucoma since it is a severe lifelong condition. You need to consult with your doctor to establish whether you should use marijuana or marijuana products such as cannabis eye drops and in what quantities. 

Dwight K. Blake Written by: Dwight K. Blake

Dwight was a Mental Health counselor at Long Island Psychotherapy & Counseling in Westbury, New York for more than 15 years. He believes that CBD is the prime solution to this mental illness and more-- with proper research, medical acknowledgment, and application.
Through his work at AmericanMarijuana, together with the rest of the team, he wishes to provide everyone with genuine results and high-quality product reviews for everyone to enjoy for free.

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