Glaucoma is a common disorder of the eye that affects three million
Americans and is 40 percent more likely to occur in patients with
diabetes than in the general population. Caused by increased pressure
within the eye, glaucoma can lead to blindness if not appropriately
treated. Different preparations of medical marijuana can relieve pain
for glaucoma sufferers and alleviate intra-ocular pressure, or pressure
that results inside of the eye. While not a cure, medical marijuana
usage can result in preservation of vision and reduced pain.
Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma
More is known about the beneficial link between medical marijuana and
glaucoma than any other illness where patients can realize beneficial
improvements due to cannabis. In fact, glaucoma is often at the top of
the list of ailments when states introduce bills to legalize the use of
medical cannabis. Some of the earliest clinical studies involving
medical marijuana were focused on its impact on glaucoma.
Early Glaucoma Findings
As early as 1979, studies
showed that inhaled cannabis
could lead to both decreased blood pressure and decreased intra-ocular
pressure. Unfortunately, this lowering of pressure only lasted as long
as the cannabis properties were retained in the body. That could mean
that a glaucoma patient would have to smoke medical marijuana every few
hours to continue reaping benefits.
To realize the benefits of cannabis without the hassle of a
near-constant smoking regimen, further
conducted to determine how effective other forms of medical marijuana
could be to patients with glaucoma. While inhaled and orally ingested
cannabis haven’t proven to be the perfect treatment for the unique needs
of glaucoma patients, other avenues are being explored.
One of those avenues is topical marijuana use. Cannabis eye drops have
been shown to have far
more potential to reduce intra-ocular pressure without undesired side
effects. The development of workable eye drops hasn’t been without
difficulty, however, due to the reaction between natural eye moisture
and the composition of drops.
With years of experimentation and study, better preparations have been
discovered that promise relief to glaucoma sufferers. As topical
products are being design, patients with glaucoma can still experience
the benefits of less eye pressure, reduced pain and preserved eyesight
with medical marijuana.