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How Cannabis Helps Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of diseases that negatively affect the eyes and a person’s vision. For many years now, doctors have prescribed cannabis as a treatment for this condition and it has proven to be very effective in controlling the symptoms. We'll look at how the condition affects your eyes and how cannabis works in helping those with the condition.


What is Glaucoma?

According to research, about 3 million Americans suffer from glaucoma and 4% of these people have gone blind due to the condition. The most surprising thing is that just half of these people are aware they have this disease. This is because the disease progresses in a very slow pace which makes it impossible to notice for many years.

There are two types of this disease:

  1. Acute-angle closure
  2. Open-angle

Both of these types lead to deterioration in sight if the condition is not treated. Open-angle is the most common condition. It is characterized by deteriorating peripheral vision. Acute-angle closure on the other hand has severe symptoms like headaches, nausea, vomiting and eye pain.

Glaucoma is a disease that has not yet been fully understood. However, experts believe that this disease is either caused by intraocular pressure or too much pressure in an individual’s eyes. The treatment of this disease therefore focuses on reducing the intraocular pressure.


How Cannabis Helps Glaucoma

Cannabis is very effective in treating this disease because it helps in lowering the intraocular pressure in the eyes. By doing this, cannabis helps in slowing down the progression of the disease. However, if the person has already become blind, it is impossible to reverse the blindness. According to a study that was done in 2004, the reason why cannabis is able to lower the intraocular pressure if the fact that it contains some active ingredients that are able to help do this. Apart from this, cannabis is very effective because it has neuroprotective qualities.

The other way that cannabis helps glaucoma is by helping control the symptoms that are accompany the disease. According to a research study that was published in 2008 cannabis was found to be more effective than the chemotherapy vomiting suppressing drugs that are given to cancer patients. From the research, individuals who used cannabis had success in reducing nausea compared to those who did not. This goes to show that cannabis is very effective even for glaucoma symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.


While there has been a lot of proven research showing the effects of cannabis on treating this condition, there are still some people who are not for the idea of recommending cannabis for the treatment of this disease. Katherine Shen, OD says that it is not a good idea to recommend cannabis for the treatment of this eye problem because cannabis has its own side effects and its effects only last for a few hours. There are other people in the medical field who agree with her and they believe this is not a long term solution for treating the disease. With the lack of many alternative treatments however, cannabis has repeatedly been recommended as a great treatment for this condition since it actually works in reducing the intraocular pressure in the eyes thereby slowing down the effects of the disease.

There is currently no detailed information on how to use cannabis in the effective treatment of glaucoma. There is still a lot of research that needs to be done in order to determine how it can be used while reducing its own side effects and whether it can be used in combination with other treatments to help in long term treatment of the disease.

Overall, cannabis is a great temporary relief for people suffering from this eye condition. It is however limited by the fact that its effects only last for a very short time.

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