How To Treat Glaucoma With Cannabis
Glaucoma is a disease of the eyes which can lead to total blindness. Vision loss due to damaged optic nerves can happen over a long period of time and is irreversible. However, if detected and treated early, it is possible to slow or stop the progression of glaucoma. In many U.S. states which have medical marijuana programs, glaucoma is considered a condition which qualifies patients for medical marijuana card.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of irreversible blindness. There are currently an estimated 6 million patients worldwide who are totally blind as a result of glaucoma, with 3 million in the United States.
Up to half of people with glaucoma are unaware that they have the disease because, in its early stages, there are often no noticeable symptoms.
Glaucoma is usually associated with elevated pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP). It is believed that this elevated eye pressure can damage optic nerves.
The Effects of Marijuana on Glaucoma
The human endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is known to play an important role in neuroprotection and the reduction of inflammation. Cannabinoid receptors have been found in abundance in tissues responsible for regulating eye pressure.
Evidence suggests that an endocannabinoid (those cannabinoids produced by the human body) known as anandamide has a role in regulating eye pressure. Two phytocannabinoids (plant-produced cannabinoids) in particular, Cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), are both thought to play a role similar to anandamide.
A number of research studies dating back to the 1970s strongly suggest that active compounds found in cannabis known as cannabinoids can delay and alleviate glaucoma-related symptoms by lowering intraocular pressure (IOP). Additionally, cannabinoids have been shown to have neuroprotective properties.
A more recent study done in 2006, attempted to assess the effect of cannabinoids on intraocular pressure. In this limited study, patients with glaucoma received small doses of THC. Two hours after sublingual administration of 5 mg THC, the IOP was significantly lower than after placebo. The effects were short lived, however, at only 2-3 hours. Nonetheless, some medical marijuana patients have reported successful decrease in optic pressure.
Also, some symptoms which can be caused by glaucoma such as headaches, nausea, vomiting and pain, often respond exceptionally well to treatment with medical marijuana.
Treating Glaucoma With Medical Marijuana
Strains of cannabis known to be effective in treating glaucoma and its related symptoms, according to the Cannabis Training University include Maui Maui, Cherry Kola, Jack the Ripper, Blueberry, and The Black.
Maui Waui has a sweet and dank smell. With medium potency it offers energetic and happy effects. Cherry Kola is a potent, sweet-tasting indica that smells like cherries. Jack the Ripper is a sativa-dominant hybrid and is known for its pain relieving properties. Blueberry and The Black are both potent indica hybrids known to induce couch lock.
If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, it’s critically important that you seek the advice of a physician who has experience in treating the condition with cannabis as some dosages and strains can actually make matters worse.
How To Get Medical Marijuana for Glaucoma
If you are a resident of a legal state who has been diagnosed with Glaucoma or another health condition, you may be eligible for a medical marijuana card. Talk to your doctor about it. If your doctor is not open to the idea of using cannabis to treat your condition you may need to seek out a doctor who is. To consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card, fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.