The Complete Guide to Using Cannabis for Glaucoma - October 07, 2021

Glaucoma and Cannabis

Glaucoma is a condition that affects the optic nerve. Caused by the intraocular pressure that is exerted on this nerve that is responsible for sending visual information from the eyes to the brain, this eye condition is highly dangerous. If left untreated or in extremely rare cases even after treatment, this can lead to partial or complete blindness. This disease is hence the second most leading cause of blindness in the USA with about 3 million Americans currently suffering from it. Due to the huge number of people who are affected by this disease, it makes sense for people to ask for as many forms of effective treatment as possible.

Medical marijuana has emerged as the topmost preferred alternative form of therapy for millions of Americans. With an estimated 85% of all people in America asking for the legalization of medical marijuana in every state of the country, there is no denying the huge impact that this industry has had in the field of medicine. Being a proven and progressive solution to many health disorders, the therapeutic benefits need to be explored more to curate a healthy medical lifestyle schedule for many.

Is there then a possibility of introducing medical cannabis in the way of treatment of Glaucoma? Can cannabis help in the successful treatment of Glaucoma? Can people use cannabis oil for Glaucoma or are there certain cannabis strains for Glaucoma that can help people suffering from this condition? Is there any risk in using these cannabis solutions to treat this eye disorder? Let us find the answers to all such questions.

Did You Know?
Glaucoma occurs about five times more often in African Americans so it is advised for them to get a thorough check for this disorder every one to two years after age 35.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma as mentioned before is an eye condition that puts pressure on the optic nerve inside the eye. This pressure can then possibly result in optic neuropathy which is the peripheral loss of vision that can in extreme cases lead to permanent blindness in people. This intraocular pressure and/or decreased blood flow to this nerve is the major cause of causing Glaucoma in people.

There are two forms of this eye condition namely primary open-angle glaucoma and angle-closure glaucoma. Where the open-angle glaucoma is the more common of the two, angle-closure is the more dangerous one. The latter results in blindness a lot of the time.

Let us now enlist the most popular symptoms of this condition so that one can recognize if they have Glaucoma or not.

  • Severe headache
  • Eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Halos around lights
  • Eye redness

Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Glaucoma?

Cannabis for Glaucoma

Yes, more or less science is in the favor of cannabis possibly working effectively for Glaucoma. Without dilly-dallying any further it makes perfect sense to reinforce and explore the prospect of cannabis as the new effective treatment for this condition. Where the status of legalization of cannabis does make a person hesitant in trying these solutions out, with the success rates that the treatment of epilepsy has made, the possibilities are limitless. More research is being done to authenticate the medical benefits that cannabis can have in the treatment of Glaucoma which will make it easier for people to try these cannabis solutions legally and under the watchful eye of state-licensed doctors.

How Exactly Can Cannabis Help With Glaucoma?

Now, that we have established what Glaucoma is and if it can be treated with the help of cannabis, anyone’s natural response would be to ask how. As Glaucoma is known to severely increase the pressure on the optic nerve of the eye, all traditional medications that were taken for its treatment were working to reduce the said pressure.

In general, one of the most well-known properties of cannabis is the ability to reduce the intraocular pressure in the eyes of people and this property can then be used to help treat glaucoma. With the many anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, it is not a strange phenomenon that cannabis works effectively for Glaucoma.​

While marijuana is effective at reducing intraocular pressure, it only does so for a short period of time, roughly 4 hours. Keeping this in mind while calculating the timing of the dosage, a patient would have to medicate anywhere around 4 to 6 times throughout a single day. This is quite a lot of time for a patient to spend administering their dosage which then makes it difficult for patients to stay medicated 24-hours a day.

What’s More

Although not impossible this makes for quite a hard task to nail in the scheme of creating the perfect dosage for the treatment of Glaucoma. This is because cannabis derivatives when consumed give the users a high like feeling and if a person is consuming it so many times in a day it will definitely make them high a lot more.

This has also been solved with the progression that cannabinoids have seen in the world of medicine. There are so many new products that do not contain THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol which is the main high, inducing ingredient. Instead, new medications which only include CBD are seeing valid growth. Without the “high” medical marijuana now can be easily used every 4 hours a day without interfering with any normal life activities.

Even if the medicinal effects do not prolong after the first administration of the cannabis medicine, no one can refute the quality treatment that it gives. Apart from just reducing pressure, administering medical cannabis solutions for the reduction of this eye disorder can provide relief from a lot of other symptoms of this disease as well, including:

  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Headaches
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Cannabis and Glaucoma: The Treatment Options (Oils & Strains)

The consumption of marijuana differs from one person to another. It is not always preference that prevails while deciding on a particular method of consumption but a number of other factors too. While deciding on the treatment option, the patient has to foremost keep in mind the issue they are treating in their bodies. If we talk about Glaucoma in particular it can be used as a treatment in two ways, either by smoking it or taking it in the form of eye drops. Consumption of cannabis is only limited to these two methods because oral and sublingual methods of consumption were found to give more high inducing effects instead of relieving a patient of the symptoms of Glaucoma. Let’s see how smoking strains and putting eye drops can be used to help successfully treat or even cure Glaucoma.

Smoking Cannabis Strains for Glaucoma

Cannabis and Glaucoma

Commonly believed to be an entirely recreational activity, smoking is not considered to be the ‘best’ method for intake of medications. This however does not take away from the fact how effective smoking strains are in giving medical benefits to the patient. Smoking is one of the fastest ways of feeling the effects of marijuana as it does not take more than seconds to feel the effect.

But as mentioned before the lowered pressure effect only lasts about 3 to 4 hours after one smoking session of these special MMJ strains. This means that if the patient has to utilize it to reduce the symptoms of Glaucoma in the body, they would need to smoke these strains anywhere between 4 to 6 times in a single day i.e 24 hours. This makes for a quite complex and jam-packed schedule of marijuana dosage. Hence, for the most part, smoking marijuana strains to help alleviate the symptoms of Glaucoma isn’t quite a practical solution.

Using Cannabis Oil Eye Drops for Glaucoma

Another method of consumption that works best for the intake of marijuana is in the way of using eye drops. To kill two birds with one stone, a patient can simply avoid all the harmful effects that smoking marijuana has and treat the disorder of Glaucoma with this particular method. Almost as simple as it sounds, a patient would only need to put in a few drops of the cannabis oil drops inside their eyes and enjoy the effects for a good time. One thing to always remember however is that one of the cannabinoid derivatives, THC, isn’t as water-soluble as it should be, so the effectiveness of these drops may vary. Only people who are suffering from mild Glaucoma can make use of these drops.

Challenges and Risks of Using Cannabis for Glaucoma

There is no absolute solution to anything in this world. And even if there is, there is no 100% guarantee on it always giving only the good effects to the user. Alluding to this we cannot speak for cannabis being the ultimate or the best form of treatment of Glaucoma. What are the main challenges and risks that are posed to a patient who makes use of cannabis solutions to treat their Glaucoma? Let’s find out.

The primary component that poses the most risk for the right consumption of cannabis for Glaucoma is the THC level. As has been reiterated throughout this guide, THC is one of the 100+ identified cannabinoids that is extracted from cannabis plants. It is also the main instigator of the famous psychoactive effects that gets the patient ‘high’. As of yet, there have been no experiments that can get rid of the high inducing effects of THC while still keeping its medicinal properties intact.

Hence for a patient who is using these cannabis solutions to relieve their symptoms regularly like 4 to 6 times in a day, are bound to feel high all the time. This is then a huge problem for all those people who are not comfortable with this feeling in their bodies which can also result in them losing their jobs as they are not in their right state of mind all the time.

Cannabis along with lowering the optic nerve pressure can also lower the blood pressure levels in the patients. This could then further result in decreased blood flow to the optic nerve. This means that where on one hand it would work in lowering the pressure, on the other hand, it would also become one of the agents which would be causing it.

Also, there is the aspect of legalization that confuses the patient of whether they can even avail themselves of these cannabis solutions. That is because some of the states of the US still do not have the right kind of medical marijuana laws in effect. The FDA also hasn’t regulated the use of all types of cannabis products which limits the usage of MMJ to treat this particular ailment.

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Marijuana and Glaucoma

What Were the Traditional Treatments of Glaucoma?

Glaucoma has long been one of the leading eye disorders for people in America. This is why there exist a lot of traditional treatments that the people who were suffering from it underwent. As the leading cause of this problem is intraocular pressure, the main aim of the medication was to bring down the intense pressure that was affecting the eyes of the people. This was done by prescribing medications, using laser treatments, and/or surgery.

There is also the provision of topical medication eye drops that can be used for the treatment of Glaucoma for the patients. Putting daily eye drops is not preferred by the patients which are why additional forms of therapy are actively sought for the people. Using cannabis is hence an exciting alternative that can possibly replace the old and outdated treatment method of glaucoma.

Traditional Treatment vs Cannabis

When it has been established that cannabis could be a valid form of treatment for Glaucoma, which one should a patient opt for if they have a choice between the traditional treatments or the cannabis solutions? Well, it is a subjective choice that an individual makes but for most patients trying and testing out both solutions is advised. Traditional medications are known to have long-term side effects for the user whereas cannabis solutions have not experimented with enough but they do have the possibility of working quite effectively. To find the perfect solution it would be most suitable for you to first try out both these treatments and then choose the one that works best in the treatment of your Glaucoma.

Final Verdict

The immense possibilities of medical marijuana are simply wondrous and awe-inspiring. The only problem that might hinder the treatment of many health issues including Glaucoma is the legal status as well as the limited research on the long-term effect of this herb in the bodies of the patients. It is then important to gather as much evidence in this regard as to start using it for the treatment of Glaucoma. So if someone is suffering from it they can first find and consult with a valid MMJ doctor online, receive their online medical cannabis recommendation, and then start using it to treat their condition. Don’t dismiss the effectiveness of cannabis for Glaucoma before even trying it.

Selena Mora

A writer at heart and a sub-editor by habit, Selena Mora churns content for various online businesses. Her unique specialty is cannabis, and she has been following the industry for the past five years. She brings her writing personality, research, facts, SEO insights, and experience to the table. Besides cannabis, she also covers niches like travel, beauty, health, law, marketing, and literature. She is currently providing content solutions to Online CBD Store and other respected companies.