Research on cannabis for eye health is growing. For years, cannabis has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including pain, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea. More recently, researchers are beginning to explore the potential benefits of cannabis for eye health. While the research is still in its early stages, there are promising signs that cannabis could be used to treat a number of common eye conditions. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the latest research on cannabis and eye health, as well as the conditions that it may be most effective in treating.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness affecting more than 60 million people worldwide. It is characterized by increased pressure in the eye, which can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Currently, the only way to treat glaucoma is with medication or surgery. However, research suggests that cannabis may offer a more natural and effective treatment option.
In a review of available studies on cannabis for glaucoma, researchers concluded,
“Several clinical studies have found that cannabinoids or marijuana reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) as well as do most conventional glaucoma medications.1 This is true whether the cannabinoids are administered orally, intravenously, or by inhalation but not when they are applied directly to the eye.”
They went on to add, “There is no question that marijuana-based medicines can be used to lower IOP.”
Knowing that cannabis lowers IOP, suggests it has promise for treating glaucoma and improving eye health.
Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss in aging adults. It occurs when the macula begins to deteriorate. The macular is the part of the eye responsible for central vision. Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, treatments are available that can slow its progression and preserve vision. However, these treatments can be costly and may not be covered by insurance.
Preliminary research suggests that cannabis could offer a more affordable and accessible treatment option for macular degeneration. In a published study, researchers found that cannabinoids may help protect the retina from age-related damage.
Their study found that,
“Subjects who had used marijuana more than 100 times had a significantly reduced risk of AMD (age-related macular degeneration), compared to subjects who had never used marijuana, and use of marijuana every day was associated with less AMD than use of marijuana less than once a month.”
The findings of these studies suggest that cannabis could be an effective treatment for glaucoma and macular degeneration, which are two of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Of course, more research is needed to further support these findings. However, if future studies do indeed find that cannabis is effective in treating these conditions, it would provide a much-needed natural and affordable treatment option for millions of people around the world.