Focus on eyes: Marijuana can help with glaucoma but it's still not a recommended remedy

Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.
Twitter icon
woman's eyes

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness.

The visual loss in glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain so we can see light, colors and objects.

Untreated glaucoma with uncontrolled eye pressure can cause the death of cells in the optic nerve, diminished peripheral vision and eventually blindness.

As of February 2022, a total of 37 states, the District of Columba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands have legalized marijuana for medical uses, including treatment of glaucoma.

There is a lot of information regarding the health benefits of marijuana online and in the social media.

It is difficulty to sort out the truth from fiction.

Clinical studies have shown marijuana can lower the eye pressure for a brief period of time.

There are receptors in the drainage channels in the eye for THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is an active ingredient in marijuana.

This helps to improve the fluid outflow through the channels and lowers the eye pressure.

A popular marijuana alternative, CBD (Cannabidiol), has been shown to deprive the eye of oxygen and nutrients, worsening glaucoma.

Although smoking marijuana can lower the eye pressure, it only lasts for 3 to 4 hours.

Over a 24-hour period, it requires 6 to 8 doses to maintain satisfactory eye pressure.

Such frequent marijuana use can alter mood, impair mental function and ability to safely operate equipment and drive.

There are also many known side effects of long-term marijuana use such as increased heart rate, low blood pressure, balance issues and uncontrollable vomiting.

Smoking marijuana can cause lung disease and increase risk of lung cancer.

Current medical evidence does not support the use of marijuana for glaucoma treatment.

There are safe and effective medical and laser treatments for glaucoma.

Your ophthalmologist can advise you the best glaucoma treatment options for you.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Glaucoma Society have patient-friendly information about glaucoma diagnosis and treatments.

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Article category: 
Regional Marijuana News: