Glaucoma is an unfortunate condition where the optic nerve is damaged as time goes on. This comes with interocular pain, known commonly as too much eye pressure. In the worst cases, the disease can even lead to blindness.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways that glaucoma can be handled now, from eye-pressure reducing drops to good old marijuana consumption. So if you have glaucoma, cannabis may help you.
Marijuana has a lot of science-backed benefits for those with glaucoma. Here are four of those benefits:
- Reduce Intraocular Pressure
The main affliction caused by glaucoma is increased eye pressure. People without glaucoma can experience this too from time-to-time, but it’s extremely important to get on top of if you’ve got glaucoma.
There are a lot of medications out there that can help relieve this pressure, but if you want to go a more natural and still effective route, marijuana is a great option for short-term relief.
If you’ve got glaucoma it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders, so forgoing medication altogether in favor of smoking may not be a good option for everyone. Studies show that marijuana does relieve eye pressure, but not as long as other medications. If you’re a frequent smoker, though, and want to cut back on intaking medication, it can definitely help with that.
One study shows that marijuana reduces interocular pressure by up to 25% in 60-65% of people. This relief typically, however, only lasts about three-and-a-half hours. That’s a lot of smoking to keep it up 100% of the time, but still a great benefit of your daily sessions.
Using THC pills and edibles can also offer relief, but you need to know your limit and make sure to avoid taking an amount that will cause you to get paranoid or have adverse effects.
- Prevents Vision Loss
Studies show that THC can actually slow down the blinding effect of glaucoma, the most detrimental glaucoma side effect by far. A university in Spain completed a series of tests on rats and found that THC did, in fact, prevent blindness in all of the rats. This includes rats in the latter, more serious stages of the disease, giving a lot of hope to people smoking marijuana to manage their illness.
Long-term studies like this have not been repeated on humans, but the evidence is looking good. If you’re smoking marijuana already to treat your glaucoma, it’s good to know that it may help you keep your eyesight in the long run.
It’s worth noting that this applies to the THC in cannabis only. While CBD, the other active component in marijuana, has its own set of medicinal uses, it does not help reduce interocular pressure, or anything else related to glaucoma. In fact, it’s been found that CBD may increase interocular pressure on its own.
So if you don’t like getting high, or it gives you too many adverse effects, this treatment may not be practical for you. Always be careful with your cannabis consumption, and ease yourself in if you’re a new user looking for glaucoma relief.
- Improves Eyesight
For those with and without glaucoma alike, there’s one big upside to smoking marijuana: It can improve your eyesight!
The first documented report of this is from Morocco. A group of fishermen claimed they could fish better in the night if they smoked marijuana, as it gave them better eyesight. It sounds a bit fishy at first, but the claim has since been tested by researchers and found to be true.
Volunteers got higher and higher and had their vision tested at certain stages. The finding was conclusive that marijuana did, in fact, make their vision better.
There’s no conclusive proof that it helps vision in the long-run, however, but if you have glaucoma, any temporary relief or improvement can be appreciated. If you’re already smoking to relieve glaucoma, this is just another benefit you may be getting from the drug. Again though, it’s not quite as effective or practical for everyone, so don’t forgo any medications or practices to improve your vision for marijuana only.
Considering this you might be thinking: what about THC eyedrops? It’s been tried, but THC isn’t very soluble in water, making it difficult to get the right amounts of THC into the drops. Maybe one day we’ll get there, but for now, you’ll have to settle for another method of intake.
- Relieves Associated Ailments
With late-stage glaucoma especially, there can be some unpleasant side-effects unrelated to vision. These include nausea, vomiting, and heavy vision pain and headaches. For older patients especially, this can understandably be extremely uncomfortable and hard to live with.
Marijuana is more frequently prescribed to those with late-stage glaucoma because of this. Not only does marijuana help relieve eye pressure, it often helps with all these associated ailments related to glaucoma. Marijuana is frequently used to relieve nausea, vomiting, and pain across the board of patients, from people with glaucoma to people with cancer.
For many of these people, marijuana is a true miracle drug and the best way for them to feel better. If you’ve got late-stage glaucoma, marijuana is definitely worth a try.
And you don’t even have to smoke it and risk the eye wrinkles. Taking a THC pill, edible, or vaping is just as effective as smoking. It’s the THC that helps, not the smoke, so as long as that’s getting into your body you’re good to go.
Glaucoma, Cannabis, and You
Even if you have glaucoma, cannabis isn’t for everyone and it’s not going to cure you completely. But it has helped vast numbers of patients relieve their pain and glaucoma symptoms on a temporary basis, and is backed by science as a great natural painkiller. If you want to cut back on the pills or drops and like getting high, speak to your doctor and see if marijuana might be good for you.
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