Does Marijuana Help Treat Glaucoma or Other Eye Conditions Florida Patients
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition which is characterized by the optic nerve getting damaged over time. The first effect is reduced peripheral vision which can possibly lead to total blindness. A cause of optic nerve damage is known as Intraocular pressure (IOP), which simply means that eye pressure is higher than normal.
The legalization of marijuana is becoming more widespread in the US and Canada, for medical and recreational use. This has led to conversations and studies around the use of marijuana in the treatment of many health conditions.
Marijuana is known to lower blood pressure, therefore, it serves that it would be a good option in the treatment of Glaucoma. I would advise that it isn’t that easy. Research conducted in the 1970s and 1980s showed a measurable decrease in intraocular pressure for about three to four hours after ingesting THC or smoking cannabis. However, this is a really short time considering that to treat Glaucoma and preserve vision, patients require that their eye pressure is controlled 24 hours a day.
Downside of Marijuana
You might already begin to see the problem here. In order to treat Glaucoma using marijuana, intraocular pressure would have to be reduced by 3-5 mmHg and maintained. This means that about 18-20 mg of THC would have to be ingested six to eight times a day, every day. To put it in perspective, marijuana would need to be smoked every 3-4 hours. This would be impossible for anyone with an active lifestyle or who operates machinery or drives cars all day and any sound Marijuana Doctor in Florida would not recommend it.
Marijuana cigarettes would also not be the wisest of options considering they contain chemical compounds that can cause damage to the lungs just as smoking tobacco cigarettes. Studies also show that chronic use of marijuana can have permanent effects on brain function.
What about other forms of marijuana?
One may argue that the undesired effects of marijuana use in the treatment of Glaucoma could be averted by simply making marijuana eye drops. However, studies conducted show that these can lead to burning, irritated eyes and no significant reduction in eye pressure. The reason for this is probably because THC is insoluble in water and it has been difficult to develop a solution with high enough THC content to be effective.
What is the way forward?
As it is, any doctor who prescribes marijuana cigarettes to treat Glaucoma would as well prescribe alcohol every hour for the same. This is because alcohol also lowers blood pressure. This is however unrealistic. Scientists are still years away from seeing how cannabis compounds can be isolated, made long-acting and their side effects eliminated in order to be effective in the treatment of Glaucoma and other eye conditions.
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