Glaucoma is a disease that damages the optic nerve due to abnormally high intra-ocular pressure that results from the buildup of aqueous humor fluid. Glaucoma results in vision loss and can produce headaches, eye pain, nausea and vomiting. Those who suffer from glaucoma need regular treatments to lower the pressure in their eyes, and now, studies are saying that marijuana can do just that.
Many studies have confirmed cannabis can lower intra-ocular pressure and assist in the conservative treatment of glaucoma through neuroprotection and vasodilation properties. Because cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, they can activate the receptors that are located within structures of the eye that control the formation and outflow of aqueous humor. One study found patients who suffer from open-angle glaucoma experienced a decrease in intra-ocular and blood pressure for three to four hours after inhaling THC. Other studies found intra-ocular pressure could be lowered in just 60-90 minutes after inhaling. Other vehicles include topical application directly to the eye, and in one study when, cannabinoids being applied directly to the eye decreased intra-ocular pressure within 30 minutes, with maximum relief occurring in an hour. A study on rabbits witnessed a similar result, but interestingly, even the eye in which the cannabinoid was not benefited from the use of THC in the opposite eye.
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