When high pressure damages the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain, glaucoma results. This condition harms vision and can produce nausea and eye pain. One study from the British Journal of Ophthalmology found THC and CBD act as antioxidants to help prevent neuronal death and eliminate toxins like glutamic acid that affect retinal ganglion cells. The study also found cannabinoids increase ocular blood flow, with the endogenous cannabinoid 2-arachidonolyglycerol reducing the action of endothelin-1 which constricts blood vessels and contributes to glaucoma. This suggests cannabis can help treat glaucoma caused by vascular disease.
A study from the American Medical Association found cannabinoids lower intraocular pressure by 25% in 60-65% of patients. Patients may want to try oral or topical cannabinoid application due to the fact the effects of inhaled cannabis only last for 3-4 hours. Another study from the Journal of the National Medical Association suggests cannabis is able to reduce intraocular eye pressure because THC decreases blood pressure which allows fluid buildup in the eye to drain. Lastly, the therapeutic effects of THC may relieve the sudden and intense nausea associated with glaucoma.
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