Cannabis Might Actually Help You See In The Dark

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Research published in the journal eLife suggests cannabis could help improve night vision. Canadian researchers administered a synthetic cannabinoid to eye tissue preparations from tadpoles, and using microelectrodes to measure how retinal ganglion cells responded to light, found cannabinoids gave the creatures better vision in dark situations. By inhibiting the protein NKCC1 via the CB1 receptor, cannabinoids increased retinal cells' sensitivity to light in both dim and well-lit situations.

Scientists further tested these effects by administering cannabinoids to tadpoles in petri dishes and then showing them dark spots under various lighting conditions. As a defense mechanism for avoiding predators, tadpole naturally avoid dark spots. When researchers paired a group of tadpoles under the influence of cannabinoids next to a group of sober tadpoles, the group that received cannabinoids was better able to avoid the dark spots in low-light conditions. Sober tadpoles, on the other hand, slipped into the dark spots more frequently.

These results suggest cannabis could be a beneficial treatment for patients who suffer from degenerative eye conditions like retinitis pigmentosa or glaucoma, but more research is necessary to confirm whether or similar effects would result in human use. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.