Managing Glaucoma Through CBD Consumption
In the U.S., more than three million people have been diagnosed with glaucoma. On an international scale, close to sixty million people have been diagnosed with glaucoma, according to a published Leafly article. Overall, glaucoma is known as one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness in the world. Therefore, it’s crucial to get yearly or bi-yearly eye exams to catch any early signs of glaucoma. Although there are different eye treatments glaucoma patients can utilize, more people have turned towards cannabis and CBD as a form of treatment. Manage glaucoma through CBD consumption.
Details about Glaucoma and Its Estimated Cause
As briefly mentioned above, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness. Why is this the case though? So far, there’s no concrete cause of glaucoma. However, research continues to be conducted to find the exact cause of this condition. Currently though, it’s estimated that glaucoma is a neurodegenerative condition. According to different studies, it has been indicated that glaucoma has a connection to other neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease.
In addition, different studies have been conducted on patients who have glaucoma, and some studies date back as far as 1971. According to a National Institute of Mental Health study, it was found that glaucoma is a significant predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease. Another study conducted by the same organization found that one out of four Alzheimer’s patients have likely received a glaucoma diagnosis. Therefore, more signs point towards glaucoma being classified as a neurodegenerative condition.
What Glaucoma Is & Current Treatments for It
For those who don’t know, glaucoma is a common eye condition that often causes optical nerve damage when left untreated. From this point, blindness can occur. However, there are two types of glaucoma, which both lead to different symptoms. The most common type of glaucoma is primary open-angle glaucoma. This results in the gradual loss of peripheral vision, which normally occurs in both eyes. In advanced stages, tunnel vision can occur, according to a Medical Jane article.
In addition, the other type of glaucoma is called acute angle-closure glaucoma. This normally results in eye pain, nausea and vomiting, sudden onset of visual disturbance, blurred vision, eye reddening, and halos around lights, as stated by Medical Jane.
Overall eye treatments have experienced improvements over the years, however, the number of effective glaucoma drugs are limited. A handful of current glaucoma treatments include medications like prescription eye drops, laser treatment, and microsurgery, if needed. One major glaucoma-related term is called intraocular pressure (IOP), which influences the onset and progression of glaucoma. According to Medical Jane, IOP results from abnormalities regarding the amount of fluid within the front portion of the eye. From here, pressure builds up in the eye, which can lead to overall vision problems.
As a result, ophthalmologists typically prescribe forms of treatment and medicine that target IOP. So far though, the only way to prevent vision loss and eventual blindness is to lower IOP levels, according to a published Leafly article. The damage that’s done is commonly caused by an increase in pressure within the eyes aka IOP.
Studies Demonstrating the Linkage Between Cannabis, CBD, and Glaucoma
Moreover, different studies have been conducted to find the linkage between cannabis and glaucoma. Several found that cannabis and CBD could be used as a natural treatment for glaucoma. For example, in the 1970s, one study demonstrated how cannabinoids like CBD can alleviate glaucoma-related symptoms. This happened because the cannabinoids successfully lowered the IOP and provided neuroprotective properties. In 1971, another study was conducted, which found that the ingestion of cannabis lowered IOP by 25-30 percent. These two studies alone indicate that individuals can potentially manage glaucoma through CBD consumption.
Since the late 1970s, several studies have been conducted on cannabinoids and glaucoma. Many of the studies have confirmed that different cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, endogenous cannabinoids, and certain synthetic cannabinoids can effectively reduce IOP when administered topically. Also, different histological studies support the direct role of ocular CB1 receptors in IOP reduction induced by cannabinoids.
Nowadays, many ophthalmologists suggest using CBD instead of cannabis itself, especially for those who have mid-late stage glaucoma. Both cannabis and CBD contain therapeutic effects, but they’re short-term. Regardless, many individuals manage glaucoma through CBD consumption to help treat the unwanted symptoms associated with this condition.
The Role Cannabinoids Play with Glaucoma
Moreover, we all have an endocannabinoid system, and it serves a vital role, especially regarding neuroprotection and inflammation. Therefore, many scientists believe that the development of cannabinoid-based medications like CBD could provide many uses for treating and/or preventing glaucoma. In addition to us having an endocannabinoid system, our bodies also have cannabinoid receptors.
Specifically, there are cannabinoid (CB1) receptors within our eye’s ocular tissues. These tissues are responsible for regulating intraocular pressure, according to a published Leafly article. Thus, the most recent goal is to develop a cannabinoid-derived medication that targets these tissues. Whenever this occurs, the medication could potentially lower IOP and protect retinal cells. Therefore, it’s possible to manage glaucoma through CBD consumption and/or the consumption of cannabinoid-derived medications.
Additionally, some glaucoma patients rave about cannabis and CBD as an effective form of treatment for glaucoma. Whereas, others prefer using cannabis and CBD as an adjunct to their already existing therapy. Overall though, many individuals manage glaucoma through CBD consumption whether it’s their primary form of treatment or not.
Cannabinoid Medicinal Properties
Moreover, cannabinoids including CBD contain various useful medicinal properties. For example, cannabinoids like CBD contain vaso-relaxant properties. Therefore, they may be able to increase the ocular blood flow, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Additionally, CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties, which could prove to provide therapeutic relief for glaucoma and other inflammatory eye diseases. For these reasons and several more, more individuals are looking to manage glaucoma through CBD consumption.
On a similar note, multiple glaucoma patients suffer from uncomfortable symptoms like severe pain, nausea, and vomiting. However, lots of individuals manage glaucoma through CBD consumption because of its anti-nausea and analgesic properties. However, certain glaucoma patients consume cannabis itself depending on their specific glaucoma stage.
Although cannabis and CBD usage could temporarily relieve intraocular pressure and other glaucoma symptoms, it doesn’t cure glaucoma. Regardless, cannabis and CBD consumption could provide significant relief to patients experiencing negative side effects from standard glaucoma therapies.
As mentioned by Medical Jane, increasing research on topical cannabinoid usage could eventually lead to new therapies for reducing IOP in glaucoma patients. Until then, if you have this condition, consider trying to manage glaucoma through CBD consumption and see what it can do for you!