Glaucoma is a chronic medical condition that cannot be cured. The condition causes damage by increasing the pressure exerted on the optic nerve in the eye. The situation worsens in due course of time. The worsening can be expedited by many factors, including external causes. The damage to the optic nerve has to be mitigated and the pressure should be reduced. If the condition is not managed, glaucoma can lead to blindness. In fact, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness among Americans. The condition is often inherited but a person may not have any symptoms till old age.
CBD oil has often been cited as beneficial for the management of glaucoma. As it turns out, cannabidiol is not safe and it cannot help in the treatment or management of glaucoma. What is worrying is the newfound evidence that cannabidiol can actually worsen glaucoma. Using cannabidiol oil may trigger blindness sooner than expected after a person is diagnosed. It is best to avoid the use of cannabidiol to prevent permanent blindness or loss of vision.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers in Indiana. The researchers tested cannabidiol in rats. They used an eye drop and observed how the pressure in the eyes changed. The rats under observation experienced greater pressure in their eyes. This leads to more damage to the optic nerve and hence worsens glaucoma. The resulting increase in pressure can advance the more serious effect of glaucoma, which is blindness. Researchers analyzed that the pressure in the eyes of the rats that were given the eye drop of cannabidiol increased by as much as eighteen percent. The pressure remained at that level for four hours.
The same team of researchers also studied the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It is the most popular cannabinoid in marijuana. It is the psychoactive chemical in the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is not psychoactive. Using THC in the rats led to a decrease in the pressure on the optical nerve in their eyes. The pressure remained lower for a few hours. The reduction was up to thirty percent, which is quite significant. The researchers further investigated the difference between the drops in pressure among male and female rats. Male rats experienced a greater reduction in pressure than female rats. This finding also establishes that tetrahydrocannabinol does not have the same kind of effect on male and female brains.
For a long time, marijuana has been associated with managing symptoms of glaucoma. Advocates of medical marijuana and those who have personally used marijuana for various kinds of treatments have opined that it is good for glaucoma. The recent study suggests otherwise. Ophthalmologists around the country have not prescribed, recommended or endorsed the use of cannabidiol for glaucoma over the decades despite there being substantial enquiries from patients. They have been cautious for this very reason, as the real findings were not available to prove if cannabidiol is indeed safe for the optic nerve or the pressure caused in the eyes.
Since THC has emerged as having a positive effect on eye pressure, many people may be tempted to use it for reduced damage to the optic nerve in case of glaucoma. This is also not completely advisable as THC has a plethora of negative effects. First of all, the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol do not last for the entire day and night. For glaucoma to be effectively contained, the reduction of eye pressure should be sustainable for twenty four hours. This can only happen if a person is consuming marijuana or THC once every few hours. This will make anyone stoned perpetually. Being high all the time will impair job. Driving under the influence of marijuana is not possible and also illegal. THC also has long term implications such as increased heart rate and impaired lung functions. Smoking marijuana can increase the chances of lung cancer.
It is fair to infer that cannabidiol or CBD oil should not be used for glaucoma. It should not be used in any other form. The resulting increase in eye pressure can worsen the condition and the consequence can be severe. It is also unwise to use THC or tetrahydrocannabinol in any form. Any form of therapy that does not have a lasting impact will not be able to mitigate the damage or keep the symptoms in check perpetually. The chronic condition of glaucoma requires well planned and controlled care. Only experienced ophthalmologists should prescribe the course of treatment.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Glaucoma Society have never endorsed the use of cannabidiol for glaucoma. They are now likely to advise people to not use CBD, given the findings of this study. Both CBD and THC can also interact with other medications, including drugs meant for glaucoma so consulting a doctor before using either for other purposes is the safer approach.