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Treating Glaucoma with Medical Marijuana

By November 14, 2017April 26th, 2022No Comments

Many people are wondering if they should switch from their glaucoma eye drops to medical marijuana. Glaucoma is actually one of the most common medical conditions treated with medical cannabis. Though there are still doubts about marijuana’s efficacy, various studies have demonstrated that cannabis has the ability to decrease eye pressure, called intraocular pressure. Patients at medical marijuana clinics Orange County also report improvements in various symptoms.

Glaucoma is a gradual loss of vision due to damage to the optic nerve and the leading cause of preventable blindness in the elderly population. The damage is often caused by the increased intraocular pressure as the result of a buildup of fluid in the eye. Treatment usually includes prescribing drugs, laser treatments or surgery.

Whereas there is no known cure for glaucoma, with your doctor’s guidance, you can combine your traditional prescribed pharmaceuticals with medical marijuana. Some patients even drop all other medications and avoid their potential hazardous side effects. There are also those who don’t tolerate typical prescription drugs, so have to seek alternative therapy. They find relief in medical cannabis.

Find out how medical marijuana can help treat glaucoma.

Reduces intraocular pressure

Consistently high intraocular pressure can cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and even cause total blindness. Because each eye has only one optic nerve, it’s important to protect it.

One of the best ways to take care of your vision is to reduce excess pressure within the eye. And cannabis, particularly THC, can decrease it by 25 to 30 percent and relieve symptoms of glaucoma.

Miotic properties

Mydriasis is an eye condition that is characterized by prolonged abnormal dilation of the pupil. It is commonly found in people who have glaucoma. For this reason, miotics are included in glaucoma treatment. Miotics are medications that cause pupils to constrict and help increase fluid drainage from the eye.

Many people who use these pharmaceuticals have reported blurred vision, nearsightedness, eye redness or itching. Some have experienced more severe side effects like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and breathing problems.

Cannabis has been shown to possess miotic properties so it could be an alternative to traditional treatment.


Glaucoma is usually painless but one type called narrow-angle glaucoma produces acute symptoms, such as sharp, stabbing pain in the eyeball. It affects almost half a million people in the U.S.

Cannabis is known to be an effective muscle relaxant, analgesic and mood enhancer, so it may offer subjective relief to those suffering from severe narrow-closure glaucoma attacks.

Anti-inflammatory effect

Certain forms of glaucoma like OAG and uveitis are linked to inflammation of the trabecular meshwork. So it’s important to suppress inflammation, especially as the disease progresses.

Though no formal research has been conducted, medical marijuana has proven to be useful in fighting inflammation and is therefore beneficial for treating a wide spectrum of medical conditions.

Smoking medical marijuana

Back in the 1970s, studies have found that smoking cannabis is effective for treating glaucoma and that it can lower intraocular pressure for three to four hours. However, people with glaucoma should keep their eye pressure low 24 hours a day.

To achieve this, they would need to smoke marijuana eight to ten times per day, which is why research teams have been working on developing cannabis-based medicines. Alternatives like THC eye drops are to be further investigated. Scientists are trying to create a formula that introduces a sufficient concentration of cannabis compounds effectively without damaging the surface of the eyes.

Looking for medical marijuana clinics Orange County?

If you are concerned about glaucoma or struggling with your current treatment, seek advice at medical marijuana clinics Orange County.

Stop by People’s OC, the County’s biggest medical marijuana dispensary. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will welcome your questions and work with you to find an effective treatment for your condition.