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Glaucoma, an eye disease that can lead to blindness if not adequately managed, is a significant concern for people worldwide. Thankfully, recent studies suggest that cannabis products such as edibles can provide relief for those suffering from this ailment.
In the early days of cannabis legalization, glaucoma was one of the primary conditions cited as potential health targets for cannabis. The following decades have seen thousands of individuals recommended for cannabis use to address glaucoma, mitigate symptoms, and prevent eventual blindness.
Let's explore how you can utilize cannabis edibles as an alternative treatment method to help manage your glaucoma symptoms effectively.
- Glaucoma is a severe eye condition that damages the optic nerve and can cause irreversible blindness.
- Research indicates that THC in cannabis effectively lowers the intra-ocular pressure which can cause glaucoma.
- Edibles offer a long-lasting and more potent remedy to manage glaucoma symptoms.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a grouping of eye diseases that damages your eye's optic nerve. This damage is typically caused by an abnormally high pressure inside your eye and, without treatment, can lead to irreversible blindness.
Glaucoma continually damages the eye’s optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain.
In most cases, the pressure inside the eye builds, known as intraocular pressure (IOP). This pressure injures the optic nerve and can cause vision loss or total blindness in a few years without treatment.
There are several types of glaucoma, many of which can show no symptoms until the disease advances too far for easy treatment. Others with glaucoma experience side effects including:
- Blind spots
- Eye pain
- Red eyes
- Tunnel vision
- Blurred vision
- Halos around lights
The timely investigation of such symptoms is crucial in a fast diagnosis and prompt, effective treatment to avoid blindness. Glaucoma is a common condition that affects nearly 3 million people in the United States, so it’s crucial to recognize signs quickly and know prevention tips.
Getting regular eye exams can help with early identification and treatment. Glaucoma also tends to be hereditary, so knowing whether your family has a history of glaucoma can help with prevention.
Cannabis and Glaucoma
Cannabis has been considered helpful in the treatment of glaucoma for several decades, with a comparatively detailed body of research supporting its efficacy.
Cannabis operates on the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which maintains homeostasis across several bodily functions like mood, memory, appetite, and temperature, among others. THC and cannabinoids like CBD interact with the ECS on various receptors in the central nervous system and throughout the body.
How Cannabis Helps with Glaucoma
Cannabis can prevent and treat glaucoma in several different ways. Research confirms that THC helps reduce the IOP that’s commonly associated with glaucoma with the same efficacy as traditional glaucoma medications. This study observed that effects lasted 3-4 hours when the weed was inhaled, but using edibles for glaucoma provides longer-lasting relief, between 6-8 hours.
Best Edibles for Glaucoma and How to Use Them
When exploring cannabis edibles for glaucoma prevention and treatment, it’s essential to keep a few key factors in mind.
Hundreds of edibles exist on the market, ranging from fast-dissolving lozenges to traditional brownies, infused drinks, and even beef jerky. Individuals with painful glaucoma symptoms such as migraines or tunnel vision may need a fast-acting edible. As such, tinctures, lozenges, or sprays may be the optimal choice, feeling effects in 15-30 minutes and lasting 2-3 hours.
Conversely, some may need longer-lasting relief with higher potency to mitigate glaucoma symptoms. In this case, traditional infused foods like gummies, brownies, or drinks have an onset of 30-90 minutes but can last up to 8 hours, depending on their potency.
For cannabis newcomers, dosing edibles requires a healthy dose of caution and patience. THC is the cannabinoid with the most promise in treating glaucoma, and it is also the chemical responsible for marijuana’s intoxication. The best approach is to start with a very low dose, wait up to 90 minutes, and observe your response. You can always take more as you become more familiar with how your body processes edible cannabis.
Thanks to the expansion of legal cannabis markets nationwide, more manufacturers offer precisely dosed edibles accompanied by lab test results, so you can rest assured you’re consuming the same potency with every serving.
The maker of your cannabis edibles plays a crucial role in their efficacy. You must do your due diligence on a company to ensure you’re purchasing products from a reliable, trustworthy brand. Honest edible makers will post lab test results on their website, searchable by batch number, so that you can confirm the dose and ingredients in a particular product.
How to use
It's crucial to approach using cannabis edibles for any condition with a degree of caution and mindfulness. Here are some suggested steps:
- Consult with a healthcare professional: As with any potential treatment, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or an ophthalmologist before starting to use cannabis edibles to manage glaucoma symptoms.
- Start with low doses: Given the delayed onset of effects when consuming edibles, it's wise to start with a low amount and gradually increase it as necessary and tolerable.
- Monitor your symptoms: Keep a record of your symptoms and any changes that occur after starting to use cannabis edibles. This can help you adjust your dosage and frequency.
- Be patient: Remember that the effects won't be instantaneous. The key to managing a chronic disease like glaucoma is consistent and sustained pressure relief, which cannabis edibles can potentially offer.
The Bottom Line
Cannabis edibles can be a valuable tool in the treatment of glaucoma. With their long-lasting effects and ability to provide consistent relief, they offer a convenient and discreet option for managing glaucoma symptoms, especially compared to other consumption methods.
However, newcomers to cannabis should approach their use with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Understanding the appropriate dosage, timing, and product selection is crucial to maximizing the benefits and minimizing potential side effects.
Looking for high-quality edibles for managing glaucoma? Check out our delta-9 infused gummies for long-lasting relief.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you take edibles for glaucoma?
Yes, you can take edibles for glaucoma. Many states list glaucoma as a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card, and studies have indicated that cannabis may be an effective option for managing glaucoma symptoms.
How can I reduce my eye pressure naturally with glaucoma?
While there is no natural cure for glaucoma, some lifestyle changes and natural remedies can reduce eye pressure. Moderate aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, or cycling can improve blood flow and reduce intraocular pressure. And as explained above, using cannabis edibles can serve as a natural alternative to traditional glaucoma medications.
- Coleman, A. L., & Kodjebacheva, G. (2009). Risk Factors for Glaucoma Needing More Attention. The Open Ophthalmology Journal, 3, 38-42. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874364100903010038
- Mack A, Joy J. Marijuana as Medicine? The Science Beyond the Controversy. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. 9, MARIJUANA AND GLAUCOMA. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK224386/
- Tomida, I., Pertwee, R. G., & Azuara-Blanco, A. (2004). Cannabinoids and glaucoma. The British Journal of Ophthalmology, 88(5), 708-713. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjo.2003.032250
- Fernández-Ruiz, J., Sagredo, O., Pazos, M. R., García, C., Pertwee, R., Mechoulam, R., & Martínez-Orgado, J. (2013). Cannabidiol for neurodegenerative disorders: Important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid? British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 75(2), 323-333. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04341.x