Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and vision. (Wikipedia: Glaucoma).

In the 70s, there were few medications available for glaucoma that didn’t have some serious side-effects. Moreover, glaucoma was and still is the second most common cause of blindness the world over, after cataracts. A solution was needed. Alternatives were being searched for regarding hard-to-treat conditions, and one of those alternatives was cannabis. Alongside epilepsy and cancer, this made glaucoma one of the first conditions where there was a concerted effort to understand the therapeutic effects of cannabis.

Researchers found that various cannabinoids lower intraocular eye pressure. Cannabis’ potential neuroprotective effects could help protect against retinal toxicity.

However, there have been several medications for glaucoma that have been developed that could help provide longer-term relief than cannabis can for glaucoma, which is usually short-lived at 2-4 hours. Drugs such as Latanoprost/Xalatan, Timolol/Timoptic are arguably more effective, but aren’t without their problems. Side-effects include joint/muscle pain, flu-like symptoms, blurred vision, depression and impotence. This makes cannabinoid treatment an still an option.

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