Medical marijuana can lower intraocular pressure (IOP), preventing damage to the optic nerve. Many glaucoma patients use medical cannabis because they cannot tolerate the side effects of glaucoma medications.
Medical Marijuana and Glaucoma
High eye pressure alone does not cause glaucoma. However, it is a significant risk factor. Individuals diagnosed with high eye pressure should have regular, comprehensive eye examinations by an eye-care professional to monitor signs of glaucoma.
Most people with open-angle glaucoma do not notice any symptoms until they begin to develop blind spots in their side vision.
People with angle-closure glaucoma sometimes experience a sudden, acute attack, with severe pain in the eye or forehead, redness in the eye, headache, blurred vision, and nausea. This is a medical emergency requiring immediate attention.
Regular eye exams are important to detect glaucoma in its early stages.
According to Dr. Thomas Orvald:
The treatment for glaucoma is to somehow get the intraocular pressure down within the globe of the eye. It just so happens that one of the many virtues of cannabis is that it has the capability of decreasing intraocular pressure… Cannabis is a very effective way, used properly, to decrease the pressure within the eye and to preserve this wonderful retina back here that transcribes all the visual sights into the brain.