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glaucoma and cbd oil

CBD Oil for Glaucoma: How Does It Work?

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, an estimated three million Americans suffer from the eye condition and half of them are unaware of their issue. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and 10% of people with the condition experience vision loss – even when they get the proper treatment.

In the U.S. alone, glaucoma accounts for up to 12% of all cases of blindness.

It is especially prevalent amongst African-Americans, who are up to eight times more likely to become blind from glaucoma than Caucasians. Despite all of the above, a 2002 Prevent Blindness America Survey uncovered a shocking fact: 30% of people had never heard of glaucoma!

Moreover, 50% of those surveyed had heard of the condition but were unsure of what it was. Let’s try to shed some light on this condition and see whether or not CBD oil for glaucoma may be a long-term treatment option.

What Is Glaucoma?

Also known as the ‘silent thief of sight’, glaucoma is an eye disease that results in elevations in fluid pressure in the eye. If you fail to treat it in time, it can cause loss of vision and even permanent blindness.

In primary glaucoma, the cause is largely unknown. In secondary glaucoma, however, the condition has a known cause, such as diabetes, inflammation, cataract, or a tumor.

Risk factors of glaucoma include:

  • Old age
  • Illnesses or conditions such as hypothyroidism
  • Eye surgery
  • Eye injuries
  • Ethnic background (African-Americans, Hispanics, and East Asians are at greater risk than Caucasians)

Also, did you know that there are several types of glaucoma?

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This type of glaucoma affects up to 95% of people with the condition. Initially, there are no symptoms and it occurs because the drainage canals of the eyes get clogged over time, leading to increased pressure buildup. The intraocular pressure – or IOP, as it’s called – increases because the right amount of fluid cannot properly drain out of the eye.

If you have open-angle glaucoma, the drainage canal entrances are working properly, but there will be a clog deep inside the canals. The condition develops slowly and you may not experience any loss of vision for years. If you can catch it early, medication can help treat the condition.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Also called narrow-angle or acute glaucoma, this condition is relatively rare and involves intraocular pressure that rises rapidly and without warning. The drainage canals become blocked because the iris is not as wide as it is in a healthy eye. The iris’ outer edge bunches up over the canals when the pupil enlarges too fast or too much (such as when you suddenly enter a dark room from a bright outside area).

Symptoms of angle-closure glaucoma include eye pain, nausea, headaches, and blurred vision. You are more likely to notice angle-closure glaucoma than its open-angle equivalent, and in most cases treatment involves surgery to remove some of the outer edges of the iris.

Other Types of Glaucoma

The two glaucoma types we have mentioned above comprise the vast majority of cases. There are however some rare forms of the condition, which include:

  • Normal-Tension Glaucoma
  • Secondary Glaucoma
  • Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma
  • Pigmentary Glaucoma
  • Congenital Glaucoma
  • Traumatic Glaucoma
  • Irido Corneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)
  • Neovascular Glaucoma

What Are the Most Common Glaucoma Treatments?

Several forms of glaucoma treatment involve surgery in an attempt to fix the issue. When it comes to open-angle glaucoma, eye drops are the most commonly prescribed option.

There are various types of medicated eye drops that are specifically formulated to treat glaucoma, including:

  • Beta-blockers
  • Cholinergic agents
  • Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • Prostaglandin Analogues

These medications tend to work in different ways. For example, beta-blockers like Timolol work by decreasing the production of fluid that leads to increased IOP. Prostaglandin analogs, such as Xalatan and Travatan, increase the outflow of fluid from the eye, though these medications come with an array of side effects. For instance, those taking beta-blockers may experience the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Reduced pulse rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shortness of breath
  • A decrease in the amount of blood pumped out by the heart
  • Depression
  • Decrease in libido

CBD for Glaucoma: Can It Work?

cbd oil for glaucoma

Please note that at the time of writing, there is no permanent cure for glaucoma. Nor have there been any large-scale clinical trials reporting on the specific effects of CBD for glaucoma.

However, a large number of studies have shown cannabis as a whole – even those strains high in THC – to be a viable and highly effective treatment. A 1971 study by Hepler and Frank, for example, discovered that cannabis lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) by up to 30%.

The problem with using cannabis, though, is that you have to consume it every few hours because the effects don’t last very long.

In other words, you have to be high for most of the day. While this might seem like a pleasant way to live for some, it is not practical for most people. Also, while cannabis has a low addiction rate, using it six or more times a day would greatly increase the risk of developing a dependence on the plant.

This is where CBD comes in. Cannabidiol is one of marijuana’s non-intoxicating cannabinoids, and some research has suggested that it is just as useful as THC and other psychoactive compounds for the treatment of glaucoma.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) was only discovered in 1992, but research since then has uncovered some pretty exciting things. In fact, the ECS has been called ‘the future of medicine’ by some experts.

Glaucoma and the Endocannabinoid System

The ECS is one of the human body’s most important physiological systems. It has an impact on almost every aspect of health, including pain modulation, immune response, and inflammation. Regarding glaucoma, cannabinoid receptors are involved in the ocular tissues which regulate IOP.

Researchers are hoping to create medications from cannabinoids such as CBD that can target these ocular tissues in an effort to reduce IOP and eventually protect retinal cells from the permanent damage that leads to blindness.

Incredibly, there has been evidence for over four decades that CBD could help treat glaucoma. The study, published in the International Journal of Pharmacology and Biopharmacology in 1979, analyzed the effects of CBD on 16 patients with open-angle glaucoma.

After taking CBD, the patients experienced a reduction in blood pressure and an increase in heart rate. Ultimately, this resulted in a decrease in IOP behind the eyes – the direct cause of glaucoma. Moreover, it was observed that the effects of CBD lasted longer in patients with hypertension.

The issue now with existing cannabis-based glaucoma treatment is bioavailability.

Although topical application via eyedrops works best, it still means that only 5% of an administered dose reaches the target.

This is why some people have resorted to vaping CBD (a potent means of administration for glaucoma) or taking it as an oil to ensure that more of the active compound is actually put to use.

It is important to note, though, not to use too much CBD oil as a 2006 study by Tomida et al. found that CBD doses of above 40 mg can actually increase IOP in the eye. In the majority of instances, glaucoma sufferers have found that doses between 10-20 mg have been effective. (Though please note that this is NOT a recommended dosage or valid medical treatment option).

Final Thoughts on CBD for Glaucoma

When administered correctly, CBD could potentially lower IOP and protect the eye’s retinal cells.

Moreover, the vaso-relaxant properties of CBD could increase ocular blood flow and its anti-inflammatory properties have the potential to provide relief not just for glaucoma, but also for other inflammatory eye conditions as well.

One of the biggest problems with existing glaucoma medications (such as those listed above) is the litany of side effects. In most instances, this is far less of an issue when using cannabis. While the THC in marijuana results in a psychoactive ‘high’, CBD is non-intoxicating. Therefore, you can use it regularly, safe in the knowledge that it won’t impact your judgment and side effects are minimal.

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, an estimated 3 million Americans have the eye condition . If you are one of them explore CBD.

Is CBD Oil Good For Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, nearly 3 million Americans suffer from the eye condition. Surprisingly, half of them are unaware until the condition is severe. Glaucoma is prevalent among African-Americans. This article will look at how CBD oil can help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with glaucoma.

What is Glaucoma?

Also known as the “sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma is an eye condition characterized by abnormal pressure in the eye – known as intraocular pressure (IOP). The eye produces a fluid known as aqueous humor that drains in the eye continuously. If the fluid doesn’t circulate properly, it builds up, causing increased pressure in the eyeball. Also, glaucoma may be caused by the reduced blood supply to the optic nerve fibres. If not treated in the early stages, it may lead to a total loss of vision.

Symptoms of glaucoma
  • Blurred vision
  • Seeing halos around bright lights
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Eye pain
  • Redness in the eye

Common Types of Glaucoma

  1. Open-Angle Glaucoma

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, with nearly 90% of all glaucoma cases. The condition occurs when the aqueous humor gets blocked and doesn’t circulate properly. This leads to increased pressure build-up. Usually, there are no warning signs for several years. However, if the condition is detected in its early stages, it can be treated.

  1. Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Angle-closure glaucoma is a relatively rare condition whereby intraocular pressure rises rapidly without any warning. This form of glaucoma happens when the drainage canals get blocked since the iris is not wide, like for a healthy eye. Therefore, the pupil enlarges too much or too fast.

Could CBD oil be the holistic treatment glaucoma patients have been waiting for?

CBD for Glaucoma: Can it Work?

Keep in mind that there’s no permanent cure for glaucoma. In fact, the study of the effects of CBD Hemp Oil for glaucoma is in its infancy. However, the majority of the studies showed that cannabis or stains with high THC content might be a viable and effective treatment for glaucoma. Cannabis reduces intraocular pressure, the primary cause of glaucoma.

That said, it means you’ll be high almost every time. While this may be thrilling to some people, it may not be pleasing to others. This is where CBD (cannabidiol) comes in. CBD is the non-psychoactive compound of the marijuana plant, and some studies suggest that it may be useful in treating glaucoma with the help of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Glaucoma and the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is a complex cell-signaling system that controls the body’s operational functions such as response to pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and immune response. Regarding glaucoma, the cannabinoid receptors regulate intraocular pressure.

Researchers are hoping to create medications for glaucoma patients from cannabinoids like CBD that can target ocular issues to reduce intraocular pressure. With this, it can help manage retina cells from permanent damage that leads to loss of sight.

Over the past few decades, there has been evidence that CBD oil may help treat glaucoma. According to a 1979 study published by the International Journal of Pharmacology and Biopharmacology, examine the effects of CBD oil on 16 patients with open-angle glaucoma. After administering CBD oil on glaucoma patients, there was a reduction in blood pressure. As a result, a decrease in intraocular pressure – the primary cause of glaucoma.

Final Thoughts on CBD for Glaucoma

When CBD is administered properly, it could potentially treat glaucoma. CBD vaso-relaxant properties could increase the blood flow in the ocular tissues. Also, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have the potential to provide relief for glaucoma.

Is CBD Oil Good For Glaucoma? Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, nearly 3 million Americans suffer from the