Glaucoma & Medical Marijuana

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases, where the optic nerve is damaged by elevated pressure in the eyeball.  Over time, a loss of vision and ultimately blindness can occur if excessive pressure is not normalized.

Glaucoma has two main types; open and closed angle. Open-angle chronic Glaucoma is painless, developing slowly, often beginning without symptoms.

Medical Marijuana is now commonly recommended in the treatment of Glaucoma and its symptoms.

Closed-angle Glaucoma is often a chronic condition with symptoms of sudden eye pain, blurred vision, dilated pupils, redness, nausea and vomiting.  Eye pressure can be consistently elevated or spike up, resulting in immediate symptoms and discomfort. 


"It's simply a tragedy that anyone today goes blind from Glaucoma, when it's so unnecessary."

--  Willard Scott, Today Show

Medical Cannabis & Glaucoma

Marijuana (Cannabis) is one of the world's oldest medicines. The drug’s therapeutic use was first documented by the Chinese in a medical text, dating way, way, back to 2737 BC.  Much later, European doctors introduced Marijuana to western medicine in the 18th century.

The Cannabis plant has more than 480 chemical constituents, 60 of which are chemically known as cannabinoids. The main psychoactive component of Medical Cannabis is THC. THC was discovered to affect receptors (CB1,2) that interact with nerve function and control system throughout the body, including the eye's optic nerve and optic pressure feedback system.  Marijuana also was discovered to protect retinal cells and neurons.  These basic understandings provide a scientific basis for further research and supports current Medical Marijuana practices.

There are many Medical Cannabis product types that are prescribed to treat Cannabis by medical doctors.  There are many different strains with varying healing properties due to differences in their Cannabinoid profile.  This means that the quantities of Cannabinoids vary and afford different effects on different individuals. 

Some Medical Cannabis formulations are not psychoactive (don't get patients high), yet afford effective treatment of Glaucoma.  Medical Cannabis formulations that are prescribed to treat Glaucoma include;

  • THC Eyedrops
  • Edibles specially prepared with high THC and CBD content
  • Smoking or vaporizing (the right strain)
  • Topical application or ingestion of Cannabis Oil concentrates and tinctures
  • Synthetic or Organic purified decarboxylated THC oral tablets

MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes:  It is important to know what type of Medical Marijuana product and dosage is best for the individual. Certain individuals do not enjoy the mental effects of THC. There are more balanced strains and Cannabis preparations that afford effective treatment without negative mental side effects. Our California licensed Medical Marijuana Doctors are here to provide a Cannabis consultation and 420 evaluation and recommend the right Marijuana strain or product, quickly and affordably online.

DEA JUDGE says Medical Marijuana helps Glaucoma


“DEA’s Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young; Research has shown that Marijuana alleviates pain, nausea, AIDS and cancer wasting, and Glaucoma. In trials where patients have been allowed to present evidence of their medical need for Marijuana, courts have frequently found that Marijuana it is medically necessary to their health. With roughly 20% of all cancer deaths caused by wasting, it is cruel and senseless to criminalize the doctor-advised use of a safe, effective, and widely available treatment.“

--  Karen O’Keefe, JD, Attorney, Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)

Quick Stats - Glaucoma

  • over 3 million Americans have Glaucoma
  • half of Glaucoma victims are unaware, undiagnosed
  • 120,000 are blind as a result of Glaucoma
  • Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness
  • cost to the U.S. government, $1.5 billion annually (est)


FURTHER READING - Research Breakthroughs

Dronabinol and retinal hemodynamics in humans.

Effect of Sublingual Application of Cannabinoids on Intraocular Pressure

Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in cancer chemotherapy. Ophthalmologic implications

Effect of marihuana on intraocular and blood pressure in Glaucoma.

Effect of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on intraocular pressure in humans

Cannabinoids and Glaucoma

Neuroprotective and Intraocular Pressure-Lowering Effects of (-)Delta-Tetrahydrocannabinol

Neuroprotective effect of (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol

Effects of tetrahydrocannabinol on arterial and intraocular hypertension

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