Views From The Leaf

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Glaucoma

December 16, 2019

Glaucoma Eyeball

More than sixty million people are affected by glaucoma worldwide.  Three million of those cases can be found here in the United States.  Glaucoma is a relatively common eye condition that can damage the optic nerve and, if left untreated may lead to blindness.  In fact, when compared to other diseases of the eye glaucoma is one of the leading causes of irreversible blindness.

Around 1980 advancements in treatment as well as surgical procedures have led to an overall decrease in cases of glaucoma leading to blindness.  So much so that cases of glaucoma ending in blindness have been reduced by almost half.  Topical drugs play less of a role in this decrease than originally thought.  The main reason for this is that the number of topical drugs themselves remain limited.

Medical marijuana has shown to be incredibly useful in this space.  So much so that it appears on a near majority of approved qualifying conditions from state to state that allow for the use of medical marijuana.  Based on these facts an overwhelming number of glaucoma patients are now turning to the use of cannabis for their condition.  Additionally, around twenty five percent of individuals that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease also have a likely glaucoma diagnosis.  It is so common in fact, that glaucoma has come to be known as a significant predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Even knowing these very important factors there is still no specific cause of glaucoma and today scientists remain mystified by its existence.

Intraocular pressure is one of the chief issues that presents with the onset of glaucoma and influences its progression, ophthalmologists are known to prescribe remedies that help offset this pressure.  This is vital as lowering intraocular pressure is the sole way to prevent vision loss in patients suffering from glaucoma.  In order to prevent further high pressure that could lead to vision loss if left unattended for long enough, ophthalmologists often treat glaucoma with simple medications such as eye drops, topical ointments and in extreme cases surgery.  As was previously mentioned, cannabis has an extensive track record in helping to lower intraocular pressure thus alleviate glaucoma related symptoms.  Cannabinoids have also been shown to produce neuroprotective actions as well.  One well known study from the early 1970’s found that the ingestion of cannabis could lower intraocular pressure by between twenty five and thirty percent.  Even in late stage glaucoma, where a patient may be at risk of losing their sight, an ophthalmologist may be more likely to recommend the use of cannabis as a treatment because the focus may be less on directly targeting the glaucoma and more about increasing a patient’s quality of life by alleviating the accompanying symptoms.

While strains may vary and a patient should always consult their ophthalmologist, there are specific strains that have proven beneficial to those suffering from glaucoma. Strains such as Rolex OG Kush (Indica), Santa Sativa (Sativa), Hashplant Haze (Sativa), LAPD (Hybrid), and Mad Dawg (Hybrid) have all proven themselves to be useful for patients suffering with glaucoma.

The following information is presented for educational purposes only. Summit Releaf provides this information to provide an understanding of the potential benefits of medical marijuana for patients living with one of the approved Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program qualifying conditions. Links to third party websites do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Summit Releaf and none should be inferred.

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