To See or Not to See

Some people worry about their heart, some fret about their joints, others are concerned about their blood pressure, and there are those facing issues with high eye pressure.  High eye pressure and glaucoma are concerning because doctors say there is no cure. We are lucky now, with doctors that are progressive enough to share that medical cannabis is very effective at reducing the [intraocular] pressure -- which can damage the eye and lead to blindness. The THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol) and other cannabinoids present in medicinal cannabis have an edge over any pharmaceutical drug, as they lose their effectiveness over time.  

Studies have shown that more than 60 million people are affected by glaucoma, which is a slowly progressive disorder that destroys cells in the eye's retina and degrades the optic nerve. Medical cannabis, with all the research that's been done on the subject, has shown to decrease eye pressure more than any other remedy, prescription drug or eye drop.  

It's surprising to learn that medical cannabis is one of the oldest drugs used for medical purposes. Its therapeutic use was initially recorded in a classic medicine book by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung in 2737 bc.  In the late 1970's,  it was discovered (by patients and researchers) that cannabis and THC had the ability to lower intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma. Several patients in the US's "Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug Program" swore their vision improved with a daily intake of medical cannabis when the usual pharmaceuticals failed.

In one study, more than 80% of patients who smoked medical cannabis (using an ice-cooled water pipe) experienced a reduction of Intraocular pressure (IOP) of 16-45%. Another study used cannabinoids contained in medicinal cannabis and found a significant drop in IOP in patients who took THC and cannabidiol. A third clinical trial not only found that medical cannabis reduces the intraocular pressure but it also improves blood pressure overall.

Glaucoma is a condition that needs the guidance of a health professional or an experienced health expert to assist you. Conditions like glaucoma may be scary but they offer up an opportunity to be proactive with a more natural medicine, one that doesn't hurt your liver or cause further complications with side effects.

Currently, 26 states have approved medical cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma. These states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Several states have approved medical cannabis specifically to treat “chronic pain,” one of the symptoms commonly attributed to the high eye pressure of glaucoma. These states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. The states of Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Montana, Ohio, and Vermont allow medical marijuana to treat “severe pain.” The states of Arkansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia have approved medical cannabis for the treatment of “intractable pain.”

And even in Washington D.C., any condition can be approved for medical cannabis as long as a DC-licensed physician is recommending treatment.