Medical marijuana, or cannabis, is being legalized in more and more American states. For more than 40 years, the effect of medical marijuana on glaucoma has been studied. As cannabis becomes more accessible — and legal — glaucoma patients are becoming more interested in how this drug could help with their condition.
Medical marijuana has been shown in studies to decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients. The National Eye Institute found that although medical marijuana lowered IOP after taking the drug, the pressure is decreased for only 3 to 4 hours. This is considered to be a short amount of relief time for a chronic disease. The American Academy of Ophthalmology said in 2014 that it does not recommend using cannabis to treat glaucoma.1
Before taking marijuana for medicinal purposes, the patient should consult their physician. If the drug is considered appropriate for the condition, the doctor will decide the correct dosage, as well as frequency of taking the medication. Medical marijuana can be smoked, vaporized, taken by mouth in a tablet or liquid extract form, made into a tea, and/or added to specific foods.
Conventional treatment options for glaucoma are available, including medications, drops, surgery and laser. Additionally, information about complementary care for glaucoma is available on the Natural Eye Care glaucoma page. See more research about glaucoma.
1. JUN 27, 2014. American Academy of Ophthalmology Reiterates Position that Marijuana is Not Proven Treatment for Glaucoma. https://www.aao.org/newsroom/news-releases/detail/american-academy-of-ophthalmology-reiterates-posit
Other source: https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2015/March2015/Medical-Marijuana-The-Myths-and-Realities