Most glaucoma treatments are intended to lower or take under control the intraocular pressure that damages the optic nerve and in this way prevents the normal transmission of information to the brain, causing severe pain. The first thing that doctors prescribe to glaucoma patients after surgery are glaucoma eye drops, which sometimes can be effective enough to control the IOP and prevent the inevitable eye damage. However, this type of treatment does not suit every patient due to different general heath conditions.
The point is that eye drops placed in the eye are absorbed by the blood vessels on the surface of the eye and get directly into the bloodstream. Then they negatively affect breathing and heart rate. Plus, glaucoma drops can worsen the medical conditions you already have, like asthma. To avoid this, many patients have found marijuana as a great glaucoma treatment, but does it really work or is it just what people wish it to do?
What is the truth?
Some patients believe in marijuana’s health benefits and use it as a treatment, including for glaucoma. The reason for their trust is the result of the research that was conducted in the late 1970s. The scientists found out that weed use caused a short-term effect of lowering eye pressure. However, in November, a group of scientists published a study in the European Journal of Immunology, which showed that marijuana suppressed the human immune system and potentially made the marijuana user more susceptible to infectious diseases and growth of cancer cells.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that there are many risks associated with the side effects of marijuana use, like tachycardia, decreased blood pressure, pregnancy with high risk of miscarriage, violation of coordination center functions, impairment of memory, increased risk of cancer development and emphysema, etc. These dangers exceed any possible health benefit of marijuana. That is why the widely spread opinion of marijuana’s benefit for glaucoma is significantly exaggerated.