CBD Glaucoma – Is it True It Can Treat This Eye Condition?

CBD Glaucoma

Posted on May 1st, 2021

The condition known as glaucoma is one of the eye diseases that can damage a person’s optic nerve. The disease commonly associates with pressure that starts to build inside the eye. As the pressure starts to increase, a phenomenon known as intraocular pressure, the nerve begins to damage. If left untreated, or when the damage gets worse, this condition can result in total blindness or vision loss. There are already several treatments available for glaucoma; now, a CBD glaucoma treatment might develop to offer further relief but with few side effects. Let’s learn a bit more about glaucoma to understand how CBD might help with it.

How Does Glaucoma Develop?

Glaucoma is usually a result of the eye failing to maintain the right balance between the intraocular fluid produced and how much of it drains away. The underlying reasons linked to this imbalance typically relate to the glaucoma type the individual has.

Similar to a football or basketball that needs air pressure in order to retain its shape, the eye requires internal-fluid pressure so that it can maintain its shape. Abnormal fluctuations in the amount of fluid alter the shape of the eye and its functionality as a result.

When something is affecting the eye’s ability to maintain or regulate intraocular pressure, the pressure in the eye can rise to a dangerous level. This is the actual cause of the condition known as glaucoma.

Unlike a balloon or ball, the eye is unable to relieve pressure when the pressure becomes too high. Instead, the pressure continues to build. This pressure is what causes damages to the nerve fibers in the optic nerve, which can result in vision loss and permanent damage.

What Are The Risks Of Living With Glaucoma?CBD Glaucoma - asian female at the optometrist

Intraocular pressure can lead to damages to the optic nerve. This is an important part of the eye that sends images directly to the brain. Many people that suffer from glaucoma don’t display pain or early symptoms. This is why it is important to visit an optometrist regularly to diagnose glaucoma and treat it before it turns into long-term or irreversible vision loss.

Lowering the pressure in the eye is one of the most important factors for people living with glaucoma. Most patients with glaucoma that follow a treatment plan along with regular eye examinations can retain their vision.

What Are The Treatments For Glaucoma?

Eye doctors often use oral medications, prescription eye drops, microsurgery, or laser surgery to treat glaucoma.

– Prescription Eye Drops

Eye drops can either increase how fluid flows out of the eyes or reduce the amount of fluid produced in the eye.

– Oral Medication

Some doctors prescribe oral medications to treat glaucoma. These include carbonic anhydrase inhibitors or beta-blockers. These medications can enhance drainage or slow down how much fluid the eye creates.

– Laser Therapy

This is a procedure that can raise the fluid flow from the eye for those patients with open-angle glaucoma. It can prevent fluid blockage for those with angle-closure glaucoma. These procedures include:

Cyclophotcoagulation

This treatment focuses on the middle layer of the eye to reduce fluid production.

Iridotomy

This procedure involves creating a tiny incision in the iris to allow fluids to flow a bit more freely.

Trabeculoplasty

This laser procedure opens up the drainage areas in the eyes.

– Microsurgery

Also known as a trabeculectomy. The surgeon will create a new channel to relieve eye pressure and drain the fluids in the eye. It might require to perform this procedure several times, and in some cases, a tube will go implanted to assist with draining fluids.

Open-angle glaucoma commonly requires a combination of microsurgery, trabeculoplasty, and eye drops. Most eye doctors will start with eye drops or oral medications, yet early microsurgery or laser surgery may be a better or the only option for some patients.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma mostly receives treatment through laser procedures. Congenital or infant glaucoma, the kind some are born with, will usually require surgery. That because the cause has to do with an issue with the person’s drainage system.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is the chemical compound found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, also commonly known as hemp or marijuana. CBD is a naturally occurring substance now used in many products such as oils, tinctures, and edibles. Many people say it helps with:

  • Inflammation.
  • Pain.
  • Anxiety.
  • And with imparting feelings of relaxation or calmness.

Unlike THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the other main active ingredients found in marijuana, CBD, or cannabidiol is not in any way psychoactive.

What Are The Common Effects Of CBD?

Researchers and scientists are studying and analyzing CBD as a viable future treatment for many different conditions. At this stage, the research to support these benefits is still in its infancy. However, according to many enthusiasts online, there are many “potential” effects of CBD. The products that contain this substance became a hot commodity overnight as a result. Here is a list of some of the commonly reported effects of CBD oil:

  • Lowers epileptic seizures.
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
  • May reduce anxiety.
  • It may be used as a treatment for substance use disorders.
  • Could potentially ease the side effects linked to chemotherapy.

How Does CBD Work With The Endocannabinoid System?.

ECS, which is short for the endocannabinoid system, allows CBD to help people with various types of symptoms. CBD, once consumed, will bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. It will also interact inside the human body through multiple biological pathways. It produces therapeutic effects in the way of activating several pathways at the same time. CBD also shares a complex relationship with THC, which is also something directly related to how both work with the endocannabinoid system.

CBD works in an opposite way to what THC does, at a molecular level. THC is the agonist to CB1 receptors, while CBD is the inverse agonist. When taking THC and CBD together, CBD can potentially lower negative side-effects caused by THC by activating an opposite or reverse response from the CB1 receptors.

Where Is CBD Derived From?

It is common to hear the terms hemp, marijuana, and cannabis, all used in association with CBD. The Cannabis Sativa plant has two main species, known as marijuana and hemp. Both species contain CBD, but the percentage is much higher in hemp. Hemp also has much lower (usually less than 0.3%) THC levels when compared to the marijuana plant as well. Thus, hemp is the best choice to get CBD from.

Will CBD Get You High?

As said before, cannabis plants contain two major compounds known as THC and CBD. CBD is the non-psychoactive compound out of the two. That means the user won’t experience effects such as euphoria. Anxiety, or any other mind-altering effects. The user also won’t feel altered or sedated. Now, how about a CBD glaucoma treatment? Does it work?

CBD Glaucoma: How Does It Work?

At this stage, there is no cure for the condition known as glaucoma. Also, the study and research on the effects of CBD glaucoma treatments are still in the very early stages. However, many studies show or indicate that cannabis or strains that contain a high THC content may be a viable method to treat glaucoma.

Cannabis lowers intraocular pressure, which is the main cause or issue related to glaucoma. However, when it comes to marijuana, it would mean that the person would probably be in a “high” state immediately after administration. While this might sound exciting for some people, it is not pleasing or practical to others. This is when cannabidiol or CBD comes in.

CBD is a non-psychoactive compound present in both marijuana or hemp plants. Some research suggests that CBD might be useful to treat glaucoma with the assistance of the ECS.

Is CBD Glaucoma Treatment Better Than Medical Marijuana?CBD Glaucoma - young man experiencing eye issues

At this stage, no large-scale clinical trials report specific effects of CBD for a condition like glaucoma. However, many studies indicate that cannabis and the strains that are high in THC might be an effective and viable treatment. From a study conducted in 1971 by Hepler and Frank, it was found that cannabis reduced IOP (intraocular pressure) by as much as 30%.

However, the issue with cannabis is that the person would need to be using it every 3 to 4 hours or, in some cases, even more frequently. This is due to its effects wearing off and not being able to last long. This could also mean that the person would be experiencing a “high” for the majority of their day.

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid.  Some of the studies made so far started to suggest that CBD is as useful for glaucoma compared to THC and the other psychoactive compounds.

CBD Glaucoma – The Takeaway

When administered properly, CBD could potentially successfully treat glaucoma. The vaso-relaxant properties of CBD may increase blood flow around the ocular tissue in the eye. At the same time, the anti-inflammatory characteristics of CBD could also potentially provide relief when treating the common symptoms linked to glaucoma.

One of the largest issues surrounding many medications used to treat glaucoma is the range of negative side effects that they may cause. In most instances, these issues are usually far less when using natural compounds such as CBD or cannabis.

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