Marijuana for Glaucoma: Best Strains
The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Canadian Ophthalmology Society and the American Glaucoma Society do not recommend using medical marijuana or any other cannabis-derived substance for the treatment of glaucoma, and CBD products are included in the list of unapproved tools for therapy.
What is glaucoma, and how can the addition of medical marijuana affect this eye condition?
Glaucoma damages the eyes optic nerve, causing fluid to build up in the front portion of the eye. The extra fluid is what causes the increased pressure and swelling in the region surrounding and behind the eyes, that eventually causes damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting images to your brain. An important note to mention is that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60. However, if treatment is initiated early complete blindness can often be prevented. Glaucoma has two main types, including:
Primary open-angle glaucoma is known to be the most common form of this disease. Gradually the fluid begins to not drain almost like a clogged drain. This causes the pressure to build, resulting in the start of the damage to the optic nerve. This process is slow and painless while causing no changes to your vision at first. Regular eye exams are paramount to detect any signs of this disease presenting itself.
Angle-closure glaucoma is presented when the iris of one’s eye is extremely close to the drainage angle in their eye. The iris is the culprit and can block the drainage angle. When the drainage angle gets blocked pressure in the eye can build rapidly, which can lead to what is called an acute attack. Immediate emergency treatment is needed to prevent you from going blind.
Symptoms of glaucoma
- Vision becomes blurry, often suddenly
- Severe eye pain
- Intense headaches or migraines
- Rainbow-colored rings begin to appear around lights
There are few symptoms to this slowly developing condition. Many patients do not know they have this disease until the damage is severe, or they have an attack. If not treated immediately, blindness can be the result of this disease.
What does marijuana do for glaucoma?
Cannabis flowers have been noted, as one of the frequently used options for glaucoma treatment. The federal government of Canada went one step further by citing cannabis as one of the recognized medicines used legally under the title of compassionate marijuana care. Research from as early as the 1970s show the use of marijuana can be helpful for reducing the intraocular pressure, which is a crucial and often debilitating symptom of glaucoma.
The first reported results stirred up a lot of interest, as the current medications most patients use for this disease can came with some unwanted side-effects. However, other more conventional treatments have now surpassed the marijuana-based medicines that are available on the market today.
The research studies that have been conducted by the National Eye Institute show that cannabis is beneficial in keeping IOP lowered, and also concluded that marijuana taken in many forms such as smoking, pills or THC by injection did lower the IOP. However, the benefits would only last for a short time of three to four hours. This is one of the major drawbacks associated with the use of cannabis in treating glaucoma symptoms.
Cons/side effects of using marijuana for glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition that needs to be treated 24 hours per day, which by some estimates would require patients to smoke marijuana between six and eight times per day. While, that is possible, the day spans over 24 hours, and you would be required to maintain the level of cannabis for that full 24 hours.
Using enough medical marijuana to reliably treat symptoms of glaucoma each day would render an individual unfit to operate a motor vehicle.
Marijuana is a proven mood-altering substance that has other effects not conducive to someone living with glaucoma. Marijuana can cause an abnormally high heart rate (tachycardia) along with a decrease in blood pressure. This may reduce the blood flow needed to a compromised optic nerve.
THC eye drops have been tried, but the administration of drops requires more than a water-based delivery method. There have been studies conducted using an oil-based delivery system, but the results were not promising. Eye irritation and an adverse IOP lowering effects canceled out the use of the THC eye drop benefits.
Current recommendations for using marijuana for glaucoma
Reports have been provided by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on cannabis's numerous therapeutic uses, and its adverse effects. The study also reported any areas they felt that additional research was needed. The consensus among medical wizards is that for now, glaucoma patients should continue with the directions of their doctors.
The best medical marijuana strains for treating glaucoma
For many glaucoma patients needing the more intense soothing and relaxing effects that cannabis can deliver, here are some Indica medical marijuana strains to try.
Blueberry is an award-winning strain that will provide incredible sweet-smelling relief. Best used in the evening time, this strain will ease pain and stress.
Eastern European, a native of Europe, will deliver a sleepy, relaxing effect while helping to relieve any discomforts.
Kelly Hill Gold will provide euphoric relief promoting a reduction in inflammation and stress.
Cherry Kola is a delicious berry flavored strain guaranteed to promote a happy, euphoric state while reducing any pain associated with glaucoma.
Sativa strains offer an ideal blend for daytime use in the treatment of glaucoma.
Sour Diesel provides an uplifting pain-relieving effect coupled with the ability to reduce stress.
Maui Wowie is a delicious pineapple-flavoured strain sure to assist in the reduction of stress and pain
while providing an energetic boost.
Tesla Tower is a robust strain known to fight fatigue, stress, and lower intraocular pressure.
Hybrid strains known to assist in the treatment of glaucoma
The Wills is an Indica-dominant strain providing a reduction in the glaucoma-related headaches.
Sour Grapes provides relief from nausea and intraocular pressure while delivering a relaxed feeling.
Jamba Juice is a delicious fruity strain offering stress relief while providing you with an energizing effect.
Many glaucoma patients keep track of which strains provide the best relief for their symptoms and the schedules that they keep.
How to apply for medical marijuana licence for glaucoma symptoms
Glaucoma patients should apply for a medical marijuana document to assist in the treatment of symptoms. That way, they can ensure that they are receiving consistent levels of THC or CBD in their cannabis products. There are strict rules and regulations around medical cannabis use, and a license provides patients with access to cannabis products from an LP that is licensed by the federal government of Canada.
Remember that no one should self-medicate themselves without the assistance or recommendation of a qualified health practitioner. Continue with your regular scheduled appointments and prescribed medications for your eye’s health, and while you await assistance, choosing a marijuana strain that fits your needs can be both a helpful and enjoyable experience.