The only legal US cannabis farm reveals plans for THC eye drops

Published Nov 26, 2019 10:00 a.m. ET
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Most consumers in the United States are well aware of the restrictions in place due to a lack of approval at the federal level for cannabis, but few know that there is only one federally approved farm in the country, and it serves the sole purpose of researching the potential medicinal benefits of marijuana.

Mahmoud ElSohly, who is a pharmacologist, the director of the Marijuana Research Project and the head of the entire operation, discussed the idea of THC eye drops during an appearance on a podcast near the end of October. The farm that he runs, which is located at the University of Mississippi, is the only federally licensed and approved of it’s kind, and while the government has recently promised to amend the shortage of cannabis for clinical research across the country, until then, his farm remains the only legal supplier.

Growing marijuana on a clinical research farm

One of the most significant and repeated complaints about this facility is that the product available through it is closer genetically to hemp than it is to the recreational marijuana that most consumers obtain from the black market. That makes it difficult to come up with reliable results in many areas of research that need to further expand, but perfect for the making of medicinal products that don’t come paired with the intensely psychoactive effects of high THC weed strains.

The making of THC eye drops

While the head of the operation might be most well-known for growing marijuana, ElSohly, his team, and another anonymous partner are currently working on a liquid marijuana solution that is low in the cannabinoid THC in hopes of providing relief for millions of patients around the world who suffer from Glaucoma. A painful condition that mainly affects the eyes, which leads to a significant amount of pressure behind and inside of the eye.

Some of the most common symptoms that are caused by this condition include eye pressure, pain, headaches, vertigo, migraines, dizziness, impaired vision, and nausea. The only way to offer patients relief of these symptoms is to find a medicine that can gently but effectively decrease the pressure in and around the eye. While there are several pharmaceutical options on the market today, unfortunately, all of them come with adverse side effects, and THC drops might be the ideal solution.

Do THC eye drops make the user high?

Most patients who don’t smoke or consume cannabis are hesitant about the idea of trying cannabinoid-based medicines, but this one will not make anyone high. So, if you are a recreational user that got excited at the idea to get a ‘high’, there is no point holding your breath for THC eye drops as they won’t be much use to you.

However, despite its lack of effects, the active ingredient is, in fact, THC, which is highly effective at reducing swelling and inflammation, but the way that it’s administered doesn’t allow for the euphoric cannabinoid to kick in the way that it would, if you smoked a joint. That is because the eye is coated in a protective layer, much like human skin, that only allows for minimal amounts of THC to enter directly into the eye. This topical application ensures that patients will never feel high, but they will obtain an exciting new level of relief with few side effects.

How soon can I try THC eye drops?

Right now, Mahmoud and his team are in the middle of clinical trials, and they have already garnered federal approval to move forward, but it’s still probably going to be a while before the average person will have access to this all-natural liquid marijuana medicine. ElSohly has yet to elude to an official goal date but says that he hopes to see this exciting new cannabis-derived medicine available to the public at some point within the next two years.

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