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Cannabis and Glaucoma

Fact about Cannabis and Glaucoma: Cannabis has been studied for its potential benefits in treating glaucoma, a condition characterized by increased pressure in the eye that can lead to vision loss. Research has shown that THC, one of the primary cannabinoids in marijuana, can help reduce intraocular pressure, providing temporary relief for glaucoma patients. However, it's important to note that the effects of cannabis on eye pressure are short-lived, typically lasting only a few hours. This means that while cannabis can provide temporary relief, it is not a substitute for more conventional treatments prescribed by healthcare professionals.

Raphael Mecholaum an Israeli organic chemist who discovered THC, and the endocannabinoid system, and has studied the marijuana plant for decades... “We have just scratched the surface,” he says, “and I greatly regret that I don’t have another lifetime to devote to this field, for we may well discover that cannabinoids are involved in some way in all human diseases.”

GLAUCOMA  Marijuana use can be used to treat the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the National Eye Institute: "Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma". These effects of the drug may slow the progression of the disease, preventing blindness.  An exciting finding in the past decade is the discovery of receptors for the active components of marijuana in the tissues of the eye itself, suggesting that local administration has the possibility of being effective. Furthermore, there is evidence from research in the brain that there may be properties of the cannabinoid components of marijuaan that protect nerve cells like those in the opti nerve. this raises the hope that marijuana or related compounds could protect nerve cells like those in the optic nerve not only through the IOP lower but also through a neuroprotective mechanism.  A glaucoma patient by the name of Robert Randall was the very first legal medical marijuana patient who sued the Federal Government for his right to treat his glaucoma with marijuana. Mr. Randall also was a key figure in a lawsuit that resulted in a controversial 1987 ruling. The decision, which was subsequently ignored by Drug Enforcement Administration officials, was written by the agency's chief administrative law judge, who wrote that marijuana was "one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."