Glaucoma, a medical condition that affects the eyes, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in adults. It is also one of the most familiar ailments for which medicinal marijuana has been prescribed in the past.
Glaucoma is caused by an increased build-up of fluid and pressure within the eye. In a healthy eye, intraocular pressure (or IOP) is created by internal fluid called aqueous humor. That pressure helps to channel light through the retina.
However, in an eye afflicted with glaucoma, too much of this fluid is either produced or blocked from exiting the eye. The resulting pressure build-up can cause wear on the optic nerve and the visual cortex.
Medical marijuana can significantly decrease the intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma. Natural cannabinoid receptors have been discovered within the human eye, suggesting that medical marijuana is naturally designed to aide in the relieving on intraocular pressure.
Present research also suggests that medicinal marijuana has neuro-protective qualities, helping to guard nerves that have already been damaged by glaucoma. This property hasn’t been observed in older, more traditional forms of glaucoma treatment.
Medical marijuana dispensaries offer patients with glaucoma a wide variety of products to treat the disease. While smoking remains the most common means of medicinal marijuana consumption, there are plenty of alternatives for patients who are uncomfortable with smoking. Edible cakes and cookies can offer long-term medicinal marijuana relief. Vaporizers cook the active ingredients in marijuana without actually burning the leaves themselves, making it possible smoke medicinal marijuana without actually producing any smoke.