How does smoking marijuana help with glaucoma

Cannabis / marijuana / hashish and glaucoma

Cannabis on prescription from the pharmacy

since March 2017 It is possible in Germany to get cannabis in pharmacies without a special permit. If a positive effect on the course of the disease or symptoms is expected, it may everyone Licensed physician will prescribe cannabis. In the case of seriously ill patients, the health insurance companies cover the treatment costs. The German Bundestag passed a corresponding law on January 19, 2017.

External link: Resolution of the Bundestag: Cannabis on prescription will be allowed in the future - Tagesschau

Cannabis and glaucoma

Because some cannabinoids lower intraocular pressure, they can be used to treat glaucoma. The best effects can be achieved by applying it locally to the eye. To do this, however, the cannabinoid must be on a pharmacologically suitable carrier substance (lecithol is NO such carrier substance!) are given. However, positive effects were also found when smoking a marijuana cigarette, intravenously and orally. In most of the patients, a reduction in intraocular pressure of 25-30% was found.

General information about glaucoma

Glaucoma or 'glaucoma' refers to a group of different chronic eye diseases that occur due to an increase in intraocular pressure with inadequate drainage of the eye fluid. The intraocular pressure itself comes about through a clear body fluid in the eye, the aqueous humor. This is produced in the ciliary body of the eye and delivered to the posterior chamber of the eye. It passes through the pupil into the anterior chamber of the eye, where it can flow out again in Schlemm's canal. If the ratio of aqueous humor production to aqueous humor outflow is incorrect, the intraocular pressure can quickly increase. The result is a gradual destruction of the optic nerve, which normally transmits the light impulses from the eye retina to the brain. If left untreated, such damage leads to complete blindness.

Glaucoma is one of the most common causes of blindness, both in industrialized and developing countries. In Germany around 500,000 people have been diagnosed with increased intraocular pressure, 10 percent of whom are at risk of going blind. The professional association of ophthalmologists suspects that the number of unreported cases is much higher in this area. They assume that a total of around one million people in Germany are affected by glaucoma. Older people generally have higher intraocular pressure than younger people.

In addition to increased intraocular pressure, the most common causes of glaucoma are old age and increased myopia. Farsightedness and abnormal blood pressure, often caused by various medications, can also result in glaucoma. The glaucoma usually develops poorly and remains without symptoms for a long time, but usually only early detection with timely treatment can avert the damage. An ophthalmologist can, for example, assess the optic nerve head or check the visual field when the fundus is reflected through the pupil.

Therapy normally consists of lifelong administration of eye drops. Used regularly, they can lower eye pressure and thereby slow down the development of glaucoma. Laser surgery is not uncommon.

There is currently no known cure for glaucoma. The drugs currently used also often have side effects, are ineffective or lose their effectiveness over time.


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