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Is Cannabis good for Eye Health

I get this question more and more these days. Canada is now one of the few countries in the world to legalize recreational Cannabis. Many people have heard or seen reference to Cannabis being good for your eyes and help treat glaucoma. Let's take a look into this a bit more.

Cannabis has been promoted to have many health benefits and it is thought that cannabis can treat glaucoma by lowering intraocular eye pressure (IOP). Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve and is treated by lowering IOP.

Studies done by scientists Hepler and Frank in 1971 (aka the good ol’ days) found that smoking cannabis caused a 25-30% IOP lowering effect. They found the the duration of action was only three to four hours. This compares to glaucoma eye drops (ex: Travatan, Lumigan, Cosopt, Combigan, etc) which can be effective for up to 24 hours. The fact that Cannabis only decreases IOP for a short period of time may actually cause more problems. Fluctuations in IOP are also known to cause greater and faster damage in people who have glaucoma.

Other ocular effects of cannabis were also noted: red eye, decreased tear production, changes in pupil size. Many of these side effects are less desirable then the IOP lowering effect.

There are many suggested medical uses for cannabis. Cannabis is thought to have neuroprotective properties and now that cannabis is legal in Canada I am sure there will be much more research into this. #cannabis #geteyewise #tofieldeyecare #glaucoma

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