Does Weed Help With Glaucoma? Relief, Benefits & More
This post is part of our Best Dispensary in San Diego series, sponsored by The Healing Center San Diego.
Our eyes are precious gifts that can, unfortunately, be easily affected by a number of different environmental, genetic, and life factors. The sun’s harsh UV rays, medical conditions, our heritage, and injuries are just a few of the countless ways we can develop eye problems. As we grow older, we become even more at risk for eye related diseases–conditions such as macular degeneration, cataracts, temporal arteritis, and glaucoma. That’s why it is absolutely crucial to keep our eyes protected from UV rays, avoid head and face injuries and excessive screen-time, and ensure that we are maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure.
That’s not to say that certain conditions–as well as symptoms associated with these conditions–aren’t treatable. Of course, exercising safely, eating a well-balanced diet, and limiting caffeine intake can help keep things in check, but what if you’re starting to notice changes in your vision? How can you help prevent symptoms from getting worse and simultaneously alleviate pain caused by your condition?
If you’re itching to know–” Does weed help with glaucoma?” You’ve come to the right place.
Table of Contents
What is Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases responsible for causing vision loss and even blindness by harming a nerve in the back of your eye–the optic nerve. The optic nerve experiences further damage with increased intraocular pressure, otherwise known as IOP. Symptoms can come on gradually, making it difficult to detect early signs. In fact, the only way to determine whether you have glaucoma is by going to an eye specialist to take a dilated eye exam.
Damage to the optic nerve can occur from a number of things. The most common is an abnormality within your eye’s drainage system, leading to fluid build up and excessive pressure. Aside from eye pressure, hazy and blurry vision, seeing rainbow-colored halos around lights, and severe head and eye pain can be indicators of glaucoma. Other major signs include mild to severe headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Eye pressure fluctuations are no joke! You can lose your sight if you don’t act quickly.
There are many conventional ways to ease glaucoma symptoms, as well as more holistic approaches for those who want to avoid pharmaceuticals or surgery. But we know you’ve probably landed on this article because you’re curious to know whether weed is effective at minimizing glaucoma symptoms.
So, does weed help with glaucoma?
How Does Weed Help With Glaucoma?
You may be wondering–how does cannabis help glaucoma? Well, as with most remedies for glaucoma, weed is a treatment to ease symptoms–not to be mistaken for a cure. If you think the visual information from your eyes is not properly reaching your brain, you may want to consider cannabis as a treatment.
Studies demonstrate that THC can temporarily lower eye pressure, but of course this is a short-term solution. Those suffering from glaucoma must keep their eye pressure low at all times to escape the throes of permanent eye damage, which means you’d have to consume cannabis frequently and at specific times a day, at a recommended dosage, in order to keep your eye pressure consistently low 24/7. That means you’d be buzzed 24/7, too.
Given this information, smoking weed might seem excessive to keep eye pressure at bay, though research shows that THC can lower intraocular eye pressure by up to 60-65%, which is similar in percentage to what antiglaucoma meds can offer, though it does mean you will be buzzed. But how about other methods of marijuana consumption? What about sublingual drops, or brownies–do edibles help with glaucoma?
If you’re not big on smoking, edibles are an alternative route to combating high eye pressure. The key difference is that the effects come on more gradually, not instant, so if you forget to eat a gummy in time you may want to opt for taking a puff of a joint to ensure that your dosage hits at the right time and that eye pressure remains low.
Some other known health benefits of weed used as treatment for glaucoma include lowering blood pressure. High blood pressure is known to cause strokes, which can impair the optic nerve. Other health benefits include reduced pain and inflammation, as well as decreased nausea and headaches–symptoms associated with glaucoma.
Marijuana vs. Traditional Treatment of Glaucoma
Cannabis glaucoma treatment versus traditional treatment of glaucoma look a little different. Traditional treatment of glaucoma may involve different types of procedures including anti-glaucoma medications such as prescription eye drops, laser treatment, or even surgery on the eyes. Certain procedures facilitate fluid drainage for the eyes. More holistic approaches incorporate herbal remedies into one’s daily regimen to help increase ocular blood flow. The route you take depends on the risk you are willing to take to ensure your vision lasts.
Can You Get A Weed Card For Glaucoma?
If you’re eager to jump on the cannabis wagon and are wondering–”can I get a weed card for glaucoma?”–the answer is yes, depending on your symptoms, what state you live in and whether medical marijuana is legal. Fortunately for glaucoma sufferers, there are certain symptoms that can be treated with the help of medical marijuana, so it’s worth a visit to the med to see if you can obtain a weed card to treat glaucoma.
Best Strains For Glaucoma
Best strains for treating glaucoma include Indica, Hybrid, and sativa strains. If you are experiencing nausea, headaches, and vomiting as side effects of glaucoma, look out for strains with the terpenes limonene and myrcene–both with aromas and tastes known to ease nausea and vomiting.
Indica strains that are good for combating nausea include: Blueberry Diesel, Bubba Kush, and Granddaddy Purp.
Hybrid strains for nausea relief associated with glaucoma include Blue Dream, OG Kush. Hybrid strains are known to help with other negative side effects of glaucoma, including Sour Grape, LAPD, and Cherry Cake.
Sativa strains that are an effective aid for decreasing nausea include Durban Poison and Harlequin. Sativa strains known to help with other side effects of glaucoma include Maui Wowie, Trinity, and Tesla Tower.
How To Purchase Marijuana
Now that we’ve established that medical pot can serve as a good alternative to conventional medication for glaucoma and a great eye pressure reducer, it’s time to hit the dispensary for products that will help you heal!
The Healing Center San Diego is one of our favorites–offering a vast selection of high quality products from most-loved brands in every marijuana form you can imagine! Tinctures, oils, edibles, flower, beverages, cookies, gummies, creams, lotions, and then some! Their staff is beyond friendly and can appropriately guide you to the best products to help you treat your condition.
Key Takeaways On Weed And Glaucoma
So now that we’ve answered the burning question–”does weed help with glaucoma,” let’s summarize all that weed can offer those suffering from early or long-term side effects of glaucoma.
- Glaucoma can cause vision impairment and vision loss if not treated
- If you are experiencing symptoms linked to glaucoma, seek treatment immediately
- Studies show that marijuana can reduce IPO by up to 60-65%
- THC has a short duration of relief for glaucoma and must be taken at regular intervals in order to ensure intraocular eye pressure remains low.
- Using THC as a remedy for eye pressure means the patient will constantly be high, whereas using it for pain, inflammation, nausea or vomiting might require less frequent use
- Medical marijuana cards can be given to patients diagnosed with glaucoma in states where medical marijuana is legal
- There are sativa, indica, and hybrid strains that help remedy side effects of glaucoma
As you can see, weed can serve as a fine remedy to aid in eye health and ease symptoms of glaucoma. Ensuring that you are eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise is so important! High trans fats, for example, have been proven to cause damage to the optic nerve and therefore can make glaucoma worse.
Glaucoma is treatable, but figuring out what works for you might take some time. Consult with your doctor about other ways to lessen the negative side effects of glaucoma.
If you have glaucoma, we hope you find relief!
About the author: Courtney Pester is a San Diego based, San Francisco bred millennial with a passion for design and self-expression. She prides herself in her charcuterie board making skills and loves a good ocean dip. When she’s not pumping out articles, you can catch her playing tennis, writing songs, DJing, and enjoying the diversity of events and restaurants San Diego has to offer!