Cannabis has been known to be used for glaucoma for quite some time. THC has been in the spotlight showing incredible improvement in patients, and research has begun to find out that CBD may play a significant role in healing as well.
Cannabidiol has shown in studies that it can not only help reduce the damage done by glaucoma, but it can also help with many of the risk factors that lead to this disease. Cannabidiol interacts with the endocannabinoid system acting as a regulator. Studies have suggested that using hemp oil for glaucoma may make the disease more manageable.
What Is Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that causes high pressure in the eye’s optic nerve. This increase in intraocular pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve which is what sends images to your brain. If this pressure continues without treatment, it can cause permanent damage and lead to complete blindness. This disease can sneak up on you without any warning, which is why regular eye doctor visits are necessary the older you get.
Risk Factors For Glaucoma
It is now thought that type 2 diabetes may be a risk factor for glaucoma because of insulin resistance. Untreated type 2 diabetes can lead to the eyes not getting enough blood or oxygen which is called diabetic retinopathy. This makes the eye form new blood vessels to compensate which can impair the draining process causing pressure build up.
Doctors and scientists alike used to think that elevated blood pressure was good for intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. But now studies have found that hypertension can do more harm than good.
Having high blood pressure for a long period of time can cause damage to the blood vessels in the eye. The damage done to the vessel walls can make it more difficult for the eye to manage new blood flow when the eye pressure is increased.
Researchers have reported that one of the most common causes of high intraocular pressure is due to inflammation. About 20% of patients with glaucoma have inflammatory glaucoma, also known as uveitic glaucoma.
Who Is Most Likely To Develop Glaucoma?
People over the age of 40
People who have African-American, Hispanic, Irish, Russian, Inuit, Scandinavian descent
People who have a family history of glaucoma
People who have poor vision
People who take certain steroid medications
Someone who has had trauma to their eye
What Are The Symptoms Of Glaucoma?
Once glaucoma starts to take hold, it’s not likely you’ll even notice until it’s too late. Glaucoma is called, “The Sneak Thief Of Vision” because of it’s ability to arrive undetected. If you do notice any of these following symptoms, you should go to the eye doctor immediately.
- Halos around lights
- Vision loss
- Redness in the eye
- An eye or both eyes looking hazy
- Nausea or vomiting
- Eye pain
- Narrowed vision or tunnel vision
How CBD Oil Can Help With Glaucoma
Many studies have highlighted how THC can reduce the intraocular pressure, but CBD has demonstrated that it can help reduce the damage done by the pressure. Glaucoma can do damage to your eyes because of the excessive release of a chemical called glutamate. Glutamate causes the death of retinal neurons because of the formation of peroxynitrite.
Research has shown that CBD can help reduce the formation of peroxynitrite which helps to protect the neurons from glutamate-induced cell death. Along with helping to minimize cell death associated with glaucoma, hemp oil has also shown that it may be able to help with risk factors as well.
CBD and Diabetes
Resistin is a hormone that is produced that can make someone develop type 2 diabetes. This hormone makes your blood sugar higher and has also been linked to inflammation, thrombosis, endothelial dysfunction, angiogenesis, and smooth muscle cell dysfunction. Studies have suggested that elevated blood sugar levels can help the retinal ganglion cells function more efficiently. However, in long-term, high blood sugar can lead to glaucoma.
Cannabidiol has indicated in studies that it can inhibit the production of the hormone resistin which may help with the treatment of diabetes. Having type 2 diabetes for a long time can cause tissue scarring, stress, and cell death. All of which CBD may be able to help treat.
CBD and High Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure can cause the blood cells to squeeze through the arteries, bashing against the arterial walls making the crack or rupture. Studies have shown that CBD oil may act as a vasodilator which means it lets the blood flow more freely by dilating blood vessels which takes away the pressure put on the arteries.
In a study where healthy subjects were given CBD, they were given a single dose, and their blood pressure was lowered. Further studies have suggested that hemp oil may be able to reduce the number of dead cells due to the low blood supply.
CBD and Inflammation
Not all inflammation is bad; its entire purpose is to protect you from pathogens that may be trying to attack your body. When inflammation becomes a problem is when it is excessive and reduces the healing time or causes damage. Cannabidiol has shown in studies to help with inflammation that is harmful by interacting with the CB2 cannabinoid receptor.
The way that CBD has shown to reduce inflammation is by elevating the endocannabinoid 2-AG which binds to the CB2 cannabinoid receptor. The CB2 receptor mediates the immune functions, like sending attack cells to an affected area. The endocannabinoid 2-AG travels backward toward the cannabinoid receptor and sends a message telling the receptor to stop sending out so many attack cells which can reduce inflammation.
Talk To Your Doctor
If you are thinking of trying CBD oil for the first time, it is best to bring your doctor in on the situation. They have the tools to help monitor your condition to know if CBD is right for you. If you are taking medication, CBD can make your body metabolize them differently making them less effective. By letting your doctor know your plans for treatment, they can give you the correct counsel to discern what treatment is best for you as well as make any adjustments they see necessary.