CBD Oil for Glaucoma

CBD oil

CBD Oil in Glaucoma

Summary: Research suggests THC, not CBD is best for glaucoma.  CBD doses between 20 and 40 mg per day may help with glaucoma pain.  CBD doses above 40 mg may worsen glaucoma.

CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis sativa.  It is the main cannabinoid present in industrial hemp plants.  Cannabidiol first gained fame as an ingredient in marijuana which was featured in a popular news show as a last-ditch treatment for treatment-resistant seizures in children.  First, THC was thought to be the effective cannabinoid due to the obvious ability to relieve pain symptoms, but it had the side effect of producing a high and other unwanted effects.  It was then found that a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, called cannabidiol or CBD, could also control seizures in children with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.  In doing so, cannabidiol provided symptom relief to children and restored hope to parents who previously watched their child in pain and felt powerless.  This ignited interest in experimenting with and researching cannabidiol.

CBD works by affecting the endocannabinoid system throughout the nervous system and the body.  This can lead to modulation of the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.  It can also affect the immune system, reducing inflammation in the body and nervous system, associated with pain and inflammation.  Glaucoma can be the result of inflammation happening in the eye and optic nerve and CBD may be able to reduce this inflammation, preventing damage to the eye from manifesting and/or progressing.

The legality of CBD oil

CBD oil is a preparation of CBD suspended in a form of oil.  Like THC, cannabidiol is fat soluble and works best in combination with a type of fat.  Sometimes the oil used is hemp oil, from the hemp plant from which the cannabidiol also comes.  Other times olive oil, coconut oil, butter, or other forms of oil is used to make a tincture of CBD.

CBD oil disclaimers (please read, this is important)

General Medical Disclaimer

NCSM is not dispensing medical information.  If you are interested in using cannabidiol for treating a medical condition, consult a doctor.

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FDA Disclaimer

CBD oil is not regulated by the FDA as a controlled or prescription drug.  This article is about CBD oil, not prescription forms of CBD such as Epidiolex.

Drug Screening Disclaimer

If you use a CBD oil product which is of questionable quality, it is possible that you could test positive for THC or pot.  Be sure to get labs of your CBD product to be sure it is not contaminated with THC.

The Facts About glaucoma, symptoms

Glaucoma is the term for several eye diseases that feature optic nerve damage and derangement of vision.  There are several types of glaucoma.  They include:

  • Open angle-glaucoma: comes on gradually and painlessly. Starts with blurring in the peripheral field, then move to the center, causing blindness if not treated.
  • Closed-angle glaucoma: can happen suddenly or slowly.  It can involve pain, red eyes, nausea, and can cause permanent blindness.
  • Normal-tension glaucoma

Things that can increase the risk of developing glaucoma include:

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  1. High eye pressure
  2. Family members with glaucoma
  3. High blood pressure
  • 2 million people in the United States of America have glaucoma.
  • Glaucoma is the 2nd biggest inducer of blindness in the world after cataracts.

Symptomology

Open-angle glaucoma can have few symptoms and may only be detected from eye checks at the ophthalmologist.  Loss of field vision may be the only symptom.

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Closed-angle glaucoma can present with sudden episodes of eye pain and seeing halo rings, redness of the eye, vomiting, and vision loss.

Usual glaucoma treatment

Surgery

Surgery is the first go to after medication but is not a permanent solution.  Canaloplasty is used to make an opening through which fluid can drain.  A trabeculectomy is a similar procedure used to improve drainage of eye fluid.

Laser Treatment

This can change the shape of the eye and sometimes relieve eye pressure.

Medications

  1. Alpha2-adrenergic agonists like apraclonidine lessen fluid production and speed fluid outflow.
  2. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors like brinzolamide minimize the production of eye fluid.
  3. Epinephrine constricts blood vessels, minimizing eye fluid pressure, useful in open-angle but not close angle glaucoma.
  4. Parasympathomimetics like pilocarpine improve drainage of eye fluid.
  5. Prostaglandin analogs like travoprost improve the outflowing of eye fluids, reducing pressure.
  6. Topical beta-adrenergic receptor antagonists like betaxolol lessen the production of eye fluids.

Blindness may ensure over a period of twenty-five to seventy years.

CBD Oil Treatment for Glaucoma

Since the nineteen-seventies, it has been known that cannabis appeared to have some positive effect on glaucoma.

A 2018 study done in rats published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science suggested that THC, but not CBD can reduce intra-ocular pressure.  Higher doses of CBD even appeared to raise eye pressure.

An article in the British Journal of Ophthalmology in 2004 called ‘Cannabinoid and Glaucoma’ set off the alarm bells that cannabidiol might be a suitable treatment for a disease which has no cure (Tomida, Pertwee, and Azuara-Blanco).

Another study evaluated THC eyedrops and found a decrease in eye pressure but only in the case of eye inflammation, rather than other causes of glaucoma.  This suggests the use of cannabinoids in general (Pescosolido, Stefanucci, and Libr).

A study in the Journal of Glaucoma in 2006 found that THC but not CBD reduced intraocular pressure (Tomida, Azuara-Blanco, and House).

The evidence for the use of cannabidiol to treat glaucoma is therefore mixed.  THC itself has a better track record for lowering intraocular pressure.  If one wanted to experiment with using cannabidiol for eye pain or glaucoma, it would be prudent to choose a good CBD oil product.  That we can help you with.

How much CBD oil to take for glaucoma?

If you want to trial CBD for glaucoma, you will have to experiment with dosing.  In one study, 40 mg failed to decrease intraocular pressure, and doses beyond that appeared to raise pressure.  THC, on the other hand, was able to decrease pressure.

Therefore, CBD is best used only as a treatment for pain or nausea associated with glaucoma, as the evidence that it will treat glaucoma on its own, without THC, is not strong.

How it works

Cannabidiol affects several receptors in the nervous system and in the immune system, producing potent anti-inflammatory actions.  It can, therefore, treat pain associated with glaucoma.

CBD hemp oil dosage for glaucoma:

The research cited above on how many mg of CBD oil for glaucoma suggests a dosage between 20 mg and 40 mg helps.  Anything above that might actually increase eye pressure as we’ve seen in the study discussed above.

CBD oil mg dosage for glaucoma: how to take it

Take 20 to 40 CBD dosage for glaucoma by mg in oil, hold it under your tongue for 30 seconds, then swallow.  Do this in a single dose daily.

  Elixinol CBD Review

CBD oil dosage for glaucoma:

20 to 40 mg per day.

Our Pick of the Day

Elixinol is one of the top CBD brands in the world.  They are based in Colorado USA and Sydney Australia.  They were in the business long before CBD became a fad in America.  This is a company which has earned its stripes.

Each product tells you exactly how much CBD you are getting, there is no flim-flam.  They use an in-house lab and a third party lab.  Elixinol has it all.

Below is a screenshot of a particularly powerful CBD oil product.  This is a tincture, one of their strongest meaning it has the highest concentration of CBD.  It comes with a hefty price tag, but, for glaucoma, you don’t need that much.  You can get 300 mg for about $30.  That could last about 15 days, taking 20 mg per day.

Pros and Cons of CBD Treatment

Pros Cons
  • Can improve nausea.
  • Does not require a prescription
  • Little side effects.
  • May improve pain symptoms.
  • No addiction.
  • No high.
  • Not expensive at doses for glaucoma.
  • Can increase intraocular pressure if used at more than 40 mg per day.
  • Epidolex, the prescription form, does require a prescription and is not approved for glaucoma treatment
  • THC, weed, or pot seems to work better for glaucoma.

CBD Treatment Reviews

Facebook review

This Facebook user confirms what studies seem to suggest, that smoking weed helps, but CBD only helps with pain, not reducing intraocular pressure.

Facebook review

This Facebook user with glaucoma found success with CBD as a treatment for arthritis pain, as it reduces inflammation.  This further proves that CBD is best for inflammation and pain, not for glaucoma itself.

Reddit user

This Reddit user has it right.  You generally want THC for glaucoma, CBD for pain.

Reddit user

This exchange also conforms to the research showing CBD doses above 40 mg may worsen glaucoma.

Conclusion

The consensus appears to be that CBD is not a treatment for glaucoma and may worsen the condition.  It can, however, treat pain associated with glaucoma at dosages between 20 mg and 40 mg.

Side effects can include Changes in appetite and changes in moodiness.  It can make you sleepy or lethargic.  It can make you dizzy, cause cotton mouth, or loose stools.

Bibliography

Pescosolido, Nicola, et al. Evaluation of cannabinoid eye drops on five patients with intractable hypertensive open-angle glaucoma. 2018. 4 5 2019. https://pulsus.com/scholarly-articles/evaluation-of-cannabinoid-eye-drops-on-five-patients-with-intractable-hypertensive-open-angle-glaucoma.pdf.

Tomida, I., Roger G. Pertwee, and Augusto Azuara-Blanco. “Cannabinoids and glaucoma.” British Journal of Ophthalmology 88.5 (2004): 708-713. 4 5 2019. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1772142.

Tomida, Ileana, et al. “Effect of Sublingual Application of Cannabinoids on Intraocular Pressure: A Pilot Study.” Journal of Glaucoma 15.5 (2006): 349-353. 4 5 2019. https://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16988594.

Last updated on June 5th, 2019 at 02:11 pm
June 5th, 2019
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