How Does Weed Help with Glaucoma
It is no big secret that glaucoma patients have been using weed to treat their eye problems for a good number of years. This practice was prevalent even before marijuana was made legal in various states across the US.
Glaucoma is a very serious condition and one where the patient should be open to different treatment options, including the use of marijuana.
Before you begin to understand how weed helps treat glaucoma in certain patients, you need to first develop a basic idea of what glaucoma is, how it affects a person’s vision and what can be done to slow down or reverse the effects of this degenerative disease.
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
Glaucoma has been identified as the second leading cause of blindness in the world after cataracts. As of today, more than 60 million people worldwide are affected by this condition. There are different forms of glaucoma and each has its own adverse effects on the patient. The most common form of glaucoma is known as primary open angle glaucoma. It can be defined as a slow progressive disorder that damages cells in the retina and leads to degradation of the optic nerve. When left untreated, primary open angle glaucoma can constrict a person’s field of vision till it completely disappears for good. In other words, this form of glaucoma can be responsible for permanent blindness.
Effects of Increased Intraocular Pressure
There are three primary risk factors for glaucoma. The first two are beyond the control of a person; age and race. The third factor is the one that patients and medical professionals should be concerned with. Increased intraocular pressure can be controlled, and in doing so the risk of glaucoma can be significantly curbed down.
The intraocular pressure in a person’s eye comes from a fluid called the aqueous humor. This fluid is responsible for maintaining the shape of the eye among other things. The movement of the fluid takes place between the front of the eye and the back of the cornea. When intraocular pressure is increased, the movement from the front of the eye is restricted. As a result of that, pressure rises within the eye. Researchers believe that aqueous humor is responsible for supplying the optic nerve with nutrients.
A reduction in the intraocular pressure does not necessarily guarantee glaucoma prevention. However, this controllable risk factor has been alleviated with the help of medications like marijuana before. Hence, there is every reason to focus on this method of glaucoma treatment.
The Effectiveness of Marijuana as a Treatment Option
There is sufficient evidence to support the theory that smoking weed can slow down or reverse the effects of glaucoma.
In fact, research conducted in the 1970s shows quite clearly that pot has the ability to treat glaucoma in most types of patients.
This research has been verified and even promoted by the National Eye Institute. Hence, it would be wrong for people against marijuana to label this drug as a phony treatment option.
Despite research supporting the use of marijuana as a treatment option for glaucoma, it is important for weed enthusiasts, medical professionals and glaucoma patients to remember that cannabis only has a short term effect on relieving eye pressure. The effect it has on the aqueous humor lasts for around three hours. In order to enhance the effectiveness of marijuana, the drug has to be used about six to eight times a day. This treatment option isn’t feasible, let alone convenient, for a lot of patients as smoking weed so frequently can cause a person to remain impaired throughout the day. When impaired, the person will be unable to carry out certain activities such as driving a car.
Understanding Cannabis Strains
There is an air of mystique that surrounds cannabis whenever its medical uses are being discussed. Perhaps the reason why so many people are unsure of whether marijuana can treat ailments or not is because they are not aware of how this drug really functions inside the body. Cannabis contains a plethora of strains, and each strain has effects that cause different reactions in individuals. The complexity of the drug is what compels medical professionals to disregard cannabis as a universal medicine. However, this does not rule out the fact that the drug can be used to treat conditions such as glaucoma.
Not every cannabis strain is going to prove to be effective in helping a glaucoma patient.
The doctors do not recommend the drug simply because they do not have the time, the interest or the curiosity to dig deeper into the science of cannabis strains and figure out which strain is most effective in alleviating the second biggest cause of blindness.
Glaucoma treatment researchers are required to study different types of weed in order to find out strains that have the most positive effect on relieving the intraocular pressure. The first and most important step to identifying the appropriate cannabis strain is to learn the difference between sativa and indica cannabis. Weed of the sativa variant is known to provide bursts of energy and enhance creativity. Indicas on the other hand relax the muscles and allow the body to fall asleep much quicker.
Cannabis Strains that Work Best
The simplest and most effective way of finding out what type of weed works best for glaucoma is to analyze reviews from patients. According to patient reviews, the following cannabis strains have a significant positive effect on treating glaucoma:
It is one of the most well known and widely used cannabis strains in the world. The sweet smell and sour aftertaste makes it a unique specimen. Besides treating glaucoma, Maui Waui can help relieve anxiety, depression and pain.
This grade A indica hybrid is very potent and can be identified by its signature bluish green appearance. Its sweet earthy flavor is what appeals to weed smokers. The only major drawback of this pot is its ability to limit social interaction. Putting that aside, Blue Berry works as a really good pain reliever for glaucoma patients.
Black Cherry Soda
As the name suggests, Black Cherry Soda has a fruity smell and can give smokers an intense head rush. Characterized by a typical weed green appearance and reddish-orange hairs, the pot has the potency of 17% THC. It is without a doubt a decent option for alternative glaucoma treatment.