CBD oil found itself linked permanently with the treatment of eye diseases back in 1976. An octogenarian called David Randall found that whenever he used cannabis, his eye disease gradually got better, and the reverse was true when he stopped. Is there any truth to his claim or was it just that – an unscientific shot in the dark that gained way too much attention?
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a condition caused by a buildup of aqueous humor in the eye. Put simply, the liquid that keeps your eyes moist need to drain away somehow. Glaucoma is a condition where this doesn’t happen naturally due to blockage of the eyes’ drainage channels. This is usually accompanied by the deterioration of the optic nerve and high fluid pressure at the front part of the eye. If left untreated, it could lead to a gradual loss of vision and irreversible damage.
Modern treatment includes surgery, microsurgery, eye drop medication, and, more recently, the use of marijuana or hemp-based products like hemp extract and CBD oil.
Using CBD for Glaucoma
Despite numerous existing alternative methods for treating glaucoma, each of them come with their own complications. Eye drops tend to cause a number of reactions and allergies, and surgeries often face complications and are expensive. A relatively recent addition to the list of acceptable methods of treating the disease includes using CBD.
CBD has an arguable advantage over conventional methods since there is no known allergic reaction to CBD. It doesn’t react with any drugs that are readily available on the market, doesn’t have any serious side-effects and is relatively cheap. It also sets itself apart from marijuana since it contains little to no THC – meaning being that it causes no psychoactive reactions in the body. CBD extracted from the hemp plant is also legal in every state in the US.
Historically speaking, marijuana has always been in the spotlight due to its observable effects on the treatment of various ailments. Of particular importance has always been its tendency to decrease blood pressure, which, in turn, leads to a decrease in ocular pressure on the blood vessels. Recent studies have established this to be true of CBD also.
CBD has a number of incredible effects on the human body. This includes antioxidants, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. The current craze around it is only dampened by those who worry that inhalation of CBD, either via vaping or smoking hemp oil is going to have negative side-effects. The argument goes that at the end of the day, inhaling combustible materials is going to take its toll on the throat and lungs. This may be true, but it’s greatly alleviated by the fact that there are a dozen different ways to take CBD.
In fact, most major CBD outlets like Greenland Farms advise taking in CBD using a CBD tincture or dropper, since some people’s eyes are sensitive to vape smoke.
Are there risks?
Right before you jump onto the CBD train to relieve glaucoma symptoms, it’s important to understand that CBD isn’t a bulletproof treatment. For a number of select individuals, it turns out CBD may actually counteract the relief normally believed to be caused by THC.
For about 20 years, clinical trials have indicated that CBD is either an active ingredient in the treatment of glaucoma or, at worst, is just inactive. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science in 2018 disputes this. According to their findings, CBD may actually increase ocular pressure on the optic nerve, worsening glaucoma.
The conflicting findings means more research needs to be carried out before CBD can either be officially ruled out as a means of treatment or officially acknowledged. Ultimately, the implication is that CBD should not be used in self-treatment without consulting a doctor first. Special groups of people like pregnant mothers and children should also avoid using CBD.