DENVER – CBD oil, which is legal in all 50 states, can provide relief for a range of ocular and systemic conditions, Robert Reed Jr., OD, said here at Optometry’s Meeting.
“The body makes the chemical that CBD is,” Reed said. “CBD oil is the plant-based component. We produce it: It affects mood, pain, appetite, memory, creative thinking, motivation, fertility; it stops cancer proliferation.”
The FDA does not regulate CBD oil, and “we can’t diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any medical conditions,” Reed said, but with the use of CBD oil, the body helps itself, and “we’re tweaking the system we were built with.”
Marijuana and CBD are here, he said. However, marijuana has issues and makes you high, while CBD oil is not harmful or addicting and improves the way you feel.
“In my practice, I look at things going on with patients that I may be able to help,” Reed said. “One hundred percent of the population is in need. I can make the offer, and it’s their choice. I’m in business to maintain and monitor their health and maximize their vision.
“Quality is critical, but you can’t overdose and you can’t become addicted,” Reed continued.
Medical marijuana is being used for pain and nausea relief, cancer, sleep problems, addiction withdrawal, glaucoma, MS/ALS and Parkinsons’s disease. However, it can also damage the brain, diminish cognition, destroy memory, cause heart attacks, increase risk of cancer in smokers and possibly affect genetics, he said.
Marijuana has been studied in the eyes, but the amount necessary to get a result is too great.
“People were so stoned they couldn’t sit up for their IOP to be checked,” Reed said. “There was a 20% drop in IOP, whether it was elevated or not, but it only lasted 3 hours. It is not useful for glaucoma.”
Marijuana can also inhibit motion perception, speed detection, spatial perception, and light and dark functions. It also affects central, up/left and temporal visual fields, he said.
Thirty percent to 40% of marijuana is made up of THC, the chemical that makes you high, Reed said.
He refers to THC as “The High Chemical,” and says CBD “Calms the Body Down.” CBD cancels out THC and addiction and also cancels alcohol.
“We operate with a sympathetic/parasympathetic system,” Reed explained. “When we are challenged, our body kicks into sympathetic mode: fight or flight. When the danger is gone, we should drop back into parasympathetic system. But we are in a constant sympathetic state. If chemicals do not get shut down, this triggers inflammation and causes disease.
“We created all of this with lifestyle, technology and diet,” he added.
CBD supports and modulates the immune system to prevent overreaction, Reed said. “It reduces inflammation everywhere. CBD oil can’t not work.”
Reed believes many eye problems are preventable and treatable with CBD oil because they are all related to inflammation, including cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, dry eye, allergy, iritis and uveitis.
In addition, psychiatric and autoimmune disorders, dementia and Alzheimer’s are related to inflammation brought on by lifestyle, diet and stress.
Because there is no FDA control, “you can’t be sure you’re getting CBD that doesn’t have some THC in it, or it may not have the level of CBD promised,” Reed said. “Know your source.”
CBD is available everywhere, so, “direct delivery is much better,” he said. “Cigarettes are adding it; edibles are difficult because you can’t manage the dose.”
A Certificate of Analysis from an independent lab can confirm the dose of CBD oil in a specific product.
“There’s no established concentration,” Reed said. “A starting point is 5 mg to 10 mg once or twice a day. Read the label. Good CBD is not cheap, but bad CBD may not be cheap either. I went through two or three brands until I found something that worked.”
Reed said he became interested in this because he broke his back in 2001 and was told he would not be able to practice again.
“I had chronic neuralgia from the waist down. I tried everything; I did acupuncture. Now I walk 4 miles every morning. Medicine said they can’t explain how I can still function with half of a spinal cord.”
He added, “We’re not trying to replace your prescription drugs, but let your doctor know if you’re using CBD and starting to improve. You may not need your prescription drugs at the same level as you did before.”