Marijuana And Glaucoma

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Paul Palmberg, M.D., Ph.D., a glaucoma expert and National Institute of Health (NIH) medical marijuana panelist, said at a Feb. 20, 1997 conference:

“I don’t think there’s any doubt about its [marijuana] effectiveness, at least in some people with glaucoma.”
Feb. 20, 1997 Paul Palmberg

The Mayo Clinic states in their Aug. 25, 2006 article “Marijuana as Medicine: Consider the Pros and Cons,” published on its website:

“In the early 1970s, scientists discovered that smoking marijuana reduced pressure in the eyes. Exactly how the cannabinoids in marijuana produce this effect isn’t known. Scientists have discovered CB1 receptors in the eyes, which may provide clues for future research on how marijuana affects glaucoma.

Your doctor can prescribe other medications to treat glaucoma, but these can lose their effectiveness over time. Researchers are working to develop medications containing cannabinoids that can be put directly on the eyes — to avoid the mind-altering side effects and other health consequences of smoking the plant.”
Aug. 25, 2006 Mayo Clinic

Time magazine stated in a Nov. 4, 2002 cover story “Is Pot Good For You?”:

“Marijuana does reduce pressure on the eye-ball, about 25%, but the drug isn’t always practical as a glaucoma treatment. Many who have the disease are elderly and can’t tolerate pot’s tendency to raise heart rates.”
Nov. 4, 2002 Time

GW Pharmaceuticals stated on its website in January 2004;

“The ability of cannabis and THC to lower intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma was serendipitously discovered in the late 1970’s by a variety of patients and researchers. Several patients in the US Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug Program maintained their vision while employing large amounts of daily cannabis in situations where standard drug therapy failed….

An emerging concept is that glaucoma represents a progressive vascular retinopathy that requires a neuroprotectant to preserve vision. Some of the resulting optic nerve damage accrues due to NMDA hyperexcitability, an effect that THC and CBD may counter as neuroprotective antioxidants.
Thus, glaucoma is an area where cannabis and cannabinoids may offer particular advantages over available single ingredient ocular anti-hypertensive agents. Delivery methods remain an exacting challenge.”
January, 2004 GW Pharmaceuticals

The World Health Organization (WHO), in their 1997 report Cannabis: A Health Perspective and Research Agenda stated:

“While THC has long been known to reduce the increased intraocular pressure of glaucoma, it has not been fully studied therapeutically….

Therapeutic uses of cannabinoids are being demonstrated by controlled studies in the treatment of glaucoma.”
1997 World Health Organization

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