• Dr. Neil Satija

CBD oil can worsen or cause glaucoma

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

We have bet you heard that cannabis can treat glaucoma. While there is some truth to this studies have shown that CBD oil can worsen or even cause glaucoma. This is because CBD oil can raise the IOP or intraocular pressure in the eyes. When the pressure in the eye rises it can cause damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending information from the retina to the brain. When this optic nerve in the back of the eye becomes damaged it can lead to permanent vision loss.

Smoking marijuana has shown to lower eye pressure to help with glaucoma, however treating glaucoma with marijuana is not recommended because it’s effects are short lived and temporary. Eye pressure needs to be lowered for 24 hours a day while marijuana's effects may last just a couple hours. At this time we also do not know the potency of marijuana and how it reacts with other medications including glaucoma medications.

Eye drops are the preferred method of treatment in that they are easy to use and have few side effects. There are currently some companies such as Nemus Bioscience which is working on a cannabis based therapy for glaucoma. Until this treatment is proven to be safe and effective prescribed therapy is recommended for long term care.

If you are using CBD oil please see your Eye Doctor to get your eye pressure checked even if you have not been diagnosed with glaucoma.

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