Perhaps you’ve heard that marijuana can help with glaucoma. Or maybe you’re using a form of CBD, marijuana’s hemp-derived cousin, for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. What are your options?
Cataracts vs. glaucoma: How they’re different
Cataracts form on the eye's lens, a transparent structure in the eye that works much like a camera lens. Humans typically develop cataracts after age 40 because crystallin proteins within the lens begin to break down into tiny clumps that cloud the lens’s natural transparency. This cloudiness produces foggy vision that gets worse over time, especially after age 70. Cataract surgery removes the natural lens and inserts an intraocular lens (IOL) in its place.
What about CBD as a home remedy for cataracts?
Your last visit to the eye doctor found the culprit for your foggy vision — cataracts. Your doctor said cataract surgery is the only proven cure, but you’d like to know your options before undergoing the procedure.
Most of us believe that vision impairment is an inevitable part of aging. As we age, our eyesight naturally begins to fail, and we become more susceptible to ocular health problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. It is natural to seek alternative treatments and preventive therapies to treat eye diseases and age-related degeneration. That’s why cannabidiol (CBD) for eye health is an increasingly popular option.
Let’s look at how CBD can help for Cataracts.
As we age, our eyesight naturally begins to fail
Unfortunately, at this time there is little, if any, reliable scientific research on any cannabinoid for the treatment of cataracts. According to the most reliable sources, the only treatment option is eye surgery to eliminate the cataract; there is no recognized alternative therapy for cataracts.
Ophthalmologists may wonder how all this comes back to eye health. Because marijuana has had a long-time association with glaucoma (even if scientific evidence does not back it), medical professionals and patients tend to ponder whether CBD also can improve eye health, be it for glaucoma or other ocular issues.
Cannabidiol has few side effects. Some studies have noted fatigue, diarrhea, and change in appetite, but these are considered rare, Ms. Morrison said.
Cannabis for glaucoma “is entirely impractical and dangerous,” Dr. Tishler said.
Marijuana use for glaucoma not effective
In her own review of the research, Dr. Clifton sees potential for CBD and certain eye health issues. “It makes sense that taken internally, it would help inflammation or pain syndromes affecting the eye, just like it does any tissue,” Dr. Clifton said. She perceived several of the previous studies conducted as biased against cannabis.