San Diego Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Reefer Madness

The Eyes Have It

Did you know that cannabis consumption might possibly enhance your eyesight? Since the 1970s, scientists have conducted various studies on the connection between cannabis and our eyes. Here are some conclusions based on research.

        Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. The most common cause of glaucoma stems from higher-than-normal intraocular pressure (IOP). Research shows that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, can lower the IOP for three to four hours, bringing temporary relief when administered orally, sublingually (under the tongue) or topically.

        Recent research has discovered the presence of THC receptors in the eye’s tissue. Evidence also shows that cannabinoids may be able to save optic nerve cells via a mechanism called neuroprotection. However, the drugs that are currently prescribed to control the condition (there is no cure) are very effective while using one eye drop per day. Thus, there is little motivation for the eyecare professionals to lean toward cannabis as a preferred drug.

        It is widely known that cannabis has anti-cancer properties. One of the reasons for this is that it halts the growth of new blood vessels that feed cancerous tumors. This same action can reduce the effects of late stage macular degeneration as well. Stay tuned for more on this exciting development!

        Other researchers discovered that THC seemed to protect inner layers of the retina. These results came as no surprise, since cannabinoids have been linked to treating other degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and diabetes—all of which can affect the eye as well. It is widely known that the retina and brain share many similarities, including nutritional requirements.

        So, let us hope that good research continues to develop more uses for cannabis in eye health. And let’s stop all of this “reefer madness”!

Dr. Jeffrey R. Anshel is the owner of E Street Eyes, located at 128 West E St., in Encinitas. For more information, call 760-931-1390 or visit EStreetEyes.com.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Support Local Agriculture

“We have not inherited this earth from our parents to do with it what we will. We have borrowed it from our children and we must be careful to use it in their interests as well as our own.” Wendell Berry

Medical Cannabis a Viable Option for Baby Boomers

A growing number of people over 50 throughout California are discovering or thinking about exploring medicinal cannabis as a viable option for a number of medical ailments, but may not know where to start in finding treatment.

Smart Medicine for Your Eyes in Encinitas

Jeff Anshel, OD, FAAO, and owner of E Street Eyes in Encinitas believes that a healthy lifestyle—diet especially—is imperative for healthy vision.

Tiny House Builder Makes Big Impact

Thimble Homes provides tiny homes for those who wish to live smaller lives with bigger green impacts!

Lighten Your Load

This new book offers readers immediate action steps to decrease the negative impacts of stress on their body, emotions and environment and is a simple shift that leads to more time, greater health, increased energy and ease.

Comments posted are subject to review and removal if they are not in line with publication guidelines. Opinions are those of the person posting them.

Add your comment: