Health and Wellness

Do CBD Eye Drops Help in Treating Glaucoma?

3:01 AM

Image Credit: Pixabay 
Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve. Typically, fluid builds up in the front portion of the eye and that fluid increase causes the pressure in the eye to increase as well. This pressure is what damages the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the number one cause of blindness for those who are 60 and older. However, blindness from glaucoma can be prevented if treatment is started early.
There are two types of glaucoma. The first is primary open-angle glaucoma, and it happens slowly over time. The other type of glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, can develop slowly but can also result in an acute attack that can cause blindness very quickly. The symptoms include sudden blurriness, severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, and halos around lights.

One of the symptoms of the slower forming types of glaucoma is eye pain. People have smoked cannabis (with the mind-altering THC agent) since the middle of the 1970s due to its ability to reduce the intraocular pressure and relieve the painful symptoms of glaucoma. However, not everyone wants to experience the effects of THC in order to find glaucoma relief. Additionally, not everyone has access to legal medical marijuana. These patients have recently been trying cannabidiol or CBD, the compound of marijuana with medicinal effects only, as an alternative. Now many are wondering if CBD eye drops can be developed for topical application instead of taking orally.

The science is clear that pain is reduced when the endocannabinoid system is activated. Studies have shown CBD to be the most beneficial eye pain reducer in several animal studies. However, there are some challenges for human use that still need to be cleared.

The challenge for CBD eye drops is the inability of water and oil to mix. The CBD oil needs to penetrate the water (tears) of the eye to reach the cornea. Anyone familiar with making salad dressing knows water and oil just do not mix. Development of CBD eye drops has sometimes slowed due to this challenge. Some of the ways scientists have tried to apply marijuana cannabinoids was to use a lighter mineral oil as a bridge to the eyes. However, this method proved to be too irritable on the eye. The next method was to use micro-emulsions or cyclic sugar molecules to help cannabinoids enter the cornea.

Due to the efficacy of CBD oil in preclinical trials, as well as to its lack of the mind-altering THC effect marijuana holds, researchers will continue to pursue CBD eye drops for glaucoma pain. Until then, CBD oil taken orally will continue to be a smart option for patients seeking relief from glaucoma pain. Available legally and safely through licensed and qualified purveyors like Love Hemp CBD Oil, patients have already been reporting benefits anecdotally with this method.

Whatever methods you use for eye pain, the most important recommendation is to make sure you visit your eye doctor for any changes with your eyes or vision. This can be critical to maintaining, and even saving, your overall eye health.

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