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  • Infographics: Why Eye Doctors Don't Recommend Marijuana for Glaucoma

    May. 04, 2022

    You might have heard from a dispensary or a friend that medical marijuana is an excellent treatment for glaucoma. But beware: It doesn't live up to the hype. Not only is marijuana a poor substitute for glaucoma medications, but CBD oil can actually worsen the condition.

    The surest way to avoid vision loss from glaucoma is to follow your ophthalmologist's prescribed treatments, whether that includes prescription eye drops or surgery.

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    Reason 1: Marijuana is not an effective glaucoma treatment

    The evidence is clear: Prescription drugs can prevent glaucoma from stealing your sight. Marijuana cannot. When people with glaucoma use their medications correctly and undergo surgery if needed, they can almost always avoid going blind. Why take a risk with your vision?

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    Reason 2: Marijuana wears off too quickly to help glaucoma

    While marijuana can lower pressure in the eye (elevated pressure contributes to glaucoma), this effect only lasts a few hours. Modern glaucoma medications last much longer.

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    Reason 3: You'd need to consume so much marijuana, you wouldn't be able to function

    Because marijuana's effects are so short-lived, patients would need to take it continuously day and night to effectively treat glaucoma. Such sustained use would cause serious problems with memory, thinking and coordination. One study found that 9 of 9 patients could not tolerate the doses of marijuana necessary to treat glaucoma.

    Driving under the influence is dangerous and illegal, and other daily activities such as cooking or even carrying on conversations would also become problematic. Is it really worth it?

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    Reason 4: Treating glaucoma with marijuana could raise the risk of blindness

    Marijuana use can lower blood pressure, which slows blood flow to the optic nerve. This is a problem because the optic nerve connects the eye to the brain. Disrupting this connection could raise your risk of blindness.

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