Medical Marijuana vs CBD Oils for Glaucoma Treatment – What Actually Helps?

If you are looking for a natural treatment for glaucoma, you might find conflicting information on various blogs, forums and sites sighting some successful cases using medical marijuana for glaucoma treatments.

We have decided to take a closer look and find out more facts and proof if medical marijuana is actually effective for glaucoma treatment or not. And if other alternatives like CBD oil can be used for glaucoma too.

What Causes Glaucoma?

What Causes Glaucoma?

Before we start talking about glaucoma, we have to establish a few facts about the eye. In order for the eye to keep its shape and function it has to have a certain pressure inside it called the intraocular pressure. This pressure is caused by what is called the aqueous fluid/humor.

When this pressure rises above its normal range it causes glaucoma. So glaucoma is defined as a rise in intraocular pressure.

So why is glaucoma dangerous? Well, because when the intraocular pressure rises and remains elevated it can damage the optic nerve which transmits light impulses from your eyes to your brain so you can convert them to images.

Glaucoma can lead to blindness, which is why it’s so important to diagnose and treat the disease as early as possible.

Types of Glaucoma.

There are two main types of glaucoma: open angle and closed angle glaucoma. Without getting too technical, the angle we’re referring to in the eyes where the aqueous fluid is drained. When there’s a problem with the angle, aqueous fluid builds up and causes glaucoma.

1. In open angle glaucoma the angle is open in the sense that it’s not closed by structures in the eye.

However, on a molecular level there’s a problem with drainage in that angle. This type of glaucoma doesn’t present itself with symptoms. It is silent, which makes it more dangerous.

If a patient doesn’t complain of anything then they won’t see a doctor and receive a diagnosis and treatment. So it’ll slowly damage a person’s optic nerve in silence.

2.On the other hand, we have angle closure glaucoma. Here the angle is actually closed by structures inside the eye that can be seen by your ophthalmologist. Luckily, this type produces severe symptoms such as severe pain in the eye, redness of the eye, headache, nausea, vomiting, decreased vision, and seeing halos or rainbows.

Angle closure glaucoma is often diagnosed earlier than open angle glaucoma because of its symptoms, which encourages patients to see their doctor.

Western Medicine Treatment for Glaucoma.

Western medicine has several lines of treatment for glaucoma. There are a couple of eye drops that can be used to treat glaucoma.

1.Beta agonists work by reducing the production of aqueous humor. These are used once or twice per day, but have side effects such as lowering blood pressure, fatigue, and exacerbating asthma.

2.Another class of drugs is the prostaglandins, which increase the drainage of aqueous from the eye. They have fewer side effects but can still cause eye redness and even change the color of the iris.

Adrenergic agonists can also be used. However,  these may cause allergic reactions in the eye. There are also carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, which can be taken as eye drops or orally by pill.

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors have many side effects though, including lower body potassium and formation of  kidney stones.

Surgery is also available to treat glaucoma. For open angle glaucoma there’s a procedure called trabeculoplasty. For angle closure glaucoma surgeons can perform an iridotomy. Other procedures include trabeculectomy and inserting glaucoma draining devices.

Medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana vs CBD Oils for Glaucoma Treatment.

Classic eye drops and surgery aren’t the only ways to treat glaucoma. Today we have a new potential treatment on the horizon. It is the use of medical marijuana and CBD oils.

Medical Marijuana for Glaucoma Treatment

Can glaucoma be treated with medical marijuana?

Marijuana has been shown to reduce intraocular pressure by up to 30%.

Both medical marijuana and CBD oil work through the cannabis receptors that are found in many parts of the body, including the eyes.

The receptors we’re talking about here are mainly CB1 and CB2. The problem with using medical marijuana is that it’s not long acting. This means a person might need to use the marijuana 4 to 6 times a day.

This is too often, resulting in many adverse side effects. Smoking too much marijuana can leave a person intoxicated and can damage their lungs. It may also lead to dependence on weed.

CBD Oil for Glaucoma Treatment

Does CBD oil help glaucoma?

CBD  oil has been found to be as effective as medical marijuana in treating glaucoma.

At the same time, it avoids the intoxicating side effects. That’s why researchers are now looking towards CBD oils as an alternative to marijuana.

The issue still remains that it has to be taken systemically as eye drops are not  long lasting. Nonetheless, it’s much safer to take CBD than medical marijuana.

It is best to avoid smoking in taking medical marijuana or CBD oils in order to avoid damaging the lungs. Vaping is a slightly better option while it would be best to use pills. Despite the fact that they avoid systemic side effects more than any other option, eye drops aren’t recommended because they’re short acting.

CBD Oil Dosage for Glaucoma Treatment.

When it comes to dosage, moderation is very important. A study in 2006 showed that using too much CBD (over 40mg) can actually increase intraocular pressure worsening the glaucoma. Doses between 10-20mg were found to be the most effective when it comes to treating glaucoma.

Besides the intoxication and additional side effects of medical marijuana, it’s also more difficult to purchase. In order to buy medical marijuana you must be in a state where it is legal and there are dispensaries available.

CBD oils are easier to obtain as they’re readable available online. Just watch out for poor products of bad quality. Make sure that the store or vendor you’re buying from online is proven and can provide lab reports of the quality of its product as well as the CBD and THC concentrations.


Basically, both medical marijuana and CBD oils work the same way. However, as both  need to be taken several times a day, medical marijuana has worse side effects.  These include intoxication, dependence, and damage to  the lungs. This gives  the edge to CBD oils. Just make sure that when buying CBD oil online you get a quality product.

Thank you for reading our “Medical Marijuana vs CBD Oils for Glaucoma Treatment – What Actually Helps?”

We would like to hear about your experiences using medical marijuana and/or CBD oils for glaucoma treatment. Please leave your comment below.

Others who are trying to find a natural treatment for their glaucoma disorder will definitely appreciate and benefit from your experiences.

Learn more here:

PubMed, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Differentially Regulate Intraocular Pressure.

PubMed, Should ophtalmologists recommend medical cannabis to patients with glaucoma?



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