If you’re considering CBD oil for a condition related to your eyes, then you’re likely wondering if there is a solution suitable for use as eye drops. According to Project CBD, cannabidiol isn’t just suitable for use on the eyes; it may also be beneficial when it comes to managing both eye pressure and NOP, also known as neuropathic ocular pain.
It’s well-known and well-researched that CBD has an effect on the body, as a result of its interaction with our internal endocannabinoid system. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t carry the same psychoactive properties, and instead acts specifically to reduce pain and inflammation, without the same side effects you’d expect from traditional ‘weed’.
CBD for ocular conditions and pain management
CBD oil is now used as a treatment for a range of different conditions, from the management of pain to reducing inflammation and alleviating anxiety. When it comes to our eyes, it makes sense that we’re cautious about what we put into them. After all, especially if you already suffer from an eye condition, they can be very sensitive.
Since the 1970s, it’s been suggested that THC-rich cannabis, when smoked, can have a positive effect on the pressure in the eye. This symptom of glaucoma can cause severe discomfort, and as studies suggest, CBD alone – either with or without THC – could prove useful as a solution to the pain and discomfort this condition causes.
For neuropathic pain, the usual prescription is NSAIDs and opioids, primarily when the peripheral pain is also related to spinal injuries and problems. But these medications can often carry serious side-effects, leading to a reduced quality of life. Cannabinoid therapies for pain management of ocular conditions have become increasingly common choices because they can be localised and result in fewer side effects overall.
The results of the 2018 study found that a single dose of THC drops lowered IOP by 28 percent for 8 hours in male mice, although humans with glaucoma need 24-hour pressure relief to reduce damage to the optic nerve. The study also found two interesting problems. First, CBD inhibited THC from lowering IOP. Second, the effects of THC on eye pressure were sex-dependent, with male mice receiving noticeably greater benefit from the treatment.
CBD Oil May Worsen Glaucoma. (February 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).
In fact, a recent medical study found that THC, not CBD, lowered eye pressure. By itself, CBD raises IOP, and in combination with THC, it can prevent THC from lowering IOP. THC is the intoxicating, recreational chemical in marijuana, which can be addictive and cause problems with thinking or memory. (Learn more)
Medical Studies on CBD & the Eyes Suggests CBD Is a Dangerous Chemical
The only currently approved medical approach for glaucoma is regular eye exams to monitor the condition. Follow your eye doctor’s advice to manage this condition if you are diagnosed with it. This will likely mean eye drops first to prevent vision loss. It could also mean laser eye surgery, drainage devices, or other types of surgery to alleviate intraocular pressure and reduce damage to the optic nerve.
There are very few medical studies on the effectiveness of CBD or medical marijuana, although the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has information on potentially beneficial uses for this approach to treatment. They have approved one CBD-based drug for two types of severe, rare epilepsy. Some forms of medical marijuana have been examined to treat eye conditions, especially glaucoma, but newer research suggests that CBD is not an effective treatment for your eyes.
Treating glaucoma starts with medicated eye drops that are designed to lower intraocular pressure. If these do not work, there are several approaches to surgery that can lower fluid pressure in the eyes and prevent vision loss.
It is important for you to follow medical advice from your optometrist and ophthalmologist to manage all eye conditions, from dry eyes to glaucoma. Don’t attempt to self-treat any eye issue with CBD. (Learn more)