After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the world. It has affected over 60 million people worldwide. Glaucoma is caused by a gradual buildup of excess fluid within the body of the eye. When excess fluid causes an increase in pressure to the eye, the optic nerve can become seriously compromised leading to blindness. Research findings from as far back as 1970 revealed that marijuana contains active ingredients, which can both reduce intraocular pressure inside the eye as well as the pain caused by the actual condition.
Medical marijuana has also been used to reduce the acute and chronic pain associated with terminally ill cancer patients with notable effectiveness. It also has a rich history of offering relief from such things as nausea, migraines, menstrual cramps and painful muscle spasms.
The medical benefit of marijuana is not a new phenomenon in this country. To the contrary, prior to 1937, there were approximately 27 different types of prescribed medicines that contained THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Established pharmaceutical companies sold these marijuana-based products with relatively high degrees of success. The federal government ended the legal use of medical marijuana in 1937.
Exactly how medical marijuana works in cases of glaucoma is not completely understood but it is thought that marijuana produces certain chemical compounds that can effectively reduce intraocular pressure within the eye. This is why medical marijuana has received so much attention from patients suffering from glaucoma. However, a new generation glaucoma treatments now being released are promising to be more effective and claim to actually reverse the progress of the disease.
A major drawback of having to use medical marijuana to relieve glaucoma symptoms is that the effect of marijuana has a fairly short life – the duration of effectiveness of marijuana is usually limited to just two or three hours. This requires that glaucoma patients use marijuana six-times a day or in order to get the same kind of relief other glaucoma medications provide.
Since most marijuana taken for glaucoma is consumed through smoking it, a patient must also consider the risks associated with inhaling smoke. Street marijuana is not organically grown and therefore often contains impurities that can irritate and cause damage to both the lungs and trachea of the patient. This is less true with organically grown medical marijuana, which is one reason why glaucoma patients have urged lawmakers to legislate the medicinal use of marijuana.
Currently, there are thirteen states that permit the medicinal use of marijuana for certain types of ailments. Glaucoma is one of them. In states like California, medical marijuana is legal, so long as a patient can produce a valid medical marijuana identification card and doctors recommendation of use, which identifies the patient as someone who has received a physician’s recommendation to treat the subject medical condition. Upon obtaining these documents, patients may visit a local medical marijuana dispensary or clinic and obtain the medicine for themselves.
For information on state and federal marijuana laws and penalties visit GotTrouble.com