Although most people enjoy marijuana as a recreational activity, there are a number of instances where it is used as a medication to treat various illnesses and health conditions. One of the most common reasons for medical marijuana is for the treatment of glaucoma. How does marijuana help glaucoma?

Now, just what exactly is glaucoma? It is a visual condition caused by increased intraocular pressure in the eyeball where fluids tend to build up in the front of the eye. It damages your eye’s optic nerves and may lead to loss of sight. At this point, you may be wondering how marijuana can be used as a treatment for this condition. Marijuana is known to contain a compound known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or better known as THC. THC is responsible for the psychological effects that a person feels when consuming cannabis. It is known to reduce intraocular pressure, the main cause of glaucoma, and provide the user with a feeling of relaxation, thereby reducing the strain in a user’s eyes. It can also help reduce the risk of developing any further damage to the optic nerves and avoid any build-up of fluids that cause visual loss.

How does marijuana help glaucoma? glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States of America and many people have considered using marijuana as a means of treatment. There are three (3) types of glaucoma that people experience, namely: open-angle glaucoma, closed-angle glaucoma, and secondary glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is present when the damage to the optic nerves can be found at the back of the eye, making the person unaware of having it. Closed-angle glaucoma, on the other hand, is when the damage is found at the front of the eye, which blocks the drainage angle and prevents fluid from circulating through the eye. 


Glaucoma must be treated by trying to control and reduce intraocular eye pressure constantly for 24 hours a day. Since the effects of cannabis have a window of around 3-4 hours, cannabis must be consumed around six to eight times a day in order for the pressure around the eye to be constantly monitored and lessened. Smoking marijuana is the most common way of consumption as a medical treatment. However, the user must be aware of the effects that come with this. Although used to treat glaucoma, smoking marijuana may cause damage to the lungs if consumed in a considerable amount. It may also affect the user’s psychological thinking and prohibit the user from engaging in other activities while under the effects of cannabis. Other ways of THC consumption may include using oral and sublingual methods. Pills containing the THC compound are often used to avoid the negative effects that smoking causes. These are usually taken by placing the pills in the mouth under the tongue. The dosage is contingent on the amount of THC found in the pills being consumed. Studies indicate that in order for intraocular pressure to be maintained, it must be maintained at a level of 12-22 mm Hg.

It is important to note that while marijuana consumption may prove effective in dealing with glaucoma, the user must also be aware of the drawbacks that it may cause when being consumed. An example of these drawbacks is that since using marijuana may have a short-lasting effect in maintaining the pressure level in the eyes, a considerable amount must be used daily in order to treat this eye condition. One may also be exposed to the risk of abusing the drug. The use of medical marijuana depends entirely on the user and he/she must be responsible for the actions and effects that this may have on him/her.