Pubdate: Thu, 28 Apr 2016
Source: Sacramento News & Review (CA)
Column: The 420
Copyright: 2016 Chico Community Publishing, Inc.
Author: Ngaio Bealum


Is there a recommended type of cannabis for relieving glaucoma?

- -DIC

Good question. People have used marijuana to treat the symptoms of 
glaucoma for years. In fact, Robert Randall, the first person to 
receive medical marijuana from the U.S. government, suffered from 
glaucoma. Elvy Musikka, one of the four people left on the program, 
also uses cannabis to treat glaucoma.

Before we get into this, let's remember that, as I've said before, I 
am not a doctor. Consult your physician before taking on any 
cannabis-related regimens.

The American Glaucoma Society recognizes the helpfulness of cannabis 
in treatment, according to a position statement that can be found on 
the AGS website. Cannabis assists patients by lowering pressure 
between the eyes, but even the statement notes that since the effects 
only last about three hours, you have to toke up multiple times a day 
to have relief.

The statement goes on to say that "marijuana's mood altering effects 
would prevent the patient who is using it from driving, operating 
heavy machinery and functioning at maximum mental capacity. Marijuana 
cigarettes also contain hundreds of compounds that damage the lungs, 
and the deleterious effect of chronic, frequent use of marijuana upon 
the brain is also well established."

That's all good, aside from the fact that new research shows 
marijuana doesn't harm the lungs or the brain (this particular post 
is dated 2009, so maybe they haven't looked at the new studies 
demonstrating that pot doesn't harm your lungs or brain: and, respectively).

They make a good point about glaucoma patients maybe not wanting to 
have to smoke weed constantly. I called my friend Clint Werner, 
author of Marijuana, Gateway to Health, and the first thing he said 
was, "Yeah, it helps, but you have to smoke a lot. Robert Randall 
smoked, like, seven joints a day."

Seven joints per day may not seem like much to those of you for whom 
cannabis use is a lifestyle decision, but even if you roll a pinner, 
that's a pretty good amount of weed. Someone unaccustomed to being 
slightly stoned all the time may decide that the benefits of cannabis 
don't outweigh the side effects. Clint said tinctures may help those 
folks who don't want to puff all day, every day. More from the AGS:

"An exciting finding in the past decade is the discovery of receptors 
for the active components of marijuana in the tissues of the eye 
itself, suggesting that local administration has the possibility of 
being effective."

How cool would that be? Imagine weed-based eye drops that help people 
with glaucoma. I am hoping the DEA is really serious about 
rescheduling cannabis so that the scientists can do science things 
and maybe find a cure.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom