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Marijuana and Glaucoma
Pages 124-128

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From page 124...
... Research findings from as early as the 1970s show that both marijuana and THC reduce intraocular pressure, a key contributor to glaucoma. The first such reports generated considerable interest because at the time conventional medications for glaucoma caused a variety of adverse side effects.
From page 125...
... Increased pressure in the eye contributes to glaucoma by decreasing the flow of nutrients to the optic nerve, scientists suspect. Because elevated intraocular pressure is the only significant risk fac
From page 126...
... Such drugs as epinephrine or dipevefrin work by changTABLE 9.1 Treatments for Glaucoma Drug class Examples Howit reduces IOP Beta-2 adrenergic agonists epinephrine Eases flow through trabecular dipivefrin meshwork Beta-2 adrenergic antagonists timolol Supresses production of betaxolol aqueous fluid Cholinergic agonists pilocarpine Eases flow through trabecular meshwork Alpha-2 adrenergic agonists aproclonidine Reduces production of brimonidine aqueous fluid Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors acetazolamide Reduces production of dorzolamide aqueous fluid Prostaglandin-F2a analogs latanoprost Helps drain excess fluid unoprostone Surgery How it reduces IOP Laser modification of trabecular meshwork Drainage tube insertion Destruction of ciliary epithelium Improves flow through meshwork Helps drain excess fluid Reduces fluid production
From page 127...
... Smoked or eaten marijuana, THC and synthetic cannabinoids in pill form, and intravenous injections of several natural cannabinoids have all been shown to reduce IOP significantly in both glaucoma patients and healthy adults with normal IOP. In most trials a single dose of marijuana or cannabinoid maintained this effect for three to four hours.
From page 128...
... It is possible that future research could reveal a therapeutic effect for isolated cannabinoids other than THC or produce synthetic cannabinoid analogs that last longer and have fewer side effects. But the most promising line of research for treating glaucoma lies in the development of therapies that can protect or rescue the optic nerve from damage or that can restore its blood supply.

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