Cataracts and cannabis: Is there a treatment connection?
With stigmas easing, more adults are turning to the medicinal benefits of CBD and cannabis to treat eye conditions like cataracts.
Share this Story: Cataracts and cannabis: Is there a treatment connection?
Affecting almost 25 million Americans, cataracts cloud the eye, reduce vision, dull colours and, when not treated, can cause blindness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cataract is the leading cause of blindness globally.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that while Americans have treatment options for cataract diseases, many don’t understand something is wrong with their eyes until it’s too late. Slightly more common in women than men, cataracts are a growing issue that is affecting vision and quality of life.
Cataracts and cannabis: Is there a treatment connection? Back to video
Symptoms of cataracts include fading colour, blurred vision, problems with lights “glaring”, poor night vision and double-vision.
The Medical Impact Cannabis Can Have On Our Eyes And Vision
The eyes have it: Tetra Bio-Pharma ready to test the effects of cannabis drug on eye ulcers
U.S.’s only federally legal weed producer wants to treat your glaucoma without the high
Article content continued
The Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center explains that while age is the primary cause of cataract-related issues, diseases such as diabetes and medications such as steroids can increase the risk of developing cataracts later in life.
According to the National Eye Institute, “The risk of cataract increases with each decade of life starting around age 40. By age 75, half of white Americans have cataract diseases.”
By 2050, the institute estimates that cataract numbers will double from 24.4 million adults to 50 million adults experiencing cataract issues. The data suggests those most at risk of a rapid increase are Hispanic Americans.
“Most cataracts are age-related — they happen because of normal changes in your eyes as you get older. But you can get cataracts for other reasons — for example, after an eye injury or after surgery for another eye problem (like glaucoma),” the institute reports.
Turning to Cannabis
With stigmas easing, more adults are turning to the medicinal benefits of CBD and cannabis to treat eye conditions like cataracts. Harvard Health’s blog illustrates that many Americans are looking for different approaches to pain and age-related diseases. With 94 per cent of Americans surveyed in a recent poll supporting legal access to weed, many people are seeking out the medicine- more than ever before. In fact, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that cannabis use has been steadily increasing with adults who are 65 or older from 2.4 per cent in 2015 to 4.2 per cent in 2018.
Studies are limited about marijuana and cataracts, but cannabis does appear to have benefits with glaucoma. / Photo: Chinnapong / iStock / Getty Images Plus Photo by Chinnapong / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The American Academy of Ophthalmology stated that while studies are limited about marijuana and cataracts, cannabis does appear to have benefits with glaucoma, lowering intraocular pressure if dosed correctly.
The bottom line
With few studies available or in queue for cannabis’ effects on eye health, it is best to talk to your ophthalmologist if you are using cannabis or CBD, and find out if any risk factors exist.
As the stigma around weed continues to lessen, many older Americans are looking for new treatments for old issues. Scientists, no doubt, will want to keep up with trends and create new pathways for medicines to heal the body.With stigmas easing, more adults are turning to the medicinal benefits of CBD and cannabis to treat eye conditions like cataracts. ]]>