Remember in Due Date when Zach Galifianakis says he needs to get some marijuana because he forgot his glaucoma prescription on the plane? It turns out it’s a legal medical application — though not one that an ophthalmologist would advocate.
However, according to the findings of a new study, persons with glaucoma may be able to benefit from a cannabis-based medication without the psychoactive side effects of THC. (Yes, it’s probable that not everyone may be pleased with this news.)
The peer-reviewed work was published in the journal Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Molecular Basis of Disease in March, an international publication devoted to disease biochemistry and molecular genetics.
According to Hemp Grower, researchers determined that cannabinol (CBN), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid, has potential as a therapy alternative for glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a category of eye diseases that cause an increase in pressure on the optic nerve. It can cause visual loss and blindness if left untreated. Treatment methods currently available range from eye drops to laser treatments and surgery.
Researchers discovered CBN Isolate Bulk to be a “potential multi-target therapeutic strategy for glaucoma” by reducing damage to the optic nerve in three ways:
• Assisting in the protection of retinal ganglion cells, which are crucial for vision.
• Reducing changes in the protein matrix between cells. This “extracellular matrix” is composed of collagen and other molecules that aid in structure, elasticity, tissue repair, and other vital tasks. The alterations sought by the researchers indicate a stress reaction in response to increased strain.
• Restoring normal intraocular pressure levels in the eye. The extracellular matrix (explained above) around the base of the cornea is thought to assist regulate intraocular pressure in both normal and glaucomatous eyes. High pressure over extended periods of time is what affects the visual nerve, thus maintaining normal pressure is critical.
Several experiments were conducted to observe cells and the extracellular matrix, which resulted in the research findings. These were conducted as both in vitro “test tube” research and in vivo (inside living creatures) studies. The studies were carried out by scientists from the Vancouver-based company InMed Pharmaceuticals in collaboration with experts from the University of British Columbia. InMed is currently working on a CBN eye drop – more on it later.
For the past 50 years, doctors have been aware of cannabis’s potential as a treatment for glaucoma.
Cannabis has been discussed for its potential in treating glaucoma for 50 years, according to ophthalmologist Peter Hnik in a blog post for Ophthalmology Times. However, the requirement for regular dosing, along with the euphoric effects of THC, was widely regarded as outweighing any possible benefits.
It is a less difficult choice than seeking for CBG Distillate.
According to the findings of this study, non-psychotropic CBN Isolate Bulk may alleviate both of these issues.
Hnik, an InMed Pharmaceuticals consultant, called the findings “encouraging,” adding that CBN “may resolve some of the previously related problems with cannabis usage and may present a new possible therapeutic intervention in the treatment of glaucoma.”
He pointed out that CBN’s apparent ability to protect retinal cells while also lowering intraocular pressure gives it an advantage over conventional drugs that merely lower intraocular pressure. “A glaucoma treatment that provides proactive retinal protection may decrease the progression of optic nerve damage and lower the chance of blindness,” he said.
He also mentioned that the positive effects of CBN Isolate Bulk appear to continue longer than those of other cannabinoids, which are said to last three to four hours. This means that dosing will be less frequent.
A New EYE Drop Formula is Being Developed.
One of the study’s collaborators, InMed, is working on a CBN eye drop to treat glaucoma. According to the company’s website, it compared numerous cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, to determine the best candidate for glaucoma treatment. CBN revealed the greatest neuroprotective effects, as well as the potential to lower intraocular pressure.