Marijuana and Ocular Conditions
Date & Time
Tuesday, December 28, 2021, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Jean Hausheer

The endocannabinoid system strongly influences a wide variety of physiologic processes within the human body by targeting specific receptors in most organ systems, including the ocular system. Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy that has a wide variety of risk factors, but only one controllable factor: intraocular pressure. There is an ongoing scientific effort to investigate if targeting the ocular endocannabinoid system can effectively treat this and other blinding diseases affecting the human eye. Marijuana is a drug with numerous molecular components, some well characterized and others poorly studied, that has inconsistent effects on intraocular pressure. As things currently stand, there is a lack of scientific evidence that effectively demonstrates marijuana as a useful monotherapy or a superior treatment option to treat glaucoma, as compared to traditional treatment modalities like topical or oral medications, laser, or glaucoma surgery. As legalization of marijuana increases across the United States and other North American countries, it is paramount for physicians and the lay public, to understand the effects of marijuana and other endocannabinoids on the ocular system, and patient perceptions and concerns regarding treatment of eye disease with these substances.

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