Quotes on Cannabis and Glaucoma

Elvy Musikka, a patient in the federal Compassionate IND program for medical marijuana:

“I was diagnosed with Glaucoma in 1975. Within a year, I already knew that there was nothing, absolutely nothing that was on the market then worked for my glaucoma except for marijuana… One of the benefits of using marijuana is that most of us drop all the other drugs that really do a number on our heads and make it difficult for us to stay healthy between our livers, kidneys and everything else about us. It takes other pills to take care of everything else. I don’t have to deal with that. I did discover marijuana and pretty soon I found that it was the only medicine I ever needed.”

YouTube video created by Medical Marijuana 411 and uploaded by Sam Sabzehzar on May 28, 2010

Denver Relief, a medical marijuana dispensary:

“Medication may be prescribed to control the pressure, but cannabis is also very effective at reducing the [intraocular] pressure thus preventing damage that can lead to blindness. The THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol) and other cannabinoids present in medicinal marijuana have an advantage over pharmaceuticals as the variety of cannabinoids is superior to synthetic, single-ingredient medications.

The reason most cited by opponents of using cannabis as a treatment for glaucoma is that to maintain the therapeutic effect a patient must smoke frequently which may have long term effects on the lungs. Yet, with the wide availability of edibles which last considerably longer and vaporizers, this is not reason enough to disregard marijuana altogether.

There are many pharmaceutical options for the treatment of glaucoma, but they may lose effectiveness over time while cannabis has a consistent effect. While there is no known cure, cannabis is an effective treatment for glaucoma.

“Glaucoma and Cannabis,” available at denverrelief.com (accessed Apr. 3, 2014)

Thomas Orvald, MD, a cardiac surgeon:

“The treatment for glaucoma is to somehow get the [intraocular] pressure down within the globe [of the eye]. It just so happens that one of the many virtues of cannabis is that it has the capability of decreasing intraocular pressure… Cannabis is a very effective way, used properly, to decrease the pressure within the eye and to preserve this wonderful retina back here that transcribes all the visual sights into the brain.”

YouTube video he created with the Hemp & Cannabis Foundation, uploaded on Apr. 29, 2009

GW Pharmaceuticals:

The ability of cannabis and THC to lower intra-ocular pressure in glaucoma was serendipitously discovered in the late 1970’s by a variety of patients and researchers. Several patients in the US Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug Program maintained their vision while employing large amounts of daily cannabis in situations where standard drug therapy failed….

An emerging concept is that glaucoma represents a progressive vascular retinopathy that requires a neuroprotectant to preserve vision. Some of the resulting optic nerve damage accrues due to NMDA hyperexcitability, an effect that THC and CBD may counter as neuroprotective antioxidants.

Thus, glaucoma is an area where cannabis and cannabinoids may offer particular advantages over available single ingredient ocular anti-hypertensive agents.”

“Glaucoma,” written by the company’s Cannabinoid Research Institute and posted in the “Research & Development” section of its website (first accessed in Jan. 2004 but now available only in an archived cache of the website dated Apr. 4, 2004 via archive.org)

Paul Palmberg, MD, PhD, a glaucoma expert and National Institute of Health (NIH) medical marijuana panelist:

I don’t think there’s any doubt about its [marijuana] effectiveness, at least in some people with glaucoma.”

Feb. 20, 1997 conference



1 Comment

  1. November 6, 2015 at 1:34 am — Reply

    […] her life. GW Pharmaceuticals, medical Marijuana dispensaries, as well as physicians have also supported the link between Marijuana and glaucoma. Thomas Orvald, a cardiac surgeon that has collaborated […]

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