Beyond glaucoma: Cannabinoids in ophthalmology

    December 05, 2022 2 min read

    Beyond glaucoma: Cannabinoids in ophthalmology

    We have written more than once, in other posts, about the apparent promise of cannabinoids, cannabidiol in particular, in glaucoma, a progressive eye disease, and the possible mechanisms of action behind this. The basic leverage of cannabinoids in glaucoma consists of the demonstrating ocular hypotensive and neuroprotective activity. The downside is a large number of possible systemic and ophthalmic side effects. The fact is, the effects on cannabinoids on the anterior segment of the eye are complex. Evidence at this point suggests decreased endothelial density in the cornea, notably, at least in chronic cannabinoid users. 

    There may be other uses for cannabinoids in ophthalmology. In rodent experimental models, for one, there is promise in the treatment of ocular surface injury, because cannabinoids are frequently antinociceptive and antiinflammatory. 

    A caution, though. Electroretinography studies that demonstrate adverse effects on photoreceptor, bipolar, and ganglion cell function suggest that cannabis and neuroretinal dysfunction may be linked. These may include motility deficits, in smooth pursuit and saccades. Interestingly, though, there may emerge some therapeutic benefit for congenital and acquired nystagmus.


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    The foregoing is a report on trends and developments in the cannabinoid industry. No product described herein is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or syndrome.