With research studies being conducted left and right to test cannabis medicine’s effectiveness against various symptoms and disorders, the list of conditions for which it can be utilised grows longer every day. Due to its lack of psychoactive effects, CBD receives the majority of attention, whereas THC is frequently ignored. THC, on the other hand, has long been known to be beneficial for the eyes and has been used to treat diseases like glaucoma.
medical marijuana in the past
Let’s review some facts concerning cannabis use in medicine before discussing the revival of medical marijuana in more recent decades. In essence, it had been used in medicine for thousands of years before to being appropriated by Western medicine in the 1800s, and it had been reintroduced after a period of forced illegalization. Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, two of the oldest medical systems, both have several uses for the usage of cannabis to treat a wide range of illnesses. It has also been employed in numerous other lesser-known medicinal practises.
Cannabis was being utilised in all forms of Western medicine before to being listed as a narcotic by the Single Convention on Narcotic Substances, which imposed its global prohibition. In reality, it was first included in the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1850; but, after the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act in 1937, it was removed from the list. It might be found in a huge variety of items, for nearly everything, prior to the regulations changing. Naturally, the majority of people were unaware of this, but it does demonstrate how widely cannabis was used in the medical field. This was not limited to the US, as the plant was made banned in a large number of nations.
Cannabis has essentially gone through three stages as a medicine. The first was applied to everything before natural medicine practises began in the 1800s. The drug’s first co-optation into Western medicine was the second stage, and its more recent reintroduction into Western medicine is the third.
When the Irish scholar Dr. William O’Shaughnessy released Bengal Dispensatory and Pharmacopoeia, which contained a whole 25 pages devoted to cannabis use in medicine, it made its first appearance in Western medicine about 1842. When it was still a part of the British East India Company in 1933, he began researching it and found it useful for treating a variety of conditions, including rheumatism, drowsiness, and digestive problems.
the resumption of medical marijuana
Raphael Mechoulam was working independently in Israel in the mid-1900s, publishing a report on the isolation of THC in 1964, and researching its potential applications for treating a variety of diseases. research that was virtually kept secret for decades. There was also Roger Adams, who discovered CBD in 1940. By providing a non-psychoactive chemical to cure ailments, CBD helped support medicinal cannabis in general. In essence, all the uses for which cannabis had already been utilised before it was made illegal started to be investigated through more advanced medical research techniques. Most of this went mostly unnoticed for a while, but California eventually turned the issue into a global news story.
The US state of Virginia established a drug reform law in 1979 that authorised the prescription of cannabis-based treatments to patients with cancer and glaucoma. In the US, this was the first time modern medicine had been legalised. California pushed harder with a bill in 1996 that was focused just on cannabis usage for medical purposes, and its Proposition 215 sparked a wave of regulatory changes across the country.
THC benefits eyes, especially those with glaucoma.
Although it might not be seen as one of its more popular uses today, treating glaucoma with cannabis was one of the initial justifications for its return into Western medicine. This is due to THC’s demonstrated benefits for the eyes. Since the 1970s, when it was discovered that marijuana, and more especially THC, can lower intraocular pressure, one of the primary causes of glaucoma, research on cannabis use for the eyes has been conducted.
There are other types of glaucoma, but POAG, or primary open-angle glaucoma, is the most common. Even though glaucoma affects more than 60 million individuals globally, it may not be discussed as frequently as other illnesses. Maintaining pressure under control is crucial, especially given that glaucoma is the second largest cause of blindness after cataracts and that intraocular pressure is the third risk factor for getting the condition after age and race.
The notion that THC can be used therapeutically, including to cure glaucoma. came about in the middle of the 1970s when Robert Randall, then 26 years old, noticed that haloes around lights had vanished after consuming marijuana. Randall had advanced glaucoma and it wasn’t being properly treated. Randall ultimately decided to grow his own marijuana, for which he was discovered, apprehended, and later charged with federal offences.
The United States vs. Randall, a famous case from 1976, was the result of Randall’s persuasive testimony before the DC Superior Court. This case is credited with being “the first successful articulation of the medical necessity defence in the history of the common law, and in fact, the first case to extend the necessity defence to the crimes of possession or cultivation of marijuana.” Randall became the first legitimate medicinal marijuana user since 1937, when the Marijuana Tax Act virtually put an end to the use of cannabis both medically and generally.
THC benefits the eyes in other ways, too.
It’s ironic that THC has a use that is already technically known to us all. Even if not always “excellent,” at least having a potential medicinal benefit The drying effects of cannabis on the eyes are well known. I can personally confirm that when I use marijuana, my contacts stick directly to my eyes. This isn’t a benefit in and of itself, but this study showed that THC is beneficial for controlling the lacrimal gland, which may be advantageous for those with epiphora, a disorder characterised by excessive eye tears.
A study on the effects of cannabis on night vision was released in 2004. The study had a small sample size, so it needs more validation, but it did produce encouraging results. It was shown that night vision improved after smoking in two double-blind experiments on participants who smoked kif, which is described here as “sifted cannabis sativa mixed with tobacco.” The researchers think that the impact is dose-dependent and is mediated at the retinal level. Marinol, at doses ranging from 0 to 20mg, was the THC form employed in the study.
One of the problems with THC is that less research has been done on it than could have been done because of the widespread prohibition of it. There isn’t much research on cannabis and cataracts right now, but there are certain linkages that could be useful. One of the main characteristics of cataracts is inflammation, which is reduced by THC, and high blood pressure, which is also reduced by cannabis.
Macular degeneration is a significant concern with the eyes, particularly for the elderly. Numerous options exist for cannabis to relieve symptoms. It can aid with inflammation, for starters, just like with cataracts. Additionally, it has the ability to suppress vascular endothelial growth factor without having the negative side effects associated with prescription drugs used for this purpose. Third, it decreases intraocular pressure, which is advantageous for glaucoma patients as well. Fourth, cannabis can be helpful for addressing the psychological aspects of having such an eye illness, including the anxiety and depression that might accompany it, by easing these symptoms and calming the patient.
There are many articles warning about the potential harm caused by using medical marijuana, just like there are on every other subject related to it. Speaking with a specialist of some kind, ideally one who is knowledgeable about cannabis medicine, is advised for anyone interested in utilising cannabis to treat their eye problems. Though its real use has been considerably slower with the uptick, it appears that THC can be beneficial for the eyes and has been known for a while. Perhaps this will alter in the future.