This is How CBD Can Boost Your Eye Health
Most of us consider deteriorating vision as an unavoidable part of getting older. As we age, our eyesight naturally starts to falter, and we become more susceptible to eye health issues such as cataracts and glaucoma. It's only natural to seek out alternative treatments and preventative therapies for treating age-related eye diseases and degeneration. That is why cannabidiol (CBD) for eye health is an increasingly popular choice.
According to the National Eye Institute, the future's looking rather grim for overall eye health. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of age-related cases of macular degeneration in the United States increased from 1.75 million to 2.07 million. Experts predict that by 2050 the number of people affected by these conditions will have skyrocketed to more than five million.
The statistics are similar for many other common eye health issues. For example, between 2000 and 2010, the number of Americans suffering from cataracts increased from 20.48 million to 24.41 million. The number of glaucoma cases went from 2.22 million to 2.72 million over the same ten year period, with an expectation that the condition will affect more than six million people by the year 2050. Clearly, eye health is something we need to pay closer attention to.
Where Does CBD for Eye Health Fit into the Picture?
For the uninitiated, cannabidiol is a naturally occurring substance found in the cannabis sativa genus of plants. Upwards of 60 cannabinoids are found within cannabis, and each interacts with the human body in subtly different ways. Behind THC, CBD is perhaps the second most popular cannabinoid. However, the two compounds have very important differences between them.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has many noted medicinal benefits, and is being studied feverishly by the medical researchers for many more. Unlike THC, it does not trigger any associated ‘high’ and has zero psychoactivity. If it is felt at all, users describe the experience as a mellow relaxation.
For many people, the CBD experience is much preferred to that of conventional THC-laden marijuana strains. Hence, why many are seeking out CBD for a myriad of eye-related health issues.
The Current Research into CBD for Eye Health
One of the most interesting characteristics of CBD oil for eye-related health issues is that it is proving useful for a wide variety of eye problems. A few areas of promising research are in development.
Cannabinoids may show promise for improving night vision, slowing down vision loss, and even improving the way your brain processes visual information. In this article, we'll focus primarily on the two most problematic eye health issues in America today, glaucoma and cataracts.
CBD for Glaucoma
The benefits of cannabis for glaucoma treatment are one of the main focus areas in current research. Cannabis has long shown benefits for relieving the most painful effect of glaucoma, intraocular pressure. Over time, through retinal nerve damage (or more rarely, through acute injury), it is natural for ocular pressure to build up. If left unchecked, it is at risk of developing into full-blown glaucoma.
According to a 2006 report from the University of Aberdeen, cannabis showed positive benefits for reducing the intraocular pressure temporarily. The randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, four-way crossover study discovered that 5mg of THC was able to reduce the pain of glaucoma for roughly four hours after treatment. Interestingly, the study noted that while most patients reacted well to the THC, one had a panic-like reaction.
There is clearly room for deeper exploration of where CBD may fit into this picture. Because if even small amounts of THC can induce panic-like results, it leads one to wonder if CBD could solve that problem while still treating the glaucoma?
An earlier study from the Medical College of Georgia seemed to suggest that both THC and CBD showed potential in protecting against retinal damage when applied topically. This study left the door wide open for further research into CBD for glaucoma treatment, moving beyond the Petri dish and on to human subjects.
For anyone currently experiencing the pain associated with glaucoma, CBD is a safe and natural alternative therapy, especially when compared to traditional painkillers. A typical CBD dose for glaucoma pain is 40 mg every six hours. However, everyone is different, and we urge you to read through our full article on dose guidelines before getting started.
If you are worried about possible side effects of CBD oil, it is perhaps one of the safest treatment options out there. The research continues, but the side effects seem to be mild, and rarely experienced. More on the side effects of CBD oil can be found here
CBD for Cataracts
Unfortunately, at this time there is little, if any, reliable scientific research on any cannabinoids for the treatment of cataracts. According to most reputable sources, the only treatment option is eye surgery to remove the cataract; there is no recognized alternative therapy for cataracts.
With that said, CBD may benefit people going into eye surgery for the removal of cataracts, or for post-surgical recovery. After all, CBD is a well-known anti-anxiety medication and may help patients overcome the fear and anxiety before the operation. Also, CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, and may be beneficial during the recovery stage.
If interested in the specifics of CBD’s anti-inflammatory powers, How CBD Helps Prevent Inflammation and Allergies is a great resource.
In summary, cannabinoids may just be the next leap forward for eye care that our quickly aging society has been waiting for. Research teams around the world are exploring cannabinoids' potential for reducing ocular pressure caused by glaucoma, as well as many other eye-related health issues, such as vision loss, and the improving the communication channels between the brain and the eyes.