Is Marijuana Actually Effective At Controlling Glaucoma?

Medical marijuana is gradually being embraced by more and more states across the nation as a useful tool in treating a wide range of diseases and disorders. One of these diseases is glaucoma, a dangerous condition that can cause blindness if left untreated. If you have glaucoma and you're wondering if marijuana might be able to help you, keep reading to learn more.

How It Works

Marijuana has been found to be useful in helping to reduce the inflammation and pressure in the eyes that's caused by glaucoma. Marijuana actually causes this effect in all people, not just those who have glaucoma. The common side effect of consuming marijuana of dilated eyes and blurred vision is actually due to a decrease in pressure of the eye.

When you have healthy eyes, it can be difficult to see while taking marijuana due to the reduced pressure. However, if you have excessive pressure in the eyes due to glaucoma, marijuana can help to improve your vision and prevent the damage to the eye that's caused by excess pressure.


Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to using marijuana for glaucoma. The main problem is that marijuana only reduces the pressure in the eye for a brief period of time, approximately 3-4 hours. During that time, your eyes will benefit, but you'll also be under the influence. That means that while you may experience less discomfort and improved vision, you won't be able to operate heavy machinery like cars, and you may not be well-equipped to perform advanced tasks, like doing your job. You would also need to take regular doses in order to maintain the effects.

The Bottom Line

Some doctors still recommend marijuana as an added treatment for glaucoma, but chances are you'll still be given regular medication to control your eye pressure. If marijuana is legal in your state for recreational purposes, you can definitely use it if you have glaucoma. However, you should make sure to talk to your eye doctor to ensure that your traditional glaucoma medication doesn't reduce the pressure in your eyes too far while you're taking marijuana.

Glaucoma is dangerous if left untreated, and under no circumstances should you consider skipping eye doctor visits or treatment in favor of marijuana, legal or otherwise. However, with regular visits to your eye doctor and careful monitoring of the pressure of your eyes, legal medical or recreational marijuana can be used alongside traditional glaucoma medication for added benefits.