Can Medical Marijuana in Michigan Ease Glaucoma? 

medical marijuana

Those people easily qualify for medical marijuana treatment in Michigan who are diagnosed with Glaucoma. The majority of the patients suffering from Glaucoma don’t even know that they have it. On average, only 50% of the patients living with Glaucoma are clinically diagnosed with it. But by medicating with cannabis, Glaucoma patients can find relief from intraocular pressure. 

Depending on the severity by prescribing medication like eye drops or surgery, eye doctors effectively treat Glaucoma. You can effectively reduce IOP in both glaucoma patients and healthy adults with regular IOP with the help of medical marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids if taken in smoked or pill form. 

The majority of studies reveal that a single dose of marijuana could retain its effect for three to four hours. Besides this, patients also benefit from reduced inflammation, pressure, and pain relief, and that too without experiencing the high feeling with THC percentages in cannabis. 

About Glaucoma 

One of the leading motives of irreversible blindness is Glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition that leads to nerve damage and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness. Worldwide, around three million people live with Glaucoma, and the figure will increase in some years. 

The risk of developing blindness is reduced to nearly half as the surgical procedures and treatments have improved significantly. The number of effective topical drugs remains limited while the treatment has improved. The increasing numbers of people have turned to cannabis to help their condition as it is universally recognized in medical marijuana states as a qualifying condition. 

Still, many people wonder if medical marijuana is good for Glaucoma or not. The benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the expected side effects or risks due to the improvement of existing glaucoma treatments. 

Causes of Glaucoma 

Due to the increased IOP pressure, your optic nerve may get damaged. You may begin losing sight in your eye as damage to your nerve progresses. It is still unknown what causes the pressure on your eyes. But as per doctors, the following factors play a role in causing Glaucoma. Have a look at some of the causes of Glaucoma. 

Dilating eye drops 

Alzheimer’s disease

Blocked or restricted drainage in eyes

Several medications 

High blood pressure 

Reduced blood flow 

Symptoms of Glaucoma 

Most probably, people suffer from open-angle Glaucoma. As far as its symptoms are concerned, it has no signs or symptoms other than gradual vision loss. For this, the best thing is to opt for eye exams so that your eye specialist can monitor the changes in your vision. But if you notice and experience one of the following symptoms, then see your doctor immediately. 

Severe eye pain 



Redness in eyes 

Disturbance in vision 

Colored rings around lights 

Blurred vision 

People at risk of Glaucoma 

According to WHO, the second leading cause of blindness in the eye is none other than Glaucoma. Here are some of the people who are at risk of developing Glaucoma. 


All those aged or above 60 years of age tend to have high chances of developing Glaucoma and are at risk. Your increase in risk begins at the age of 40 if you are African American. 


People of African descent or African Americans are more likely to develop Glaucoma than others. Those belonging to Asian descent are at high risk and also people of Japanese descent. 

Eye problems 

Another reason for increased pressure on the eyes is chronic eye inflammation and thin corneas. Besides this, physical injury or trauma to the eyes or being hit by it can also lead to Glaucoma. 


Some people also tend to have Glaucoma because of their family history. You are at an increased risk of developing an infection if your parent or grandparent had Glaucoma. 

Medical history

Apart from the above mentioned, the persons who possess diabetes and have high blood pressure and heart disease are more prone to Glaucoma. 


Certain medicines have side effects which can lead to Glaucoma. For instance, if you use corticosteroids for a longer period, it may increase your risk of developing Glaucoma. 

Can cannabis help treat Glaucoma? 

Many studies conducted in the past reveal that cannabinoids can alleviate Glaucoma and its related symptoms as it reduces the IOP pressure and performs neuroprotective actions. Patients with early to mid-stage Glaucoma can resort to medical marijuana for the same. But when smoking weed, can lead to potential side effects which might outweigh its benefits. 

Patients will have to consume cannabis frequently, like once every three to four hours, because its therapeutic effects on Glaucoma are short-term. 

But when it comes to late-stage Glaucoma, doctors are more inclined to embrace cannabis as its possible remedy. It’s less about directly targeting Glaucoma and more about alleviating the symptoms in later stages of Glaucoma. 

Traditional treatments 

In the treatment of Glaucoma, an eye doctor’s main goal is to lower eye pressure to a safe level if you want to stop the damage caused by the high-pressure levels. Traditional treatment methods include prescribing medications, using laser treatments or surgery. 

Unfortunately, many people do not tolerate daily eye drops and additional therapies that they sought. 

Effect of medical marijuana on Glaucoma 

Medical marijuana has become a burning topic for glaucoma patients. Some studies have proved that smoking marijuana can lower eye pressure both generally and in people who suffer from Glaucoma, as several more states attempt to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal uses. 

But all those who cannot tolerate typical glaucoma medications can easily use marijuana to lower their eye pressure. 

Downsides of smoking marijuana 

There is no doubt that scientists have found that marijuana is effective in lowering down eye pressure, but its effects only last for 3-4 hours. It means that to lower eye pressure, the patient would have smoked marijuana every 3 hours. 

Smoking medical marijuana every 3-4 hours would be nearly impossible for people who run for a living, move heavy machinery, or have jobs that require close attention because marijuana causes mood-altering effects. 

It is also vital for you to learn that marijuana cigarettes contain chemical compounds that are quite effective in damaging the lungs, like regular tobacco cigarette smoking. Some studies indicate that chronic use of marijuana can have unwanted and permanent effects on brain function. 

Marijuana eye drops 

Can doctors administer the active ingredient THC differently if the harmful effects of marijuana are mainly caused by inhalation?

Scientists have conducted numerous studies in which patients ingested THC through oral or sublingual methods and topical eye drops. 

Unwanted systemic side effects make THC a bad option for treatment as Glaucoma is a chronic disease. Usually, oral or sublingual methods avoid lung problems, but they have other unwanted side effects. GlaucomaTHC is not very water-soluble, while eye drops sound like the most logical drug method. Consequently, it is difficult to develop an eye drop with high concentrations of THC so that it proves out to be effective. 

Negative effects 

Glaucoma is worsened by a paucity of proper blood flow to the optic nerve. Medical marijuana is effective in lowering down blood pressure and making it worsen by making the optic nerve receive less blood flow. One needs more long-term studies to ensure that it will not worsen Glaucoma if oral THC could be tolerated. 

Contrary to it, the recent study indicates that marijuana may treat eye pressure and act on certain receptors to protect against the damage. It would treat Glaucoma differently. 


Cannabis products effectively treat Glaucoma medical marijuana in Michigan. But before taking cannabis for this, ensure to gain in-depth knowledge about it.