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    • 11 MAR 15
    • 0

    Issues regarding the dispensing of medical cannabis (marijuana) for eye health purposes.

    While our practice will not be prescribing or dispensing medical cannabis (marijuana) for the treatment of eye pressure (glaucoma) we feel our patients should be informed about certain issues regarding the dispensing of cannabis for eye health purposes.

    Pros

    Medical cannabis can effectively lower eye pressure in patients with glaucoma.

    Cons

    The eye pressure lowering effects of medical cannabis are reported to last 2-3 hours. Patients need to wake up during sleeping hours to smoke cannabis to avoid diurnal eye pressure spikes. Ignoring such eye pressure spikes could be harmful to glaucoma patients that need a steady 24 hour eye pressure level.

    Because patients must remain “stoned” 24 hours a day they may have to give up certain tasks & occupations (driving, intellectual jobs etc).

    While medical cannabis can be legally obtained with physician approval in the State of Illinois the state approval currently does NOT grant immunity against federal offenses.

    Comments.

    Cannabis is presently the only inhaled substance for regulating glaucoma. The exact active substance(s) and how it/they lower eye pressure are still not fully understood.

    Inhaled cannabis may cause lung cancer or, as of yet, still unidentified harmful neurological or health side effects.

    There are plentiful established eye drop, pill and laser/surgical treatments that can regulate the majority of glaucoma conditions in an appropriate way.

    Notes: We do not claim to be experts of cannabis pharmacology nor do we make a claim that our summary reflects the complete list of issues associated with cannabis use for eye health.

    Our practice will continue to provide care for our glaucoma patients with non-cannabis treatments.

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