The number of people opting for CBD for various eye conditions is continuously increasing. A significant reason behind this is the anecdotal experiences from relatives, friends, social groups, and other acquaintances. However, scientific evidence is confusing.
According to a 2018 study, hemp or medical Marijuana might help treat corneal neuropathic inflammation and pain. Another report by the World Journal of Diabetes reveals the therapeutic effects of CBD on diabetic neuropathy.
On the other hand, a study shows that the eye pressure in Glaucoma patients worsened after consuming Sunday Scaries CBD. The clinical backups are in a grey area. So, it is vital to take hemp for various eye conditions after consulting your ophthalmologist.
But before that, you should research it. Here are various effects of hemp on eyes with evidence.
How Does Hemp Affect the Eye?
Some effects of hemp on the eye are enjoyable, but not all. Most of the undesirable effects are visible, such as red-eye after a vaporizer session.
But the question is, how does consuming medical Marijuana affect the eyes? Here are some things you should know to understand how hemp affects the human eye or vision.
- Most researchers believe that Cannabis affects almost every organ after consumption, including the eye. It might sound magical, but it is true.
- Hemp products show their capability by combining with the receptors of one of the largest communication networks in vertebrates, the endocannabinoid system. In the endocannabinoid system, hemp interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors.
- The human eye is known to have high levels of CB1 receptors. Besides, the brain’s vision processing centers are also rich in CB1 receptors. Moreover, preclinical investigations reveal that the endocannabinoid gland plays a significant role in human vision.
- A primate study, reported in 2016 by Neural Plasticity, shows that disturbing the cannabinoid receptors significantly affects the electroretinographic waves’ way of passing through the retina.
- The researchers discovered that cannabinoid receptors regulate the eyes’ response to light. An electroretinogram measures these electroretinographic waves. The device records the eye’s response ( electric) to light rays.
There is space for further investigation. However, one thing is clear that hemp affects the eye in one way or the other. Now, you will understand what these effects are.
Positive Effects of Hemp on Eye
Here are some desirable effects of hemp on the eyes.
- Better Eye Vision
Research shows that cannabinoid receptors regulate how the eye responds to a ray of light. Another study from 2016 shows that Cannabinoids bind with these receptors and improve the eye’s ability to see in places with less light.
Researchers from the past three decades have doubted that Cannabis compounds might also positively affect night vision. Their doubt became a belief in the 1990s when a pharmacologist observed that a fisherman from Jamaica, who was a Cannabis user, possessed an “uncanny ability to see in the dark.”
A study organized in 2004 compared the effect of kief ( a traditional form of Cannabis made from combining Cannabis and tobacco) and Cannabis in three individuals from Morocco. The study revealed a relationship between the dose of Cannabis an individual consumes and improvement in night vision.
- Visual Processing
Surprisingly, research in recent times shows that the endocannabinoid system also affects visual processing in the brain. The University of Auckland, University of Waterloo, and Brown University discovered an interesting fact. The study found that kids exposed to Cannabis compounds in utero only got significantly higher scores in visual processing tests.
On the other hand, babies exposed to alcoholic beverages got lower scores. Although the study does not suggest consuming Cannabis during pregnancy, it gives an idea that Cannabis and endocannabinoid glands play a significant role in the processing of visuals by the eyes and brain.
- Hemp and Glaucoma
Glaucoma is one of the most significant reasons behind blindness in the world. It refers to a clutch of eye conditions that negatively affects the optic nerves and damages them because of high pressure on the eyes.
A study organized by Dr. Ileana Tomida revealed that Cannabis might have promising results in treating Glaucoma. However, the analyses and opinions on Glaucoma and hemp contradict. Andrew Bainnson, a well-known Ophthalmologist, says, “We’ve known for some time that medical Marijuana is very effective for treating nausea and pain, but not so much for Glaucoma. There are some patients with end-stage pain and nausea who may benefit [from medical Marijuana], but not from the glaucoma point of view.”
Besides these, hemp might also benefit in Diabetic Neuropathy and Corneal Neuropathic pain. However, there are two sides to everything. If there are desirable effects, they are undesirable too.
The Other Side of Effects of Hemp on Eye
If you are a hemp user, there is a possibility that you have already suffered through some or all these undesirable effects of hemp. Here is the list.
- Red Eye
It is a common effect of hemp seen in most users.
Some people might get an allergic reaction in their eyes after consuming hemp.
So, now you know the positive and negative aspects of hemp on the eye.
The Future of Hemp in Eye Conditions
The future of hemp use in eye conditions looks bright. Today, there are challenges, such as the low bioavailability of oral preparations. Besides, inhalation does not have a lost lasting effect. That means applying topically is the only option. But hemp-infused eye drops are not ideal as they do not perform well by penetrating intraocular tissues.
Dr. Raj Maturi, associate professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Indiana University School of Medicine, says, “My view is that eye drops that decrease the pressure in the eye are far more useful. You would have to smoke quite a lot of Marijuana to get the same effect.” So, to overcome the issue of consumption, hemp-infused medications are a ray of hope for people considering hemp as a lifesaver.
Discussing the various studies with different results on the Hemp effect on eyes, Dr. Maturi says, “These studies both have interesting findings, but neither answers the question of whether Marijuana affects vision over the long term. Marijuana might help some aspects of vision in the short term, but it might be harmful if used chronically. These findings suggest we need longer-term studies of the effects of chronic marijuana use on vision.” So, until the studies do not give precise results, it is better to take professional help before using hemp products for eyes.