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    Cannabis remains problematic for glaucoma

    Drawbacks, limited research shadow potential benefits


    Additional drawbacks

    There are a variety of ways in which cannabis may be used.

    “For obvious reasons, we don’t advocate smoking,” she said. And it is hard to control the dosages when smoking marijuana. There are fewer respiratory symptoms with inhaled vapor, but much remains unknown about the volatile toxins with this route of administration.

    With oral consumption, gastrointestinal absorption varies. There is no uniform standard for production, so products and potencies vary.

    While topical application may seem best suited to treating eye diseases, cannabinoids are highly lipophilic and this approach has not been successful in studies so far.

    “Nowadays, we have much better IOP-lowering agents that are FDA approved and have been extensively studied,” Dr. Radhakrishnan said. “You must remember that in patients using latanoprost or timolol the potential for addiction is zero.”

    These drawbacks “preclude recommending this drug in any form for the treatment of glaucoma at the present time,” according to a 2009 position statement by the American Glaucoma Society.

    A Task Force on Complementary Therapies of the American Academy of Ophthalmology reached similar conclusions in 2014.

    Continuing research

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