Condition Report: Glaucoma

November 11, 2019


In 2017, the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine released a comprehensive report, “The Health Effects of Cannabis & Cannabinoids”, based on the research that had been done to date. Following that valuable report, we’ve been providing weekly Condition Reports on 2018 research for each of the conditions cited in that report, such as chronic pain, cancer, anorexia, and more – these reports seek to provide evidence for both medical benefits and risks for each condition.

Because prohibitive cannabis regulations have, for years, limited the amount of available information, we believe it is important to educate the public about up-to-date research. Although medical cannabis usage is still both controversial and inconclusive, the World Health Organization has urged for nations to remove cannabis from Schedule IV from their list of drug scheduling, which would allow the protection for researchers to conduct more comprehensive studies. and its affiliates aim to provide general information about cannabis consumption in the hopes for policymakers, users, researchers, and the general public to make informed decisions about cannabis and its derived products. In order to do this properly, we must seek and report the best available research for a better understanding of cannabis as it takes on the medical field.


For an overview on how cannabis can be used to treat other medical conditions, please visit the following Condition Reports:


Glaucoma Highlights:

-Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) levels are the leading cause of blindness for glaucoma patients.

-Cannabis, and THC specifically, can reduce IOP.

-In one study, one topical application of THC significantly decreased IPO in male mice.

-Positive effects were stronger in male mice than in female mice.



The fact that cannabis and the psychoactive D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) component reduce Intraocular Pressure (IOP) has been known for almost 50 years (Justinova, 2018). Elevated IOP remains the main hallmark and the leading cause of blindness for glaucoma therapeutic targets.

Under Miller, Daily, Leishman, Bradshaw and Straiker’s study (2018), topically applied THC and CBD were tested with tonometry and mRNA level measurements in living mice. The experiments have been carried out at Indiana University campus by the guidelines of the Indiana University Animal Care Committee (IUACC) and with the ARVO statement for the use of animals in ophthalmic and vision research (Miller et al., 2018). The results report that a single topical application of THC significantly decreased the IOP for 8 hours (28%) in male mice. This is due to the combined activation of receptors CB1 and GPR18, each of which showed a lower eye pressure when stimulated. Miller et al. also found that the effect was sex-based, stronger in male mice and higher levels of mRNA CB1 and GPR18 in males.