The typical red eye is a nightmare for cannabis users. After a serious session with a vaporizer, the eyes are frequently the most obvious indicators of drug use. Cannabis, on the other hand, may help eye health in several surprising ways. You can buy this product in our boutique.
How Does Cannabis Affect the Eyes?
It’s wonderful to hear that marijuana may help you view things in a new way. According to research, cannabis has the potential to affect every organ in the body, including the eyes.
Cannabis chemicals operate in the eyes by tapping into one of the most vast cellular communication networks in vertebrates. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network that consists of cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, which are chemical messengers produced by cells called adipocytes.
Cannabinoids bind to a specific type of cell receptor, called a cannabinoid receptor, in order to interact with the ECS.
The CB1 cannabinoid receptors are present in the eye, where they are particularly concentrated. One particular cannabinoid receptor, the CB1, is highly expressed by the human eye. Vision-processing centers in the brain also contain a plethora of these landing sites.
In addition, preclinical research suggests that the ECS is important for our vision. A study published in Neural Plasticity in 2016 found that altering cannabinoid receptors alters the way electroretinographic waves travel through the eye.
The nerve impulse associated with these vibrations is measured by an electroretinogram, which records the eye’s electrical response to a light stimulus. Cannabinoid receptors were found to moderate the eye’s response to light.
The impact of cannabis on eyesight continues to be studied. However, this early study adds even more cause for further research into cannabis as a treatment for eye diseases.
Cannabis already has a number of eye-related problems. While some are wonderful, such as clearer night vision, not all of the effects are pleasant. It is not uncommon to experience the following symptoms after smoking cannabis:
- Red Eye
Red eyes are not always a negative side effet of marijuana smoking. While red eyes are an unmistakable indicator that you’ve taken cannabis, those who suffer from tension around the eye may find the herb helpful in relaxing them.
Cannabis lowers blood pressure. This causes capillaries and blood vessels to expand, resulting in what is known as red eye. Capillary dilation leads to the condition of red eye. Blood flow into the eyes is increased as a result of wider capillaries, lowering intraocular pressure. This might be good for patients with uncomfortable ocular problems such as glaucoma.
After smoking cannabis, some people get an allergic reaction in their eyes. This response can be caused by smoke allergy, residual molds, or the cannabis plant itself.
Itchiness, redness, inflammation, tearing, and dryness are some of the signs of allergy. According to research published in 2015 by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, cannabis allergy is comparable to hay fever in that it causes eye irritation and a itchy nose for people exposed to smoke, pollen, or plant material.
- Enhanced night vision
Cannabinoid receptors have been shown to help the eyes respond to light in laboratory studies. Additional research from 2016 found that cannabis chemicals, such as psychoactive THC, bind to these receptors. It is thought that stimulating these receptors improves vision in low-light situations.
For nearly three decades, experts have suggested that cannabis might enhance night vision. In the 1990s, a pharmacologist named M.E. West noticed that Jamaican fishermen who ingested a cannabis tincture had an “unusual” ability to see in the dark.
A 2004 study investigated the effects of typical cannabis Kif and a synthetic THC in three Moroccan people. Kif is a combination of cannabis and tobacco that has been smoked together for centuries. Cannabis consumption was shown to have a dose-dependent relationship with enhanced night vision in this tiny study.
- Visual processing
Surprisingly, recent research suggests that the endocannabinoid system influences visual development in the brain. In a study from University of Waterloo, University of Auckland, and Brown University, infants exposed to cannabis in utero outperformed controls on visual processing tests.
Babies who were exposed to alcohol had lower visual processing abilities, but those who were exposed to cannabis exhibited enhanced global motion perception. This isn’t a good argument for using marijuana while pregnant, but it does add fuel to the idea that cannabinoids and the ECS aid in eye and brain integration of visual information.
Cannabis and Eye Problems
Cannabis does cause red eyes, but there’s more to the story. Cannabis contains cannabidiol chemicals, which have been shown in studies to help with eye health and vision. The impact that cannabis has on our eyes and vision is due to cannabidiol components in cannabis and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). When it does so, it can influence a variety of aspects of the eye such as the visual system, eyeball tissues, optic nerves, and natural pathways that convey visual information.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a network of receptors found throughout the body that interacts with the body’s tissues and organs. The receptors become activated by natural cannabinoids present in the ECS as well as cannabis cannabinoids. When cannabis is consumed, one of the most common CB1 cannabinoid receptors is activated in various locations of the visual system, which is how cannabis and the eyes interact.
- Cannabis and Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerves are damaged as a result of increased pressure in the eyes. Glaucoma occurs when the intraocular pressure rises excessively in the eye, damaging the optic nerve. Medicated drops to lower the intraocular pressure are the most common form of therapy for this condition. Glaucoma can generally not be treated or controlled. There have been some promising developments when it comes to cannabis for glaucoma, one in particular is THC lowering blood pressure. Cannabis has been found to lower IOP by as much as 30%, but there’s a catch: the reduction in IOP is only short-term and would need patients to take cannabis on a regular basis, about every four hours. Because of this, doctors are hesitant about utilizing cannabis for glaucoma since it might induce a marijuana usage habit and make you impaired throughout the day. Cannabis, on the other hand, is more recommended by doctors at later stages of glaucoma because it targets the IOP less than trabeculectomy does.
- Cannabis and Neurodegenerative Blindness
Cannabis can help slow down neurodegenerative blindness, according to studies. Cannabinoids protect the photo receptors in people with retinitis pigmentosa from dying. During a three-month period, mice who had been given cannabinoids had more than 40 percent of their photo receptors, whereas those who hadn’t received cannabinoids only had 20%. This suggests that cannabis may be used to slow the rate of ocular degeneration in neurodegenerative blindness.
- Cannabis and Diabetic Retinopathy
It is not caused by a side effect of diabetes, which is when blood vessels in the retinas are damaged. When diabetic retinopathy affects the eyesight, nerve cells in the retina die, which has an impact on overall vision. CDB, a cannabidiol derived from the cannabis plant, has been found to help protect diabetic eyes. CBD is haut in antioxidants and has anti-oxidant properties that reduce the toxicity of retinas, which is why they degenerate.