Despite the legalization of marijuana by several state governments, physicians should not recommend smoking it as a treatment for glaucoma, said Sunita Radhakrishnan, MD.
"It has been approved by public opinion rather than scientific research,” said Dr. Radhakrishnan, research director, Glaucoma Research and Education Group, and associate, Glaucoma Center of San Francisco, San Francisco.
While cannabis lowers IOP for 2 to 4 hours, few studies have examined its effects on glaucoma, she said.
In addition, it can cause adverse reactions, is illegal under federal law, and cannabis-containing products are not subject to regulatory oversight, Dr. Radhakrishnan said.
Seven states and Washington, DC, have legalized cannabis for recreational use, and 21 states have legalized it for medical use, she said, citing Business Insider.
However, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) continues to classify it on schedule I, “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
The cannabis plant contains multiple cannabinoids including Delta 9 Tetra hydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive, and cannabidiol (CBD), which is not.