The following information is presented for educational purposes only.
Medical Marijuana Inc. provides this information to provide an understanding
of the potential applications of cannabidiol. Links to third party websites
do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations by Medical Marijuana
Inc. and none should be inferred.
The retina in the back of the eye is responsible for sensing light and
sending images to the brain. When it becomes damaged, vision is adversely
affected. Studies have shown cannabis has neuroprotective and antioxidant
properties to encourage retinal health.
Overview of Retinal Damage
Retinal damage is one of most common ailments of the eyes. The most common
causes of retina damage are those related to old age, light damage, or
trauma. Each cause may require a different method of treatment, so
identifying the cause is especially important. In rare instances, a problem
may develop without an obvious trigger, requiring further examination from
One of the ways in which retina damage may occur is through a vitamin
deficiency. Vitamins A and E are thought to be especially important to that
area of the eyes. Making sure there is adequate consumption of those
vitamins, either through natural foods or vitamin supplements can help
promote eye health. Though the exact reason why these vitamins are so
important remains somewhat unclear, it appears as though they are
responsible for strengthening some of the pieces that make up the retina.
Light can also damage the retina. Light damage occurs when there is a
prolonged exposure directly to intense light. This is why scientists
encourage individuals to not look directly at the sun, even during an
Another form of light damage can occur with lasers. Laser retina damage is
not very common, but it can be a danger. Often, laser pointers, and even
grocery checkout scanners, will come with warnings about avoiding looking
directly at the laser. Retina burn, as this type of damage is often called,
can be painful, especially when it first occurs.
Another form of retina damage may occur when there is direct trauma to the
eye. This will likely be from an object hitting or penetrating the eye. When
this takes place, the pain is often severe, and will often require immediate
medical attention. Even in cases where vision may not be initially affected,
it is wise to get the eye checked by an ophthalmologist or other specialist.
If there is damage that is not readily apparent, the doctor may discover it
Retina damage may also take place as a result of the aging process. Vitamin
supplements may help prevent some of this from taking place. Making sure to
put as little strain as possible on your eyes is also a good idea. For those
who feel they may be having retina problems due to old age, there are a few
treatments that can provide some relief. But, it is unlikely any treatment
will be able to completely find a cure for geriatric damage.
Degeneration and damage to the retina can also occur as a side effect to
diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to blood vessels of the
light-sensitive tissue of the retina and can develop in anyone with type I
or type II diabetes. It can cause temporary or permanent vision problems and
is responsible for a large percentage of adult-onset blindness.
Findings: Effects of Cannabis on Retinal Damage
Two major cannabinoids found in cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD) and
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have demonstrated they offer neuroprotective
effects that encourage eye health and prevent vision loss. Research has
shown that both cannabinoids function as antioxidants and neuroprotective
agents, which allow them increase cell survival within the eyes (Chen, et
al., 2005) (Hampson, Grimaldi, Axelrod & Wink, 1998) (Nucci, et al., 2008).
One study found that both CBD and THC limit the formation of peroxynitrate,
which is responsible for retinal neuron death (El-Remessy, et al., 2003).
Another concluded that the neuroprotective effects provided by cannabinoids
may help slow the vision loss in the case of degenerative disorders like
retinitis pigmentosa (Lax, Esquiva, Altavilla & Cuenca, 2014). Most
recently, research has shown cannabinoids to make the cells in the retina
more sensitive to light, thus improving low-light vision and once again
suggesting that cannabis could be beneficial in the treatment regimens of
patients with degenerative eye diseases (Miraucourt, et al., 2016) (Russo,
et al., 2004).
Research has also shown that the body’s endocannabinoid system plays a role
in the regulation of vasoactivity in the eyes. Numerous studies have
demonstrated that CBD and THC are effective at decreasing intraocular
pressure, making it beneficial in the efforts toward treating glaucoma (Nadolska
& Gos, 2008) (Pinar-Sueiro, Rodriguez-Puertas & Vecino, 2011) (Tormida, et
al., 2006) (Liu & Dacus, 1987). An animal study showed that CBD inhibited
vasoconstriction of the retina (MacIntyre, et al., 2014). The vasorelaxing
effects of CBD and THC reduces pressure in the eyes and therefore the risk
of damage (Nucci, et al., 2008).
States That Have Approved Medical Marijuana for Retinal Damage
No states have approved medical marijuana for the treatment of retinal
damage. However, in Washington
D.C., any condition can be approved for medical marijuana as long as a
DC-licensed physician recommends the treatment. In addition, various states
will consider allowing medical marijuana to be used for the treatment of
retinal damage with the recommendation from a physician. These states
include: California (any
debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been recommended
by a physician), Connecticut (other
medical conditions may be approved by the Department of Consumer
Protection), Massachusetts (other
conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician), Nevada (other
conditions subject to approval), Oregon (other
conditions subject to approval), Rhode
Island (other conditions
subject to approval), and Washington (any
“terminal or debilitating condition”).
Recent Studies on Cannabis’ Effect on Retinal Damage
Cannabinoid improved retinal sensitivity and low-light vision,
suggesting it could be beneficial for treating degenerative eye
Endocannabinoid signaling enhances visual responses through
modulation of intracellular chloride levels in retinal ganglion
THC reduced toxicity in the eye, indicating it possesses
Protective effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol
against N-methyl-D-aspartate-induced AF5 cell death.
THC and CBD reduced the attenuation of peroxynitrate, thereby
protecting eye neuron health.
Neuroprotective Effect of(−)Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol
and Cannabidiol in N-Methyl-d-Aspartate-Induced Retinal
Neurotoxicity : Involvement of Peroxynitrite.
Chen, J., Lee, C.-T., Errico, S., Deng, X., Cadet, J. L., & Freed, W. J.
(2005). Protective effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol
AF5 cell death. Brain
Research. Molecular Brain Research, 134(2),
El-Remessy, A. B., Khalil, I. E., Matragoon, S., Abou-Mohamed, G., Tsai,
N.-J., Roon, P., Caldwell, R.B., Caldwell, R.W., Green, K., and Liou, G. I.
(2003). Neuroprotective Effect of(−)Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol
and Cannabidiol in N-Methyl-d-Aspartate-Induced
Retinal Neurotoxicity : Involvement of Peroxynitrite. The
American Journal of Pathology, 163(5),
Hampson, A. J., Grimaldi, M., Axelrod, J., & Wink, D. (1998). Cannabidiol
are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(14),
Lax, P., Esquiva, G., Altavilla, C., and Cuenca, N. (2014, March).
Neuroprotective effects of the cannabinoid agonist HU210 on retinal
Eye Research, 120, 175-185.
Liu, J.H., Dacus, A.C. (1987, February). Central nervous system and
peripheral mechanisms in ocular hypotensive effect of cannabinoids. Archives
of Ophthalmology, 105(2), 245-8.
MacIntyre, J., Dong, A., Straiker, A., Zhu, J., Howlett, S.E., Bagher, A.,
Denovan-Wright, E., Yu, D.Y., and Kelly M.E. (2014, July). Cannabinoid and
lipid-mediated vasorelaxation in retinal microvasculature. European
Journal of Pharmacology, 735, 105-14.
Miraucourt, L. S., Tsui, J., Gobert, D., Desjardins, J.-F., Schohl, A., Sild,
M., Spratt, P., Castonguay, A., De Koninck, Y., Marsh-Armstrong, N.,
Wiseman, P.W., and Ruthazer, E. S. (2016). Endocannabinoid signaling
enhances visual responses through modulation of intracellular chloride
levels in retinal ganglion cells. eLife,
Nadolska, K., and Gos., R. (2008). Possibilities of applying cannabinoids’
in the treatment of glaucoma. Klinika
Oczna, 110(7-9), 314-7.
Nucci, C., Bari, M., Spano, A., Corasaniti, M., Bagetta, G., Maccarrone, M.,
and Morrone, L.A. (2008). Potential roles of (endo)cannabinoids in the
treatment of glaucoma: from intraocular pressure control to neuroprotection. Progress
in Brain Research, 173, 451-64.
Pinar-Sueiro, S., Rodriguez-Puertas, R., and Vecino, E. (2011, January).
Cannabinoid applications in glaucoma. Archivos
de la Sociedad Espanola de Oftalmologia, 86(1), 16-23.
Russo, E.B., Merzouki, A., Mesa, J.M., Frey, K.A., and Bach, P.J. (2004,
July). Cannabis improves night vision: a case study of dark adaptometry and
scotopic sensitivity in kif smokers of the Rif mountains of northern
of Ethnopharmacology, 93(1), 99-104.
Tomida, I., Azuara-Blanco, A., House, H., Flint, M., Pertwell, R.G., and
Robson, P.J. (2006, October). Effect of sublingual application of
cannabinoids on intraocular pressure: a pilot study: Journal
of Glaucoma, 15(5), 3
►CBD Meds Store
Where and How to Buy CBD Cannabidiol Meds Online
or by Phone
You can order your CBD capsules or salve balm either
online by visiting the PayPal payment links at
CBD Meds Store, or by
phoning your order with credit or debit card details to sales manager
Phillip Fry toll-free 1-866-300-1616 or cell
1-480-310-7970 or emailing