In a 2004 study from the United Kingdom, researchers examined the antioxidant properties of cannabinoids like CBD and how those properties might have an impact on eye health.
When the eye’s film—the cells within the macula—deteriorates, the brain fails to receive those images correctly. Known as macular degeneration, this regression can worsen and result in blurry vision. In severe cases, sufferers will lose their central vision, leaving only their peripheral vision and robbing them of the ability to read a book, drive a car, or even recognize the faces of loved ones.
The prevalence of macular degeneration is a scary concept to grasp when you consider that most people will collect drusen in their retina as they age. But a slight buildup of drusen is quite normal and not a cause for concern—it’s only when there are large deposits that macular degeneration begins to occur.
How and why CBD may benefit macular degeneration sufferers
As with most items related to CBD, there’s either a lack of evidence proving its merits in eye health or a mixed bag of studies.
There are essentially two types of macular degeneration—wet and dry—though nearly 90% of cases will fall into the dry category. For this type, the macula degrades due to an accumulation of small, yellow deposits of debris called drusen. The presence of this drusen is what causes the macula to thin and dry, leading to a loss or reduction in vision.
Each of these studies gives hope that CBD could be a viable option for treating macular degeneration, but it’s too early to tell.
The analogy is somewhat outdated today, but what used to happen to film that experienced breakdown or degradation? Haze? Blur? Spots? All of the above?
Currently, there is no cure for this disease. Available medications, such as Lucentis and Avastin, slow or prevent the increase in vision loss. Injections applied directly to the eye reduce vision loss.
Although we need more research, correlations found between the healing powers of CBD, the functioning of age-related macular degeneration in an innovative Finnish study on glaucoma in 2002 prove its effectiveness. Published in the journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers discovered that the area of the eyes has cannabinoid receptors. This intricately complicated area of the body also forms part of the endocannabinoid system.
Let’s look at how CBD can help for Macular Degeneration.
researchers discovered that the area of the eyes has cannabinoid receptors
It had also showed that cannabinoids inhibit the growth of VEGF. The goal of administering the strenuous injection of drugs directly into the eye for patients with macular degeneration is. Because these drugs can stop the progression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, it had also showed that cannabinoids do the same, with little or no severe side effects. A 2004 study by researchers at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain in mice with gliomas (brain tumors), found that cannabinoids inhibited VEGF pathways, delaying tumor growth in mice. Two patients with glioma had the same effect.
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VEGF, or Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, can cause abnormal blood vessel growth around the eye. This can lead to macular degeneration.
Both THC and CBD have properties that some studies have shown can slow down or block the causes of macular degeneration, including VEGF. A 2004 study on brain tumours, for example, showed that THC can block VEGF pathways. This slows down the abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye brought on by VEGF.
Macular degeneration (MD) is the highest cause of vision loss in the U.S., affecting over 10 million Americans.
At present, it is considered an incurable disease. But what is happening in the eye to cause MD?
MD is a deterioration of the central part of the retina, the back layer. That layer, called the “macula,” records images and sends them back to the brain. It’s in charge of focusing vision and helps humans read, recognize faces and many more important things. Without a functioning macula, the center of the field of vision is blurry, becoming worse over time.
Another study from 2008 showed that CBD can block “diabetes- and endotoxin-induced retinal damage,” which includes macular degeneration in addition to other diseases such as glaucoma.