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cbd oil for cataracts

Cataracts form on the eye's lens, a transparent structure in the eye that works much like a camera lens. Humans typically develop cataracts after age 40 because crystallin proteins within the lens begin to break down into tiny clumps that cloud the lens’s natural transparency. This cloudiness produces foggy vision that gets worse over time, especially after age 70. Cataract surgery removes the natural lens and inserts an intraocular lens (IOL) in its place. 

Either way, the answer is the same: There’s no scientific proof that either marijuana or CBD help with cataracts. Though marijuana can ease glaucoma symptoms and CBD may relieve inflammation, they don’t have any proven benefits for people with cataracts. You’ll see why when you understand the causes of cataracts and glaucoma. 

Cataracts vs. glaucoma: How they’re different 

Find out more: Glaucoma FAQs

It turns out that THC, the primary active ingredient in marijuana, relaxes intraocular pressure, easing the symptoms of glaucoma — but only for a few hours. Modern glaucoma medicines can treat intraocular pressure around the clock. 

Perhaps you’ve heard that marijuana can help with glaucoma. Or maybe you’re using a form of CBD, marijuana’s hemp-derived cousin, for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. What are your options?  

Cataracts, cloudy spots in the eye lens, are expected to double by 2050, equaling up to 50 million Americans, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). Most cases of cataracts are among white men and women age 40 and over, with symptoms of the condition the same among all who suffer. Evidence varies on whether or not cataracts can be treated with medical cannabis, with private physicians prescribing it to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) admitting it works for short periods.

NEI reports surgery is the most common way to conquer cataracts. Other more natural ways to treat the condition include adjusting lighting and wearing anti-glare sunglasses and prescription glasses or contacts. While there is no conclusive evidence that medical cannabis can adequately treat cataracts, it has proven to reduce inflammation, which is apparent in the condition.

The Symptoms of Cataracts

Along with inflammation, high blood pressure is another symptom of cataracts. Studies show that medical cannabis has helped alleviate some side effects of pressure and pain in many parts of the body. While the AAO concedes that medical cannabis treats glaucoma, which has similar symptoms to cataracts, it is not feasible for long-term use.

The rise of cataracts in the U.S. has steadily climbed. The NEI reports that between 2000 and 2010, cases rose by 20% in the decade from 20.5 million to 24.4 million, causing blurred vision in all who suffer, reports the NEI. The AAO reports the most significant symptoms of cataracts to include seeing double, sensitivity to light, and only seeing faded colors.

While older age is the most significant cause of cataracts, other conditions can bring it on, genetics, diabetes, eye injury, ultraviolet ray damage, and medications can also cause the vision condition. Some treatments for cataracts are riskier than others, with some surgeries causing infection and further illness.