Cbd oil benefits for elderly eye inflamation

CBD Effects on Eyes

Think about your average day: you probably put a lot of products into or on your body. Some products may seem harmless, but some may have an adverse effect on your body–if not immediately, then gradually, over the years. As we become increasingly conscious of this fact, we also see customers looking for natural products with fewer side effects. And, in this environment, CBD has emerged as a natural product that can address a wide variety of conditions without triggering significant side effects. What is o ne group of people exploring CBD and its possible applications? Individuals who suffer from eye problems such as poor eyesight. Interested in learning more? In this piece, we’ll look at the possible effects of CBD on your eyes. We’ll especially explore the potential of CBD eye treatments, so read on!

What Is CBD?

For years, using the cannabis plant or any of its products was illegal in the United States. Then came the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the use of CBD products, so long as they were derived from industrial hemp plants and contained less than 0.3% THC.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is mostly touted for its potential health benefits such as alleviating symptoms of anxiety and pain, among others.

The cannabis plant has two main active components: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC); these are just two of hundreds of compounds, known as cannabinoids, contained within the plants. Both compounds produce various benefits, but THC produces mind-altering effects, while CBD doesn’t. Hemp varieties of cannabis plants contain high concentrations of CBD and low concentrations of THC, whereas marijuana plants are the opposite.

Both these cannabinoids interact with a crucial system in your body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a regulatory system that regulates a host of bodily functions and helps maintain internal balance (homeostasis). Your body creates its own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that strive to restore balance when you’re stressed, depressed, anxious, or feeling pain. Adding external cannabinoids, like CBD, may help expedite this process by supplementing endocannabinoids and boosting their function to restore balance quickly. Now that we have a better understanding of CBD, let’s explore its effects on the eyes.

What Are the Effects of CBD on Eyes?

By 2050, experts predict that the number of people affected by age-related macular degeneration in the United States will increase to more than five million people . For cataracts, that number is expected to hit six million by 2050 . Glaucoma is an example of age-related macular degeneration and can be quite severe when it progresses. So, can CBD be used to help manage symptoms of Glaucoma and other eye problems?

You may be concerned about using CBD if you have eye problems since eye redness is one of the side effects of high-THC products. But here’s the story: you usually develop bloodshot eyes when small blood vessels become dilated. And, since CBD may help decrease blood pressure, it actually tends to constrict blood vessels, reducing redness.

But wait, there’s more: CBD eye drops have shown progress in the treatment of corneal pain and inflammation. The drops appear to trigger the ECS receptors that reduce the pain and eye irritation. Therefore, with more time and testing, CBD eye drops may prove to be an effective treatment for eye inflammation.

CBD’s Anti-inflammatory Properties

CBD also appears to have anti-inflammatory properties. This is beneficial, especially for your eye’s retina, which can become inflamed if you have diabetes or endotoxin pressure. There is a massive correlation between these conditions. When you have low glutathione levels, you can develop both diabetes and macular degeneration. In early studies, CBD has been found to mitigate both these conditions.

CBD and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

CBD also appears to inhibit VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), a substance that encourages new blood vessel growth that can also lead to tumor development. Many people get regular drug injections in their eyes to suppress VEGF, but early research suggests that a CBD supplement could provide the same function. In fact, a study at Complutense University in Spain found that cannabinoids inhibit VGEF pathways, also slowing tumor growth in mice. Similar effects were also seen in glioma patients.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that results in fluid pressure elevations in your eye. If not treated promptly, glaucoma can lead to loss of vision and even permanent blindness. It can occur at any age, but it is more common with older people.

According to the Glaucoma Foundation, around three million people in America currently suffer from glaucoma. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the US and, until recently, people believed that CBD could be used to treat Glaucoma. However, in recent years, eye doctors began warning against this possibility. Why is this so?

CBD Oil Concerns With Glaucoma

According to new research, CBD raises your eye pressure. This is a cause for concern since glaucoma impacts your eyesight because of high-pressure levels. The high pressure from the optic nerve causes damage to the nerve. And since its job is to transmit visual information to the brain, this damage leads to permanent vision loss.

While anyone can develop this eye condition, certain factors increase your risk. These include:

  • Eye injuries
  • Eye surgery
  • Old age
  • Illnesses such as hypothyroidism.
  • Ethnic background. For example, Hispanics, East Asians, and African-Americans are at a higher risk for glaucoma than Caucasians.
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There are several forms of glaucoma, including:

Open-Angle Glaucoma

This is commonly known as the “sneak thief of the night,” since it does not show any significant symptoms until vision loss has occurred. It is the most common type of glaucoma, and it develops because your eye’s drainage canals get clogged with time, increasing pressure, which is referred to as IOP. IOP, or intraocular pressure, increases as the fluid fails to properly drain out of the eye.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

Also known as acute or narrow-angle glaucoma, this sporadic condition occurs when your intraocular pressure rises rapidly without warning. Hence, your drainage canals get blocked and your iris appears less wide than in a person with a healthy eye. Symptoms include headaches, eye pain, blurred vision, and nausea.

Other types of glaucoma include:

  • Traumatic Glaucoma
  • Congenital Glaucoma
  • Secondary Glaucoma
  • Normal-tension Glaucoma
  • Pigmentary Glaucoma
  • Neovascular Glaucoma
  • Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome(ICE)

CBD Oil for Glaucoma

As we mentioned earlier, the latest research regarding CBD oil as a treatment for glaucoma is not promising. CBD appears to increase eye pressure–according to a rat study in Indiana, CBD actually raised eye pressure by 18% for at least four hours after drops were administered. In contrast, when testing THC eye drops, researchers noted that eye pressure decreased by up to 30% within eight hours of the dose.

While this research eliminates CBD as a glaucoma treatment, it does establish THC and, by extension, marijuana, as a potentially effective option. Just remember, THC is psychoactive and can give you a high, so many people may prefer to avoid this treatment option.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil

Even though CBD oil won’t alleviate glaucoma symptoms, you can enjoy its other benefits. Many users who suffer from symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and pain find that CBD offers analgesic and anti-nausea properties, so it provides them with relief.

Also, in certain cases, studies show CBD lowering intraocular pressure in the eye, although more research is necessary given the conflicting findings.

As research progresses, however, we may find that CBD can lower your IOP and help protect the retinal cells. CBD may also help alleviate fear and anxiety before or after eye surgery. At this time, however, CBD eye drops are still a work in progress. Do not attempt to switch or replace your prescribed eye medications without talking to your doctor.

CBD Oil: 9 Science-Backed Benefits

Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an integrative medicine physician with expertise in functional and holistic medicine based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. When applied topically or consumed through smoke inhalation or edible consumption, CBD interacts with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system, which sends signals between your cells to help regulate your movement, mood, homeostasis and immune system.

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CBD is often extracted from the cannabis sativa plant in oil form and mixed with an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil for consumption. In fact, of the 60% of U.S. adults who report having used CBD before, 55% of them use CBD oils and tinctures specifically, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll.

CBD research is growing, too. Here are nine ways studies suggest CBD oil could benefit your health.

1. Offset Anxiety and Depression

CBD’s ability to calm is perhaps its most popular effect and the reason its use is so widespread. A 2017 study in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry tested the anxiety levels of 57 men in a simulated public speaking test. Some received a placebo while others received either 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams or 600 milligrams of CBD before their speeches. Those who received 300 milligrams of CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety during the test compared to those who received the placebo. Interestingly, participants who received either 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD experienced more anxiety during the test than the 300 milligrams group.

Meanwhile, at least one study in mice revealed CBD had effects similar to the antidepressant imipramine. Human trials are needed, though, to confirm whether CBD can induce this same antidepressant reaction in our bodies.

2. Treat Select Epilepsy Syndromes

In some instances, CBD can be used to treat epileptic seizures.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD under the brand name Epidiolex to treat seizures resulting from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—two rare forms of epilepsy—in patients at least 2 years old.

Three well-vetted studies provide the basis of support for the FDA’s decision. In these trials, 516 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome received either Epidiolex or a placebo. Epidiolex, when taken along with other prescribed medications, decreased the frequency of participants’ seizures compared to the placebo.

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3. Reduce PTSD Symptoms

In a small 2018 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) received CBD along with routine psychiatric care for eight weeks in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Ten of the 11 experienced a decrease in their PTSD symptoms. CBD was generally well tolerated, the researchers write.

Margaret Rajnic, a doctor of nursing practice experienced in medical cannabis and CBD, emphasizes the importance of using therapy in tandem with any type of cannabis or CBD for PTSD. “There is an amount of therapy that is needed for PTSD,” she says. “But CBD will give you that little bit of decreased anxiety.”

Four other human trials from 2012 to 2016 suggest CBD reduces PTSD symptoms, although some include THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main mind-altering element in cannabis. When THC and CBD work together, they create what’s called an “entourage effect,” complementing each other’s benefits and potency. For example, taking the same dose of THC and CBD together tempers the “high” from THC, while just a little THC paired with more CBD enhances the effects of the CBD.

4. Treat Opioid Addiction

Some studies—both preclinical animal and human clinical trials—suggest CBD could be used to help treat people who are dependent on opioids.

In one such study, researchers administered CBD to people with heroin use disorder. Over the course of a week, CBD significantly reduced heroin users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. No serious adverse effects were found.

Other studies find CBD helpful in reducing various psychiatric and medical symptoms like anxiety, insomnia and pain in patients with substance use disorders, indicating that CBD may be an effective treatment for opioid addiction. However, further studies are necessary.

5. Alleviate ALS Symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate, resulting in loss of muscle control that worsens over time. It’s not yet understood exactly why ALS occurs, although it can be hereditary in some cases. There’s no known cure, and there are only two FDA-approved medications to help treat ALS symptoms.

Research suggests people with ALS can benefit from the entourage effect created by the combination of THC and CBD, similar to people with PTSD. In a 2019 study, patients received a combination of THC and CBD in varying doses depending on their needs and preferences. Those with mild, moderate or severe spasticity (muscle tightness and stiffness) due to ALS reported high levels of satisfaction with the treatment, and those with moderate to severe spasticity reported higher satisfaction rates than those with mild spasticity.

6. Relieve Unmanageable Pain

In 2005, Canada approved the use of Sativex, an oromucosal (absorbed in the lining of the mouth) spray with equal proportions of THC and CBD, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis-related central neuropathic pain. In 2007, Canada approved the medicine’s use again for cancer pain that proved unresponsive to other medications.

Meanwhile, continued studies in the U.S. indicate CBD is effective in treating chronic, non-cancer pain. In one 2020 study, researchers administered CBD topically to a group of patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (a result of brain nerve and spinal cord nerve damage) while another group with the same condition received a placebo. Results showed a significant reduction in intense, sharp pains and cold, itchy sensations in those who used the topical CBD compared to those who used the placebo. No participants reported adverse side effects.

When introduced topically, CBD oil doesn’t affect the systemic issue as it might if it were introduced directly into the bloodstream. Instead, topical CBD is more localized and treats pain in a certain area. Since it’s more direct, it may have a more pronounced effect.

7. Ease Diabetic Complications

For starters, tests on human cells found that CBD helps reduce the effects of high glucose levels on other cells in the body, which typically precedes the development of diabetes and various complications. Researchers concluded that with further studies, CBD could have significant benefits when used in patients with diabetes, diabetic complications and plaque buildup in artery walls.

In another small study, 13 patients with type 2 diabetes who weren’t on insulin treatment were given both CBD and a placebo (in lieu of insulin). Researchers found CBD decreased their levels of resistin (which causes resistance to insulin, the protein that regulates sugar levels) and increased their levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (a hormone that ensures a sufficient release of insulin from digested food) compared to their baselines before they started the test. These results suggest CBD could be a natural treatment for diabetes by helping the body regulate insulin-related hormone levels.

8. Protect Against Neurological Disease

Preclinical and clinical studies show that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers deduce these characteristics can provide significant neuroprotection, or protection against numerous pathological disorders.

Several preclinical studies suggest CBD can produce beneficial effects against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Huntington’s disease and cerebral ischemia were also tested, although significant positive results were not recorded. Further clinical studies are needed to confirm CBD’s benefits when used as a treatment for these disorders.

9. Inhibit Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis involves the deterioration of the tissues in and around your joints. There are several types of arthritis, and symptoms include pain, stiffness and loss of motion. Arthritis treatment usually targets pain relief and improved joint function.

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A 2006 study found that Sativex—a CBD-based botanical drug approved in the United Kingdom in 2010—promoted statistically significant improvements in quality of sleep, pain during movement and pain at rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to a placebo. It was the first controlled trial of Sativex as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, involving 58 patients. CBD was found to have a pain-relieving effect, as well as an ability to suppress disease activity.

In 2018, in a study of more localized treatment, researchers administered a synthetic CBD gel in either 250-milligram or 500-milligram doses daily or a placebo to patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Patients also stopped taking any other anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers, with the exception of acetaminophen, before and during the study period.

The results were interesting, although not entirely conclusive. On one hand, those treated with CBD did not experience much change in pain when compared with placebo patients. On the other hand, there were statistically significant differences between the group receiving the 250-milligram dose and the placebo group when measuring the average weekly improvement of their worst pain levels and their WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) physical function rating. Additionally, men seemed to benefit from CBD more significantly than women in this test.

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Five Health Benefits of CBD Oil For Seniors

Seniors, along with newborns, represent one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our society; particularly because seniors are more prone to get sick or injured while also taking more time to heal.

However, being old is not a curse. On the contrary, aging represents a wonderful opportunity to appreciate and re-evaluate life using all the wisdom acquired through the years. Now, thanks to new scientific research, seniors can choose between different natural remedies to help them deal with the added strains that age places on their health.

CBD oil is one such natural remedy whose popularity is growing fast among seniors, and when you tally up the benefits, it’s easy to understand why.

Unfortunately, it seems like old age and pain go hand in hand. According to statistics, some 75-85% of American seniors suffer from chronic pain, and almost half of them have arthritis.

The good news is that studies suggest that CBD oil could offer relief to senior citizens, even those struggling with serious chronic pain caused by conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and joint pain.

CBD oil could have some side effects, such as nausea, dizziness, and sleepiness. However, these are usually mild, and studies suggest that they can be managed.

In addition to having a hard time falling asleep, older adults have difficulty maintaining sustained periods of deep sleep, which means that they rarely get the rest their bodies need to recover.

According to research, CBD could help prevent or delay the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease or glaucoma, by extending the duration of the deep sleep phase, which is the period when the brain regenerates and gets rid of the toxic substances produced by the body.

Seniors’ bones are more fragile and have a higher risk of fracture, due to their poor reflexes which make them more prone to falling than those of younger adults.

However, even those who manage to stay off the floor still must deal with osteoporosis, which is the gradual weakening of the bones caused by the loss of minerals. Osteoporosis leads to seniors’ bones becoming brittle and fragile, which makes them more prone to break.

Taking CBD oil could help reduce bone inflammation, promote cell repair, and even speed up a fractured bone’s healing process.

Glaucoma is a condition caused by the gradual buildup of fluid in the eyes. When left untreated, glaucoma can damage the eye’s nerves and result in partial or total blindness.

The disease is one of the most common eyesight problems in seniors and the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60. However, its development can be slowed down by reducing the amount of pressure on the eyes.

Some people believe that marijuana can be used to relieve pressure on the eyes for hours at a time. CBD oil could have the same effect but with the added benefit of having very low THC levels, which makes it more suited for elders who aren’t interested in the hallucinogenic properties of THC.

Older adults get sad from time to time, but when the feeling keeps coming back frequently it could be a sign of something more serious. If left untreated, stress can develop into conditions like general anxiety disorder and depression.

Using CBD’s natural soothing qualities could help offset some of these symptoms, especially because it can increase the levels of happiness-inducing neurotransmitters like anandamide while also inhibiting the release of the enzymes which under normal conditions would cut their effects short.

People’s health and wellness can decline sharply after the age of 50. However, there is no reason to believe that our seniors shouldn’t be able to enjoy their golden years. Especially now that CBD oil seems to be helping our elders to feel better without the side effects found on many prescription drugs.