Expert Pitch

Medical marijuana is legal in Michigan and glaucoma patients are substituting traditional treatment methods for a joint. But does it hurt more than it helps? 

According to Cooney, marijuana can create a 25 percent intraocular pressure reduction in 60 to 65 percent of people with or without glaucoma. What exactly causes this within the drug is unknown.

“However, you’d need to smoke eight to 10 marijuana cigarettes a day for them to have the same effectiveness as regular, glaucoma drops,” says Cooney. “That’s 2,920 to 3,650 a year.”

And the short, long-term, and ocular effects can be devestating. 

There is question of whether there is potential for THC, a chemical found in marijuana that is not toxic to the lungs, to be beneficial in treatment.

Contact Jordyn Imhoff at imhoffj@med.umich.edu to schedule an interview with Dr. Cooney. 

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