What can CBN do for Glaucoma?

What can CBN do for Glaucoma?

*Despite what you might read elsewhere on the internet, CBN has not been medically proven to prevent, treat, or cure glaucoma. This article discusses ongoing research into the endocannabinoid system and should not be the foundation of any medical or health recommendations or diagnosis. If you have or suspect you may have glaucoma, talk to your doctor.*

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that affect the optic nerve in your eye, and ultimately your eyesight. Many times, the symptoms start so slowly that most people don't notice it. While there is no cure, early treatment can stop the damage and protect your vision. 

Anyone, at any age, can get glaucoma. The people who have the highest risk are over age 60, of African-American or Hispanic/Latino descent, or have a family history of glaucoma. The only way to diagnose glaucoma is to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam. 

Scientists are not sure of the causes, but most people with glaucoma have high eye pressure. Inside the eye is a fluid called aqueous humor. Your eye constantly makes this fluid. As new fluid flows into the eye, the same amount drains out. If that drainage is not working properly, fluid builds up, and pressure rises. This increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve and your vision. 

Glaucoma is one of the top causes of blindness in people over 60. The symptoms can vary depending on the type of glaucoma and the stage of the condition. The most common type of glaucoma comes on slowly. You develop patchy blind spots, frequently in both eyes. When left untreated, it eventually causes blindness.

How CBN Affects Your Endocannabinoid System

In the early 1990s, researchers discovered that humans have a network of receptors throughout the body that help regulate homeostasis (stability). Receptors are structures located on a cell that binds with chemicals the body produces. When the chemical binds with the receptor, it triggers a reaction. 

These reactions help regulate physiological processes like sleep, pain perception, learning and memory, motor functions, emotional behavior, and stress. When the network of receptors does not have enough of the right chemicals, it causes the system to become unbalanced.

Scientists were analyzing how cannabinoid chemicals from the Cannabis sativa plant interact with the body when they made this discovery. This was how the network of receptors got the name endocannabinoid system. “Endo” means made or produced within the body. This means your body is hardwired to interact with cannabinoid-type chemicals that the body produces.

There is scientific evidence that many of the over 100 different cannabinoid chemicals found in the cannabis plant interact with the endocannabinoid system in your body. Cannabinol (CBN) is one of those cannabinoids.

CBN is different from cannabidiol (CBD) or cannabigerol (CBG) and is quickly gaining attention in the health and science community. Like CBD and CBG, CBN does not cause the psychoactive effects that are associated with marijuana. These are typically triggered by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBN research is in its infancy. Although CBD oil has more years of study and is well-known, researchers are intrigued by the health benefits early research has discovered.

Does CBN Help Glaucoma?

Although research into CBN has only just begun, some studies are promising and indicate there may be unique and significant health benefits. For example, in 2019, one study demonstrated CBN may help relieve pain in an animal model, especially in myofascial pain that happens in conditions like fibromyalgia. 

Another animal study showed CBN may help to stimulate the appetite. This research suggested that CBN may help people who have conditions like cancer or HIV. In a study in 2005, CBN demonstrated the potential ability to delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) in animals, indicating it could be neuroprotective

Many cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in certain studies. This includes CBN, which potentially reduced inflammation associated with arthritis in an animal study. More recently, InMed Pharmaceuticals announced preclinical results from a drug program using CBN. 

The CBN-based drug was developed as a potential treatment for eye diseases like glaucoma. The first lab studies indicated CBN may have had a greater positive effect than CBD and THC under similar conditions. The preclinical lab and animal studies were the basis for filing a patent application for the treatment of intraocular pressure reduction with glaucoma.

Although the research into the health benefits of CBN is in the early stages, early results are seemingly positive. Scientists are hopeful that CBN may one day be a part of the treatment of eye diseases that trigger increased intraocular pressure and cause nerve damage, such as glaucoma.

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