Marijuana may prevent blindness, at least that is the consensus of a new study that finds tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive, stoner cannabinoid often referred to as THC, has the capacity to slow down the progress of a genetic eye condition that can lead to major vision loss or worse…total loss of sight.
Researchers from the University of Alicante in Spain published their findings earlier this month in the journal Experimental Eye Research. The study indicates that certain cannabinoids, specifically THC, has the ability to fight the advancement of a serious eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa -- cell degeneration of the retina affecting 1 in 4,000 people in the United States, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
There is currently no effective treatment for retinitis pigmentosa; however, lead researcher Dr. Nicolás Cuenca says his team may, in fact, be onto a cure, as they were able to prevent blindness in rats inflicted with the disease by injecting them with a synthetic variation of THC. After 90 days, under this treatment, Dr. Cuenca reports that rats did better on vision tests as well as exhibited 40-percent more photoreceptors than rats that did not receive medication.
“These data suggest that cannabinoids are potentially useful to delay retinal degeneration in retinitis pigmentosa patients,” said Dr. Cuenca.
Researchers say that although they are pleased with the results of their latest study, they are not at all shocked by the healing powers of marijuana. Cannabis has been associated with having positive effects on vision for nearly four decades, and it is currently used to treat patients suffering from another serious eye condition, glaucoma, right here in America.
However, study authors conclude that additional research needs to be conducted in order to fully explore the benefits of marijuana on degenerative eye diseases.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.