Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a medical disease that usually impacts adults over the age of 50. It causes a loss of vision in the macula (the center of the visual field) because of the damage that has occurred to the retina. The early stages of age-related macular degeneration may be experienced without any noticeable symptoms; however, a gradual or sudden change in the quality of your vision may be the first sign of the condition.
While multiple FDA treatments exist, there may be serious side effects associated with their use. Correlations have been cited between the healing power of CBD and the workings of age-related macular degeneration. Can CBD be used to treat age-related macular degeneration? Can CBD relieve the symptoms of age-related macular degeneration? In this article, we discuss age-related macular degeneration, it’s commons symptoms, common triggers, and conventional treatments. We will also discuss what CBD is, and treating age-related macular degeneration with cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol (CBD) And Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. While still early in the research, correlations have already been cited between the healing power of cannabidiol and the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and it’s symptoms.
What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a medical disease that usually impacts adults over the age of 50. It causes a loss of vision in the macula (the center of the visual field) because of the damage that has occurred to the retina.
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration:
- Dry AMD: This form develops from atrophy to the retinal pigment epithelial layer below the retina.
- Wet AMD: This form occurs due to abnormal blood vessel growth causing damaging and rapid vision loss if not treated.
Common Symptoms Of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The early stages of age-related macular degeneration may be experienced without any noticeable symptoms; however, a gradual or sudden change in the quality of your vision may be the first sign of the condition.
Additional symptoms include:
- Changes in perception of color, in rare cases
- Dark, blurry areas
- Loss of central vision
- Whiteout in the center of your vision
Age-related macular degeneration may be an inherited condition. If a member of your family has been diagnosed with this condition, you may run a higher risk of developing the condition yourself.
Other triggers include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Lighter eye color
Conventional Treatments for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Currently, we have no cure for this disease. Available drugs like Lucentis and Avastin may be used to slow or prevent increased loss of vision. Injections made directly into the eye to slow down the slow of vision, using drugs like Macugen and Eylea, may also be done. While all FDA approved treatments, there may be serious side effects associated with their use.
Possible side effects include:
- Bleeding (bloodshot eye) or discharge from the eye
- Eye infections
- Eye pain, redness
- Flashes of light or floaters
- Retinal detachment
- Sensitivity to light
- Swelling around the eyes
- Swelling of the cornea
- Vision problems
In addition to drugs, laser treatment is an option for some patients.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical compound in the Cannabis sativa plant or hemp plant with amazing therapeutic potential. While it is just one of many cannabinoids that have been identified in the Cannabis sativa plant, it is the second most common active ingredient.
Scientific and clinical research—much of it sponsored by the US government—underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. Further evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high doses.
Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration with Cannabinoids
While more research is still needed, correlations have been cited between the healing power of CBD and the workings of age-related macular degeneration.
In a ground-breaking Finnish study on glaucoma conducted in 2002 which was published in the journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researcher Tomi Järvinena and his team discovered that the eye area has cannabinoid receptors, making this intricately complicated area of the body also a part of the all-encompassing endocannabinoid system (which helps to balance and regulate all other body systems).
Cannabinoids have also been shown to inhibit VEGF growth. The goal of administering the grueling injection of drugs directly into the eye for macular degeneration patients is because these drugs may the ability to stop the progression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, cannabinoids have also been shown to do the same thing, with little to no harsh side effects. A 2004 mouse model study of gliomas (brain tumors) conducted by researchers at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain found that cannabinoids inhibited VEGF pathways, thus slowing tumor growth in the mice. The same effect was also seen in two glioma patients as well.
Cannabinoids have been shown to help age-related macular degeneration symptoms in a number of ways including:
- CBD is an anti-inflammatory for the retinal area
- CBD is neuroprotective
- CBD is anti-angiogenesis
- CBD has anti-aging properties
- CBD inhibits VEGF growth (vascular endothelial growth factor), the growth of new blood vessels
- CBD lowers blood pressure
- CBD protects retina cells
- CBD reduces ocular pressure
For people dealing with age-related macular degeneration, cannabidiol may provide much-needed relief for many of the common symptoms; cannabinoids have also been shown to inhibit VEGF growth. For these reasons, I look forward to future research into the therapeutic use of CBD as a treatment for age-related macular degeneration.
To guarantee your safety, whenever you purchase CBD, always remember to research your vendor and only purchase from a company you can trust. For your next CBD topical purchase purchase, try TheraJoy. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland, and we’ve been proudly manufacturing our product in the United States for three years.
Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.