Learning about CBG and Glaucoma
CBG and Glaucoma are becoming more noticed in the scientific world of ophthalmology. Glaucoma affects nearly 3 million Americans yearly, with 2.7 million being over the age of 40. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Researchers are now exploring other cannabinoids like CBG, which has shown promise in treating glaucoma.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending image information from the brain to the eyes. The damage is often caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye called intraocular pressure (IOP). Intraocular pressure can erode the tissue of the optic nerve and may lead to blindness. However, if the condition is diagnosed early, you may be able to prevent the loss of vision.
Several forms of glaucoma don’t show early signs. It occurs gradually, and you may not even notice until the condition is in its severe stage. Since the loss of vision cannot be recovered, it is vital to visit a doctor for regular eye exams, including eye pressure. This allows early diagnosis, and the condition can be treated accordingly.
Glaucoma symptoms vary depending on the type of condition. For open-angle glaucoma, a common type of glaucoma which rarely have signs, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Patchy blind spots in the eye
- Tunnel vision
For acute angle-closure glaucoma:
- Blurred vision
- Redness in the eye
- Eye pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Seeing halos around lights
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a result of optic nerve damage. As the nerve gradually wears out, blind spots tend to develop in the eye. For reasons not known, doctors believe that the nerve damage is related to abnormal pressure in the eye.
Increased eye pressure is due to fluid buildup called aqueous humor that flows throughout the eye. If the channels that carry the fluid get blocked, intraocular pressure may increase, resulting in optic nerve damage.
While glaucoma and CBG are in the infancy of research, it’s believed Glaucoma can be genetic and run in families, either of these risk factors may contribute to the condition:
- Age over 40 for African-Americans and the rest over 60
- Ethnicity – African Americans are at a high risk of getting glaucoma
- Having certain medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease
- Use of certain medications like corticosteroids
- Family history of glaucoma
- Eye problems
Types of Glaucoma
There are 5 types of glaucoma. They include:
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), this is the most common type of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma causes gradual loss of vision. This is because the trabecular meshwork is partially blocked. The condition happens gradually, and you may lose your sight even before you’re aware.
Angle-closure glaucoma is a severe condition that needs a medical emergency. This type of glaucoma is a result of a sudden blockage of aqueous humor fluid in the eye. As such, it causes rapid fluid buildup, severe pain, and elevated intraocular pressure.
Some people with normal eye pressure may have a damaged optic nerve. The cause of this condition is not known. However, having a sensitive optic nerve, less blood supplied to the optic nerve may be a great factor in this type of glaucoma.
Glaucoma in children
Also known as congenital glaucoma, this type is commonly born in children or develops in the early years of their lives. The condition hinders normal fluid drainage. The symptoms may include uncontrolled tearing, light sensitivity, and cloudy eyes.
In this type of glaucoma, pigment granules from the iris build up in the drainage channels blocking fluid flow in the eye. Usually, engaging in activities such as jogging stimulate pigment granules depositing on the trabecular meshwork causing increased eye pressure.
Now that you know what glaucoma is, the condition has long been treated with medical cannabis. However, experts have noted that some specific cannabinoids may worsen the situation. Few studies suggest that CBG, a cannabinoid from the cannabis plant, could benefit glaucoma patients.
Can CBG be the answer for glaucoma?
Let’s have a look!
What is CBG?
Cannabigerol (CBG) is one of over a hundred already identified active cannabinoids that occur in the cannabis plant. Most people are familiar with cannabidiol (CBD) for medicinal benefits and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound.
Unlike THC, CBG is non-psychotic and, therefore, it will not get you high. It is available in different varieties of industrial hemp as well as more potent marijuana strains.
Although CBG is often overlooked in favor of CBD and THC, it could be useful for various ailments. While research on CBG is in its infancy, there’s no doubt there’s much to learn about this compound.
Usually, CBG is available in minimal amounts, less than 1% in most cannabis strains. That’s why it is considered a minor cannabinoid. Cannabigerol is important because of its ability to synthesize major cannabinoids. For this reason, cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) is referred to as ‘the mother of cannabinoids’
CBGA is the precursor of three main cannabinoids: cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Specific enzymes break down CBGA in a direct line. Once exposed to light or heat, they become CBD, THC, and CBC.
Usually, in most strains, CBGA is instantly transformed into CBDA, THCA, or CBCA. That is why more THC means less CBG because of the way these compounds are synthesized.
How Does CBG Work?
All cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, and CBG, are processed via the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a collection of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), specialized enzymes, and endocannabinoids.
The role of the ECS is to regulate the body’s operational functions, such as response to pain, appetite, mood, and sleep.
CB1 receptors are available in abundance in the brain while CB2 in the immune system. Several cannabinoids, including cannabigerol, interact with these receptors. CBG is believed to bind primarily with CB2 receptors offering relief to a whole host of ailments, including glaucoma.
CBG for Glaucoma: What Research Say
The human eyes have endocannabinoid receptors, and CBG may help in treating glaucoma because it reduces intraocular pressure. Endocannabinoid receptors get activated by CBG, resulting in a shift in IOP.
A 2008 study examined the possibilities of applying cannabinoids in the treatment of glaucoma. It was found that CBG has potent vasodilator and neuroprotective properties that support its therapeutic benefits in lowering intraocular pressure.
Another study conducted in 1990 by the Department of Ophthalmology at West Virginia University on the potential role of CBG and glaucoma. After acute topical application on the eyes of the cats, there was a significant decline in ocular tension for a whopping 4-7mm Hg. Interestingly, the study also showed that CBG and its psychoactive counterpart did not affect the rate at which the subjects formed aqueous humor but increased its flow two-to three-fold.
The results suggest that CBG may have potential therapeutic benefits of glaucoma. However, more is needed to validate these claims. Nonetheless, the cannabis market remains hopeful.
Choosing the best CBG product
Finding the best available CBG for glaucoma can be challenging, but you can trust Come Back Daily, the #1 rated CBD store in New York. As an industry leader in the CBD space, we take great precautions before putting any CBD or CBG products in our store. We always review testing certificates of the CBD or CBG products, speak with the owners or representatives, check all the labeling to make sure its correct, try samples ourselves and give samples to our trusting customers for feedback. There hasn’t been a CBG product approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just yet – but it’s very possible with all the acceptance of CBD and legal marijuana, that this isn’t too far down the line.
Here are some quick pointers to help you get started with a trusted CBG product:
Reputable companies have their CBG products tested by an independent lab. Before Come Back Daily purchases any CBG product, we always make sure the product has been verified by a third party and read the lab report.
Full-spectrum CBD products are pretty easy to find with CBG products. This is because they have all cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, including cannabigerol.
When these cannabinoids are used together, they increase the effectiveness of one another by way of the entourage effect.
CBG for glaucoma patients
Most cannabis advocates have long supported the miraculous plant for medicinal purposes. While some of its compounds like CBD have gained popularity and become the center of attraction among cannabis connoisseurs, others are beginning to gain traction.
CBG looks promising for glaucoma patients. With more studies, CBG is positioned to be the next big thing in the cannabinoid world.
Is CBG legal?
Although many naturopath doctors and alternative medicine physicians will recommend CBD and CBG products, CBG has not yet been approved as a drug. The FDA has not confirmed that “parts of the cannabis plant that do not contain THC or CBD might fall outside the scope of the [drug exclusion rule].”
Are there any prevention methods for glaucoma?
Yes. Here are some self-care tips that can help you detect glaucoma in its early stages.
- Get a regular dilated examination
- Exercise safely
- Know your family’s eye health history
- Wear eye protection
- Take prescribed eye drops accordingly
Final Thoughts on Glaucoma and CBG
There’s no doubt CBG cannabinoid is not known by many. Although cannabigerol hasn’t got much attention, recent research looks promising, especially when it comes to glaucoma. With more research, CBG is poised to be the next prominent cannabinoid revered in the cannabis industry. Just be sure to consult your healthcare provider before using CBG for glaucoma.