Medical Specialty >> Endocrinology

Doctors Lounge - Endocrinology Answers

Back to Endocrinology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/17/2017.

Forum Name: Diabetes

Question: Diabetic Eye Disease

 hercules - Tue May 12, 2009 8:46 am


I am 56 years old and have been a diabetic for nearly 25 years. I have an insulan pump and thankfully through modern technology have been kept alive despit my years of smoking. I've had several heart angioplsties and stints, as well as the deterioration of my stomach lining and the removal of my gall bladder. Let me be an example of what happens when diabetics don't take good care of themselves right away.

Honestly though with the birth of my grandchildren, I have taken the steps to a health life and I feel great.

My question is a little odd. I new side effect has taken over my life, cant remember the medical name but I have bleeding behind my eyes. I am profoundly blind in my left eye and legally blind in my right eye. I have my 3rd laser surgery next week. I have severe pain and feel helpless. I know Marijuana is benificial to glocoma patients and was wondering if perhaps it may alleviate the pressure behind the eyes for myself as well. I know the risks and I know its illegal, but I'm blind, and if this can help even a little bit with the pain or the sight I might way my options. If you do not feel commfortable advising me on this could you please refer me to some information to research?
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:48 am

User avatar Hello,While I am unable to give you references to therapy with cannibinoids in diabetic retinopathies there are some experimental works which have connected the oxidative stress,and pro inflammatory cytokines and the role of cannibinoids in relieving them in experimental models of diabetic retinopathies.The mechanism is based on the inhibition of p38 MAP kinase in the diabetic retina without producing psychotrophic effects.
El−Remessy AB, Al−Shabrawey M, Khalifa Y, Tsai NT, Caldwell RB, Liou GI: Neuroprotective and Blood−
−Retinal Barrier−Preserving Effects of Cannabidiol in Experimental Diabetes. Am J Pathol 2006, 168, 235–244.
 Dr.M.jagesh kamath - Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:31 pm

User avatar Hi,Initial reports in 1970s indicated that smoking marijuana resulted in lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) few hours after administration. These National Eye Institute (NEI)-sponsored studies demonstrated that some derivatives of marijuana did result in lowering of IOP when administered orally, intravenously, or by smoking, but not by topical application to the eye. The pressure-lowering effect is reported to last for about 3 to 4 hours. This fall in IOP was accompanied by a fall in blood pressure as well. There is apprehension in some quarters that the fall in blood pressure associated with falls in IOP may cause optic nerve ischemia.

Because the duration of the induced fall in IOP is short, it is estimated that an individual would have to smoke a marijuana cigarette eight or ten times a day in order to control IOP over 24 hours.

Hepler RS, Petrus RJ. Experiences with administration of marihuana to glaucoma patients. In: Cohen S. and Stillman RC, eds. The Therapeutic Potential of Marihuana. New York: Plenum Medical Books, 1976;63-75.

Flach AJ. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the treatment of end-stage open-angle glaucoma. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc 2002;100:215-22; discussion 222-4.

Cuendet JF, Shaprio D, Calanca A, et al. Action of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on ophthalmotonus. Ophthalmologica 1976; 172:122-7.
National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health. NEI Statement - The Use of Marijuana for Glaucoma. Bethesda: NEI/NIH, February 18, 1997.
Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us