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CBN – a potential treatment for glaucoma?

Researchers found that CBN promotes neuroprotection and helps normalise pressure in the eyeball.

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CBN - a potential treatment for glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve becomes damaged.

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A new study has suggested that the cannabinoid, CBN, shows promise as a potential treatment for glaucoma. 

A recently-published study has found that cannabinol (CBN) may be an effective treatment for the eye condition glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a common eye condition where the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, becomes damaged. Most cases are caused by a build-up of pressure in the eye when fluid is unable to drain properly.

Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, headaches and without treatment it can lead to blindness.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that cannabis may help lower the pressure and improve symptoms of glaucoma, but until now, no products have been investigated in clinical trials.

Cannabinol (CBN) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, derived from THC and often found after prolonged storage at higher temperatures.

Canadian company, InMed Pharmaceuticals is currently conducting preclinical studies on its CBN formulation as a potential treatment for glaucoma, the findings of which have been published in the peer-reviewed journal Biochimica et Biophysical Acta (BBA – Molecular Basis of Disease).

Researchers at the University of British Columbia, in association with InMed Pharmaceuticals found that CBN,  conducted several studies to evaluate the survival of retinal ganglion cells [a type of neuron located near the retina], modulation of pressure in the eye and its effects on extracellular matrix proteins, which support and surround the cells, using cell and animal models.

Researchers found that CBN promotes neuroprotection and normalises pressure in the eyeball to help prevent damage caused by the condition. 

They also compared the effects of CBN with other cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with results indicating that CBN has a stronger effect and broader neuroprotective therapeutic range.

The study concludes: “Our observations in the present study indicate a therapeutic potential for CBN in the treatment of glaucoma.”

Over three per cent of the global population is thought to be living with glaucoma, with those of African, Caribbean or Asian origin more likely to be affected.

Existing treatments include eye drops to reduce the pressure, laser treatment or surgery to help with drainage. 

According to its website, InMed is  preparing for a pre-Investigational New Drug meeting with the US Food and Drug Administration and expects to file regulatory applications in the first half of calendar year 2023, to initiate a human clinical trial.

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Sarah Sinclair is a respected cannabis journalist writing on subjects related to science, medicine, research, health and wellness. She is managing editor of Cannabis Health, the UK’s leading title covering medical cannabis and CBD, and sister title and Psychedelic Health. Sarah has an NCTJ journalism qualification and an MA in Journalism from the University of Sunderland. Sarah has over six years experience working on newspapers, magazines and digital-first titles, the last two of which have been in the cannabis sector. She has also completed training through the Medical Cannabis Clinicians Society securing a certificate in Medical Cannabis Explained. She is a member of PLEA’s (Patient-Led Engagement for Access) advisory board, has hosted several webinars on cannabis and women's health and has moderated at industry events such as Cannabis Europa. Sarah Sinclair is the editor of Cannabis Health. Got a story? Email sarah@prohibitionpartners.com / Follow us on Twitter: @CannabisHNews / Instagram: @cannabishealthmag

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