June 2021
Volume 62, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2021
Attitudes and perceptions toward the use of medical marijuana for glaucoma
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Zachary Bergman
    Ophthalmology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Mona Kaleem
    Johns Hopkins Medicine Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Omolola Idowu
    Ophthalmology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Zachary Bergman, None; Mona Kaleem, None; Omolola Idowu, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2021, Vol.62, 2757. doi:
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      Zachary Bergman, Mona Kaleem, Omolola Idowu; Attitudes and perceptions toward the use of medical marijuana for glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(8):2757.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Previous work has demonstrated that inhaled tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can lower intraocular pressure (IOP). The stance of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) is that medical marijuana is not an acceptable treatment for glaucoma. However, the expanding legality of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes makes it vital that ophthalmologists understand how marijuana can impact their patients. The purpose of this study is to evaluate ophthalmologists’ perceptions and attitudes towards the use of medical marijuana for glaucoma.

Methods : An electronic survey was sent to members of the AGS which addressed attitudes and perceptions on the use of medical marijuana in the management of glaucoma. Study questions included practitioner demographics, previous experiences, prescribing patterns, and knowledge regarding the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of glaucoma.

Results : Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported having patients who cited using medical marijuana for their glaucoma, and 38% of respondents were asked about medical marijuana by their patients at least once per week. Fifty-five percent of respondents had patients who asked them for medical marijuana prescriptions. When asked if they felt if there was a role for marijuana in the management of glaucoma patients, 27% of survey takers responded yes. Twenty-eight percent of respondents from states where marijuana is currently legal medicinally and recreationally similarly thought there was a role for marijuana in glaucoma, compared with 14% of respondents from states where marijuana is currently not legal for medicinal or recreational use. Fourteen percent of survey respondents kept information on medical marijuana in their office. Finally, 76% of participants responded they would be interested in additional education on the topic.

Conclusions : Medical marijuana is not recognized as an acceptable treatment option for glaucoma by our professional societies. However, it is likely that the legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes will continue to become more widespread. Thus, it is vital that modern day ophthalmologists understand how marijuana can impact their patients.

This is a 2021 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.

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