Effect of Marihuana on Intraocular and Blood Pressure in Glaucoma


John C.Merritt MD, William J.Crawford PhD, Paul C.Alexander MD, Alfred L.Anduze MD, Solomon S.Gelbart MD

Published in Science Direct

March 1980


Marihuana inhalation was accompanied by increased heart rate and decreased intraocular and blood pressure in 18 subjects with heterogenous glaucomas. The hypotensive effects appeared in 60 to 90 minutes as the decrease in intraocular pressure (IOP) appeared to follow the decrease in blood pressure. In addition to any local effect, the mechanism of lowered IOP may also involve the decreased pressure perfusing the ciliary body vasculature as a result of the peripheral vasodilatory properties of marihuana. Postural hypotension, tachycardia, palpitations, and alterations in mental status occurred with such frequency as to mitigate against the routine used in the general glaucoma population. Our data indicate that further research should be directed to local means of delivering the ocular hypotensive cannabino to the glaucomatous eye.


Open Access


DOI: doi.org/10.1016/S0161-6420(80)35258-5


Merritt, J. C., Crawford, W. J., Alexander, P. C., Anduze, A. L., & Gelbart, S. S. (1980). Effect of marihuana on intraocular and blood pressure in glaucoma. Ophthalmology, 87(3), 222-228.