Effect of marihuana on intraocular and blood pressure in glaucoma

Ophthalmology. 1980 Mar;87(3):222-8. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(80)35258-5.


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 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 cannabinoid to the glaucomatous eye.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Cannabinoids / adverse effects
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabis*
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / therapy*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypotension, Orthostatic / chemically induced
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cannabinoids