In the post-prohibition age, new applications for medical cannabis are emerging all the time, including in the treatment of eye disorders. Today in the iCAN blog, we are discussing cannabis for eye disorders.
Cannabis for Eye Disorders
Legal medical cannabis is currently available across the United States and cannabidiol (CBD) products containing low or no psychoactive properties are even more accessible. Many countries around the world have adopted liberal regulatory cannabis policies and this shifting legal landscape has opened the floodgates of cannabis research. Cannabis-based therapies are increasingly accepted as an efficient treatment for a wide range of health challenges, including epilepsy, endometriosis, and chemotherapy-related side effects. One emerging application for cannabis is in the treatment of eye disorders.
While researchers continue to study how cannabinoids interact in the eye and how these effects can improve eye health, there is evidence that THC can reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) at least as well as most conventional medications when administered orally, intravenously, or by inhalation, and that certain cannabinoids can reduce eye inflammation and help mitigate ocular pain. Cannabinoids have also been shown to have a limited neuroprotective effect. These effects may hold therapeutic potential for a range of ocular indications, including for uveitis.
Cannabis for Uveitis
The uvea is the middle layer of the eye consisting of the iris, ciliary body and choroid. Uveitis describes a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the uvea, often because of underlying inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or ulcerative colitis. Some of the symptoms of uveitis include blurred vision, eye pain, eye redness and light sensitivity. If left untreated, chronic uveitis can lead to more serious ocular disorders, such as cataracts or glaucoma, and even blindness. Uveitis accounts for 10% of legal blindness in the United States and 25% of legal blindness globally.
Current treatments for uveitis include:
- Prescription eye drops and anti-inflammatory medications
- Anti-inflammatory injections
- Corticosteroids, immunosuppressants or anti-metabolite drugs
These treatments are less effective in treating uveitis in the anterior part of the eye and long-term corticosteroid use is associated with serious inescapable side effects. Therefore, there is a need for replacement or steroid-sparing treatment options for this condition. Cannabis may be the answer.
Challenges to Treating Eye Disorders
Early results demonstrate the limited efficacy of cannabinoids in treating uveitis and other ocular disorders. However, there are challenges to this line of treatment. The duration of effects is short and requires frequent administration compared to other available treatments with more sustained effects.
An additional challenge to cannabinoid-based ocular treatments is the difficulty of penetrating the eye barrier. The human eye is designed to reject any foreign matter, including ocular treatments. This makes treating internal eye conditions difficult. One way to improve the efficacy of medicines derived from cannabis for ocular disorders is to develop advanced delivery platforms to bypass the eye’s natural defences.
Nanoencapsulation delivers highly-bioavailable medication to targeted regions, making cannabis a potential alternative to currently available treatments for uveitis and other ocular disorders. With nanoencapsulation, the beneficial effects of cannabis for ocular disorders have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people living with ocular disorders worldwide.
iCANsee: the Future of Eye Care
iCANsee is developing topical, pharmaceutical grade, cannabinoid-based treatments for common eye disorders, including uveitis.
Utilizing patented nanoencapsulation technology, iCANsee improves efficacy and bioavailability. The development of this leading-edge therapy will address a number of common challenges to cannabinoid-derived medications to the eye. These include:
- Improved consistency in dosing
- Improved onset of action via direct, local application compared to indirect methods of consumption
- Improved bioavailability by bypassing the eye’s structural barriers to absorption
iCANsee was awarded a coveted NOFAR Israeli Innovation Authority research grant. This endowment will support clinical validation and product development of nanoencapsulated cannabinoid-based ocular treatments. iCANsee is a first-mover in the market, pioneering the future of nanotechnology and the traditional healing properties of cannabis to revolutionize ocular medicine.
iCANsee is offering an investment opportunity right now.
iCANsee are first movers in the cannabis ocular therapy market, with clinical applications and for both over-the-counter and prescription markets utilizing nanotechnology delivery system developed in Israel. iCANsee was recently awarded a government grant from the Israel Innovation Authority for ongoing R&D.
If you’d like to find out more about iCANsee, please download the brief here: