Medical Research

CBD and Eye Health

Written by Christina Major

As more people start taking cannabidiol (CBD), doctors are becoming more concerned with the potential side effects. In the past years, several studies have shown that CBD can help various conditions related to eye health, nevertheless with some possible risks associated.


Currently, no studies directly link CBD to improving the health of your eyes. It does not help improve vision or reduce astigmatism.
Nevertheless among the positive effects of CBD on health, pain management can help maintain some of the integrity of your nerves and muscle tissue. In addition, CBD can help reduce migraines and other brain related issues that can cause side effects in your eyes. For many people, using CBD oil can help reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, which risks damage to your eyes. Simply reducing pain can help people move around and get more exercise, which helps improve a person’s overall health.


CBD increases the risk of blindness, retinal detachment, and nerve pain for people with glaucoma and other pressure-sensitive issues.
One specific study [1] shows that using CBD raises the pressure inside the eye by 18% and can last at least 4 hours. For people with pre-existing glaucoma conditions, this can be a sight-threatening issue. It appears that the cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1 ) in the eye raises ocular pressure, which is one of the two ways CBD increases intraocular pressure.


Other studies on whole-cannabis plant found that the psychotropic compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can help reduce glaucoma symptoms. However, THC is still illegal.
Because of this risk, ophthalmologists have recommended people not use CBD as an overall systemic supplement. Likewise, ophthalmologists do not recommend using THC because of its hallucinogenic effects. If you are taking CBD, it’s highly recommended you speak to your ophthalmologist about your risk of glaucoma or other eye problems.



[1] Sally Miller, Laura Daily, Emma Leishman, Heather Bradshaw, Alex Straiker; Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol Differentially Regulate Intraocular Pressure. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(15):5904-5911. doi:
[Journal impact factor = 4.799] [Times cited = 59]



About the author

Christina Major