Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve by various mechanisms, such as increased intraocular pressure, decreased blood flow and poor outflow of intraocular fluid. This can lead to irreversible vision loss.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is known for its ability to reduce intraocular pressure and at the same time protect the nerve tissue. Inhalation or peroral consumption of cannabis can reduce the pressure to three to four hours; however, the problem is its low and variable bioavailability as well as psychoactivity.
Also, penetration into intraocular tissue after direct application to the eye is limited by the low solubility of THC in water.
Especially promising is a nano-emulsion containing liquid particles of THC-VHS hundreds of nanometers in size, dispersed in another liquid.
A few years ago, American chemists from the University of Mississippi in Oxford modified the THC molecule to improve its solubility. They patented their invention as Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol-valine-hemisuccinate (THC-VHS) and currently are testing methods of its effective administration.
Especially promising is a nano-emulsion containing liquid particles of THC-VHS hundreds of nanometers in size, dispersed in another liquid. The THC-VHS nano-emulsion was more effective in tests on rabbits compared to the commercial drugs timolol and latanaprost. Future plans include testing on other biological models and a longer duration of application.
Author: Tibor Béres
Source: Cannabis Therapy Vol. 2
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