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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can cannabis cause diabetic retinopathy?

I am an 18 year old type on diabetic and have had diabetes for six years now. I never too good care of my blood glucose levels till recently. I also recently visited a retinal specialist, and he told me some alarming news. Apparently it appeared as though i have been smoking for a number of years based on the health of my eye. However, i don not smoke cigarettes and have recently, about a year or a little longer, started smoking marijuana. Now i have scoured the internet for further information on the topic of smoking marijuana in connection to diabetic blindness. I have stumbled across the interesting research they are preforming with cannabidiol and how it has shown to reduce the leaking of the retinal veins. Though i could never find a direct link between SMOKING marijuana and diabetic retinopathy. Could cannabis really be this terrible for my eyes or is it just a coincidence?
Mon, 15 Sep 2014
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Addiction Medicine Specialist 's  Response
I'd really think coincedence. The reason for the research into marijuana as a preventative is that it apparently lowers pressure in the eye with glaucoma.. and lowering the ocular pressure can be helpful (it cannot be hurtful). Haven't seen any lnkage; do not see any obvious connection.
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