Caregiver's Home Companion Caring for someone who has trouble hearing the phone?
 SEARCH Go
Read Fred's Previous Articles

April 6, 2012
Question for Aging Men: Will Testosterone Spark Virility?


March 30, 2012
Is Dad Still Road-Worthy – Or Is It Time to Take the Keys?


March 23, 2012
Coping and Recovering from Knee Replacement


March 16, 2012
Lactose Intolerance May Not Spell Osteoporosis


Take Our PollThe Caregiver's Marketplace

Shop Now in the
Caregiver's e-Mall

Our Caregiver's e-Mall is filling up with great stores and a growing number of items just in time for the holidays. Whether you browse and find a book or tape to help you with caregiving, or come across a wonderful gift for a friend or family member, the e-Mall can be your source for easy shopping and gift-giving.

So, click on the dark blue Caregiver's e-Mall buttons throughout our site and enter a comfortable, secure shopping experience with major merchants while avoiding the hassle of having to find a parking place or matching your shopping hours with someone else's. Our mall is just a click away and is open 24 hours every day.

Watch for additional stores opening in the e-Mall soon!

Posted: September 11, 2009

Keeping Seniors Healthy

Marijuana Can Help Glaucoma, But Heed the Law

Q. I heard that marijuana helps glaucoma. I’d like my dad to try it, but won’t he – or I -- get in trouble?

A. Marijuana can help your glaucoma, and it could definitely get you in trouble because it’s illegal.

Marijuana refers to the parts of the Cannabis sativa plant, which has been used for medicinal purposes for more than 4,800 years. Doctors in ancient China, Greece and Persia used it as a pain reliever and for gastrointestinal disorders and insomnia.

Cannabis as a medicine was common throughout most of the world in the 1800s. It was used as the primary pain reliever until the invention of aspirin. The United States, in effect, made prescriptions for Cannabis illegal through the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The only opponent to the legislation was the representative of the American Medical Association.

Marijuana contains at least 60 chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is the main component responsible for marijuana's mind-altering effect. Marinol (dronabinol), a prescription drug taken by oral capsule, is a man-made version of THC.

One of THC's medical uses is for the treatment of nausea. It can improve mild to moderate nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and help reduce nausea and weight loss in people with AIDS.

Older people, especially those with no marijuana experience, may not tolerate THC’s mind-altering side effects as well as young people. Doctors generally prescribe several kinds of newer anti-nausea drugs with fewer side effects before resorting to Marinol.

Glaucoma increases pressure in the eyeball, which can lead to vision loss. Smoking marijuana reduces pressure in the eyes. Your doctor can prescribe other medications to treat glaucoma, but these can lose their effectiveness over time.

Researchers are trying to develop new medications based on cannabis to treat pain. THC may work as well in treating cancer pain as codeine. A recent study found that cannabinoids significantly reduced pain in people with multiple sclerosis, a disease of the nervous system.

Though some doctors and patients suggest marijuana has a legitimate use, the federal government disagrees. The law classifies marijuana as one of the “most dangerous drugs that have no recognized medical use.” The penalties for possession of marijuana can range from a small fine to a prison sentence.

Along with the legal implications of smoking marijuana are the health problems such as memory impairment, loss of coordination and the potential for withdrawal symptoms and hallucinations. And, inhaling marijuana smoke exposes you to substances that may cause cancer.

One study has indicated that the risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana. The researchers suggest that a heart attack might be caused by marijuana’s effects on blood pressure, heart rate and the capacity of blood to carry oxygen.

Most polls show that about three out of four people approve of medical marijuana. This has led to the introduction of bills in Congress which would eliminate federal controls in states which approve medical marijuana. None of these bills has been voted into law.

Marijuana is now available by prescription in 13 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. However, federal agencies control the power to prescribe.

 


Fred Cicetti is a freelance writer who specializes in health. He has been writing professionally since 1963. Before he began freelancing, he was a reporter and columnist for three daily newspapers in New Jersey. He has written two published novels: Saltwater Taffy, and Local Angles. You can send your health-related questions to Fred at fred@healthygeezer.com.

© 2009 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.
Search CaregiversHome
Find with keyword(s):

Enter a keyword or phrase to search CaregiversHome's archives for related news topics, the latest news stories, timely times, and reference articles.

Email or share this story Bookmark and Share

Back to Top


Discount Prescription Card

Free Survival Guide

Privacy Statement Contact Us Site Map Products & Services Our Partners Advertise
© Copyright 2003-2019. Pederson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.