Date of Award


Degree Name

Healthcare Administration


College of Business

Type of Degree


Document Type

Research Paper

First Advisor

Alberto Coustasse


Introduction: This paper explores the potential therapeutic benefits of medical Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on glaucoma management, particularly in terms of intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction, ocular blood flow, and symptom management. Glaucoma, characterized by increased IOP and progressive optic nerve damage, is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. Current treatments focus on IOP control but may have inadequate efficacy or intolerable side effects, necessitating alternative approaches such as medical THC.

Methods: The study hypothesis posited that medical THC could significantly reduce IOP, enhance ocular blood flow, and improve symptom management in glaucoma patients. To test this hypothesis, a literature review supplemented by a semi-structured interview with an experienced optometry practitioner was conducted. Research from 2015 to 2024 was reviewed using the PRISMA approach, analyzing findings from both primary and secondary sources.

Results: Results indicated a reduction in IOP after THC administration, with studies reporting an approximate 25% decrease. Ocular blood flow was also positively affected, evidenced by increased vasodilation post-THC administration. Furthermore, patient-reported outcomes suggested improved pain management with THC use. Despite these promising findings, the effects were transient, and significant side effects, including hypotension and altered perception, were noted.

Discussion: The interview reflected cautious optimism about THC's potential, emphasizing the importance of further research given the lack of long-term data and concern over psychoactive side effects. Regulatory challenges due to THC's Schedule I status also emerged as a significant barrier to both research and clinical use. The study's limitations include its English language restriction, limited database usage, potential researcher and publication biases, and the absence of long-term outcome data. These factors may affect the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications suggest that while medical THC could be an adjunct therapy for glaucoma, careful patient selection, monitoring, and regulatory changes are imperative. The pharmaceutical development of cannabinoid-based treatments with minimal psychoactive effects could revolutionize glaucoma therapy.

Conclusion: In conclusion, medical THC shows potential in managing glaucoma, but its integration into treatment protocols requires further extensive and controlled research. This study supports the hypothesis to a degree but acknowledges the need for additional investigations to fully validate the therapeutic role of medical THC in glaucoma management.


Health services administration.

Health facilities -- Business management.

Tetrahydrocannabinol -- Therapeutic use.

Intraocular pressure -- Effect of drugs on.

Glaucoma -- Treatment.