PRCIS: With expanding legality of medical marijuana (MMJ) in the United States, it is important for ophthalmologists to have greater understanding of the implications of MMJ and glaucoma treatment and how it can impact their patients. PURPOSE: Previous work has demonstrated that inhaled tetrahydrocannabinol can lower intraocular pressure. The stance of the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) is that MMJ is not an acceptable treatment for glaucoma. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the glaucoma specialists' perceptions and attitudes toward the use of MMJ for glaucoma. METHODS: An electronic survey was sent to members of the AGS which addressed attitudes and perceptions on the use of MMJ in the management of glaucoma. Study questions included practitioner demographics, previous experiences with patients discussing the topic, prescribing patterns, and knowledge regarding the use of MMJ for the treatment of glaucoma. RESULTS: Thirty-seven percent of respondents reported having patients who cited using MMJ for their glaucoma, and 38% of respondents were asked about MMJ by their patients at least once per week. Fifty-five percent of respondents had patients who asked them for MMJ prescriptions. When asked if they felt if there was a possible role for marijuana in the management of glaucoma patients, 27% of survey takers responded yes. Fourteen percent of survey respondents kept information on MMJ in their office. Finally, 76% of participants responded they would be interested in additional education on the topic. CONCLUSIONS: Over 25% of the glaucoma specialists responded that MMJ had a role in the treatment of glaucoma, despite the recommendation of the professional society. This group was least likely to have received education on the topic. Given the expanding legality and curiosity of patients with regards to marijuana in the United States, it is important for ophthalmologists to have a greater understanding of the implications of marijuana in glaucoma.
Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine.