Researchers in France have released a study that shows a potential link between heavy marijuana use and damaged eyesight. The study was conducted on a small group of regular marijuana users and a small group of people who do not use marijuana. Tests were conducted to gauge how long it took for the subject’s brains to recognize a small light. The results appeared in JAMA Opthalmology.
“Our findings may be important from a public health perspective since they could highlight the neurotoxic effects of cannabis use on the central nervous system as a result of how it affects retinal processing,” explained researchers.
Since the study was small and the first of its kind, there will need to be larger, more extensive research groups in order to find out if there is a real link between marijuana use and poor eyesight. However, the research indicates that there is a strong association that marijuana is somehow negatively impacting retinal ganglion cells within the eye.
Researchers are also unsure of the impact of retinal delays. Some have warned that this could be an indicator of more extreme issues, while others are calling for more research. Regardless of the outcome though, these types of studies provide a different take to marijuana than most people are getting.
There has been a shift in how people view recreational and medical marijuana use that it can be difficult to get all the information. While heroin, cocaine, painkillers and methamphetamine are certainly more harmful than marijuana in so many ways, there are multiple physical and mental side effects caused by cannabis that are continually being documented. Studies like this one show that there is still so much more to learn about the drug, especially as use of it continues to increase.
The impacts of widespread, repeated use seem to be more harmful than many proponents would care to admit. From a treatment perspective alone we see that people do become dependent on the drug, despite the advocates’ claim that it is not addictive.