Yes, you can smoke weed after LASIK, but you should wait at least a week to do so following surgery. If you smoke weed sooner than a week after LASIK, you may face some complications and slow your recovery.
How Weed Affects the Eyes
Marijuana smoke can be very irritating to the eyes, and it can also lead to a reduction in corneal sensation. This can lead to issues during healing postoperatively.
If you smoke weed after LASIK, you may not realize something is wrong if you have a problem after surgery. A reduction in corneal sensation also causes you to blink less, which can lead to problems with dry eye.
Smoking Weed for Glaucoma
Some people will smoke weed if they’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma, as they believe it lowers the increased pressure in the eye. However, studies show that smoking weed can further damage the optic nerve.
Smoking marijuana can cause the heart to beat faster, and initially, it may raise blood pressure, which also affects the optic nerve. In addition, some people build up a tolerance to marijuana’s effects over time, resulting in a decreased ability for it to lower pressure in the eye.
According to eye doctors, smoking weed solely to treat eye pressure is not practical, as intraocular pressure (IOP) needs to be managed 24 hours per day. It is not a substitute for traditional medications that are used to control glaucoma.
Smoking Marijuana Before LASIK
If you smoke weed, it increases one’s level of sputum or phlegm. This may lead to coughing during the procedure. As a result, it’s best to refrain from smoking several days before you have surgery.
Even if you normally use marijuana edibles, or tinctures, you should still abstain from using the substance for about 24 hours prior to the operation.
Smoking Weed After LASIK
Again, the smoke from weed, just like cigarette smoke, is irritating and can cause the eyes to become red and dry. That’s why it’s best to not smoke weed for about a week after a LASIK procedure.
Use of Marijuana or CBD & Vision Health
Ophthalmologists generally do not support the use of cannabis overall, as it can worsen dry eye or lead to corneal damage. While eye doctors are aware of some of the drug’s benefits, they are more concerned about marijuana’s negative effects on the visual system.
For example, marijuana can impair the photopic and scotopic vision as its use decreases peripheral and macular sensitivity.
The use of weed can also affect vision processing neurologically, thereby creating scotomas. A scotoma represents a blind spot in an otherwise normal visual field. The scotoma may take the form of a blurry, fuzzy, or dark spot, or it may cause a flickering spot of light.
Because the eye has neurological receptors, optometrists need to learn more about the substance of CBD or cannabis, as the eyes also are full of CB1 and CB2 receptors. While CB1 mediates the psychoactive effects of cannabinoid substances, CB2 contributes to the body’s immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory activity.
These components can reduce problems with inflammation as they relate to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or allergies. Therefore, CBD may also be able to promote homeostasis or physiological equilibrium.
To promote healing and ensure the best outcomes from your LASIK procedure, you need to rest your eyes for a couple days and abstain from smoking weed for about seven days to avoid problems with irritation, redness, and dryness. Talk to your eye doctor before you begin smoking weed again following LASIK.
Does Marijuana Help Treat Glaucoma and Other Eye Conditions? (December 2022). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Medical Use of Cannabis for Dry Eye Disease. November 2018. Canadian Cornea, External Disease, & Refractive Surgery Society.
Cannabis and CBD Oil: A New “Old” friend in Optometry. (April 2022). Optometry Times.
The Cannabinoid CB2 Receptor as a Target for Inflammation-Dependent Neurodegeneration. (June 2007). Current Neuropharmacology.
Last Updated February 2, 2023
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