Hope that a prescription can mimic marijuana’s benefits
Boston Globe - 11/17/2014
At Northeastern University, assistant professor of pharmacy Ganesh Thakur received a $2 million federal grant in September from the National Eye Institute to create a compound to treat glaucoma, an eye disease that blinds 60 million people worldwide.
Thakur’s goal is to design a drug that mimics marijuana’s ability to reduce the fluid pressure inside the eye, a hallmark of glaucoma, but will not get patients high.
Scientists have found that when patients use marijuana, the plant’s psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, interacts with a protein in the eye, known as CB1, to lower eye pressure. Researchers have also found that the brain naturally produces very small amounts of THC-like compounds.