Although cannabis is very widespread worldwide, the impact of cannabis on visual function remains poorly understood. This is partly due to numerous difficulties met in developing clinical studies in cannabis users. Here, we report the first documented case of neuroretinal dysfunction after acute cannabis smoking. This observation was favored by the need of an annual ophthalmic evaluation in the context of a chloroquine intake for a systemic lupus erythematosus in a 47-year-old heavy cannabis user. A complete ophthalmic evaluation including visual acuity tests, intraocular pressure, fundoscopic examination, automated 10° central visual field, full-field electroretinogram (ERG) and multifocal ERG was performed twice – 30 min and 5 h after cannabis smoking. A strong decrease (up to 48%) in the a-wave amplitude of the full-field ERG was measured 30 min after cannabis smoking for all scotopic responses compared with the responses 5 h after smoking. Other tests showed reproducible results between the 2 series of measurements. This clinical case suggests that acute inhalation of cannabis affects the photoreceptors functioning. This rare situation suggests further investigations are required on the impact of cannabis on retinal processing, especially since cannabis has been incriminated in car injuries.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.