A bloodshot, red eye is the classic giveaway that someone has consumed cannabis with a high amount of THC. For some people, the eyes turn red immediately after consuming, and for regular seasoned cannabis users, red eyes depend on the quality or quantity of the cannabis consumed.
Why do your eyes get red when you’re high?
Even though many people still believe that red eyes are caused by the smoke from a joint (or a blunt or a bong), this is completely untrue, because no matter what type of consumption a person chooses, ranging from smoking, edibles, dabbing or vaping, your eyes will turn red. The reason behind the redness is actually THC.
One of the many ways tetrahydrocannabinol affects us is by decreasing our blood pressure. One of the effects of decreased blood pressure is the expansion of our blood vessels (which include arteries, veins, and capillaries). In the case of our eyes, the ocular capillaries become dilated and take in more blood, and the expanded blood vessels on the surface of the sclera make eyes appear redder.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (by reducing blood pressure), also reduces the intraocular pressure of the eye. Increased intraocular pressure is the key factor for all glaucoma diseases, and lowering the IOP (or intraocular pressure), is the only way for us to battle glaucoma, which when left untreated can result in a severe loss of vision, and ultimately blindness. One of the first studies conducted on this correlation showed that high THC strains can lower the IOP in the range of 25% to 30%.
The amount your eyes “turn” red will vary from person to person. If you smoke the same strain with someone else, you might notice that their eyes stay relatively white while yours can go extremely red, or vice versa. A number of factors can affect this, such as your genetics, sex, health and also how often you smoke. The redness is completely dependant on your blood pressure and it can last varying different timeframes as well.
Having red eyes from cannabis is harmless, however, for some of those who don’t want to have red eyes, there are a few simple steps one can take to minimize or reduce the redness.
Carry eye drops:
Most users always come with eye drops. Over-the-counter eyedrops are mainly and most commonly used when users want to alleviate their red eyes. Since eyedrops are made to treat eye conditions such as allergies and itchiness and, of course, red eyes, it is the primary option to get rid of the weed induced effect. The tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride in most eyedrops counters the effects of THC on the eyes. While THC expands the vessels in the eyes, this component narrows them. Using eyedrops may also help in the dryness some may experience when using weed.
Caution is still necessary when treating with eyedrops. For an alternative to this treatment, users can consume food or drinks that contain caffeine, chocolate, sodium, and licorice.
Caffeine, a recognized vasoconstrictor, can be found easily in our daily life. Coffee is the best example. It is well-known to reduce the size of the blood vessels, forcing the blood out. This also affects headaches and migraines caused by the enlarging of blood vessels. On another hand, high-sodium content and licorice root can raise the blood pressure which acts as an antagonist to the THC. Salted and smoked food, as well as canned entrees, is well known for its high-sodium content. If that is not up to your taste, you can also flavor up your cooking with licorice.
Wait it out
Ultimately, red eyes are not harmful and come with no negative outcomes. The next time you notice yourself with red eyes after a consuming THC, just remember that a little extra blood flow is nothing to be concerned about.
If you want to avoid getting red eyes completely, consider consuming High CBD Strains. Strains high in CBD, CBN, and CBG are the alternative for those looking to lessen red eyes when consuming cannabis products.
A misconception that you might hear is drinking more water to help you reduce redness in the eyes. This is sadly entirely false. Red eyes are not a sign of dehydration so no amount of water intake will help you get rid of bloodshot eyes.
The redness in your eyes isn’t anything serious, so you shouldn’t be alarmed. There’s nothing to be worried about and you’re generally not going to suffer any negative effects if do you have red eyes, but it can be worrying if you’re expected to attend a meeting or a work-related event. Unless you build up a tolerance to THC, the redness induced by smoking is constant. Since the redness only lasts a couple of hours, you can cover it up if you really must go out or wait it out. Red eyes are normal effects but if it bothers you, you can always plan out the times you use marijuana.
- Zenpype.com is an educational website dedicated to shedding the light on many sides of medical and recreational cannabis. Aside from informing people about cannabis, we also provide cannabis seeds and CBD products. Readers who show their support with purchasing, help us keep doing this. Thank you for your support and for helping us improve!