red eyes from marijuana
red eyes from marijuana

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red?

Have you ever gotten red eyes from smoking cannabis?

Posted by:
Nanci Chi-Town on Monday Oct 14, 2019

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red? 

red eye from weed

Many weed consumers suffer from concealing their eyes after they smoked or had an edible. When they are at home or with friends, it is not such a big deal. It becomes a bit more difficult when they are somewhere public or with some people, they don´t want to notice the red eyes. Most would carry eye drops with them to try to reduce the effect. Best would be to understand why eyes turn red after smoking. This would make it easier to deal with or to know when to consume cannabis and when not to. It is not ambient related, and your eyes are not particularly sensitive to the smoke. It might not even be an allergic reaction.  

What is a well-known fact is that marijuana makes your eyes red. Interestingly enough, not everyone´s eyes turn red. Our genes play a role in allowing our eyes to turn red or not. Some people are just more prone to red eyes. Nonetheless, red eyes are linked to smoking weed or using weed, and sometimes it could bring you into trouble.


What makes your eyes turn red?

Normally, after consuming cannabis, there is a change in blood pressure. The heart rate increases and that leads to a fluctuation in blood pressure. This is due to the interaction of the cannabinoids on the endocannabinoid system. After about 5 to 10 minutes, the heart rate returns to normal and blood pressure normalizes too. This is due to the effect THC has on dropping the blood pressure.

When the blood pressure starts to lower, dilation of blood vessels and capillaries occur.  The inner-eye pressure drops as well and dilates the blood vessels and capillaries. This leads to an increase of blood flow and the blood vessels expand that creates the red eye-effect.

Because of this reaction, some researches find it a possible viable way to treat Glaucoma. Glaucoma causes intraocular pressure to rise. Scientists believe smoking weed could lead to releasing intraocular pressure. There is a catch though. Pressure only gets lowered for about 3 to 4 hours. Those suffering from Glaucoma need the pressure to be constantly low. It might be a bit tricky to treat Glaucoma with cannabis for this reason. It is advisable for anyone suffering from Glaucoma to speak with a medical practitioner if he or she is thinking of using cannabis to treat the condition.


Retinal damage is quite a common condition and can be caused by light, trauma or old age. Sometimes a vitamin deficiency also contributes to retinal damage. Studies have proven that using cannabis to treat retinal damage has great benefits. As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, it contributes to retinal health. Its neuroprotective properties also help to counter vision loss.


What is the best way to treat Red Eyes caused by Cannabis?

The fact that red eyes happen, can´t be wished away. The good news is that red eyes don’t stay red for too long. Red eyes only last a few hours. The higher the THC content, the redder your eyes. And yes, edibles also cause red eyes. After a while, your eyes will return to normal. But if you are in a position that you need to reduce the redness as quick as possible, there are some ways to deal with it. Certain situations are just not open for red eyes, like an interview or something similar. Here follow some ideas of how to deal with red eyes:


Eye drops – The name of the brand of the eye drops is not important. Anything would work. Eye drops help to constrict the blood vessels within moments. Red eyes should turn back to normal quite fast. Artificial tears might do wonders as it brings relief as well. Try to stay away from eye drops that contain too many chemicals.


Drink water- It is a well-known fact that cannabis leads to dehydration. It is one of the side-effects. If you are conscious of drinking plenty of water, it could help to reduce the red-eye effect.  


Use a cold compress – Cold compresses are wonderful and are a great help in soothing eyes. It also helps to constrict blood vessels.


Smoke strains lower in THC – The lower the THC content, the less red your eyes will get. THC is the main culprit of causing red eyes.


Wear Sunglasses – Sunglasses is one way to hide red eyes, even if it is nighttime. Those wearing sunglasses at night might not want to make a fashion statement. In fact, it could be their way concealing their red eyes.


Wait it out – If you have no way to go, waiting it out could be just the thing. Everything will turn back to normal after an hour or two.


Finally, red eyes are part of the side effects of consuming cannabis. If you consume high content THC products, it will happen. It is not a serious problem. It is just what it is.








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