Aside from a goofy smile, red eyes may be the only outward indicator that you’re high from weed. It’s one of the most common physical symptoms of smoking cannabis. Some people are less sensitive to this effect, while for others, it’s a guaranteed occurrence. How red your eyes get can depend on the quantity of marijuana consumed and also your overall weed tolerance.
But what’s the reason behind the bloodshot eyes? And why does the effect apply to almost everyone who smokes weed?
Let’s find out!
Why Does Smoking Weed Give You Red Eyes?
Source: Diamond Vision
This common phenomenon is caused by several different factors, each of which may be decisive for the intensity of the effect. If you think getting bloodshot eyes is bad for your health, fret no more. The red-eye phenomenon has been positively linked to the main reason why marijuana is recommended to people struggling with glaucoma.
Okay, but what is it that causes you to finish a blunt only to be left with a telltale giveaway that you’ve just gone hard on your nugs?
THC and Blood Pressure
As you smoke weed, the THC enters your bloodstream, lowering your blood pressure. This also causes your blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. The capillaries in your eyes dilate as well, which results in increased blood flow to the eyes. Boom, there you go, say hello to red eyes!
THC Levels and the Intensity of Red Eyes
As we’ve mentioned, red eyes may come and go depending on the quantity of your weed. Quality can also be a determining factor. For example, when you smoke a low THC strain a particular day, you’ll probably experience little to no red eyes. On the other hand, on another day, your eyes may look red as the carpet for celebrities because you just smoked a high THC strain.
More interestingly, you don’t need to smoke weed in order to get the bloody eye effect. Eating edibles will trigger the effect just as well, so the final conclusion is that it’s not the smoke that causes red eyes, but the cannabinoids.
Allergy to Weed
“I’m not baked, it’s allergies,” said every stoner at least once in their lifetime.
Funny as it may be, weed allergy is actually real. Some studies suggest that there are some pot smokers out there who are allergic to cannabinoids. The allergy paired with harsh smoke from a joint or blunt can make your eyes beet red. However, you don’t have to be allergic to cannabis itself; it may very well be the pollen from your marijuana that triggers the reaction.
So… Is Getting Red Eyes a Bad Thing?
Source: Optical Centre
No, not at all. On the contrary, red eyes are the reason why doctors prescribe cannabis to patients are fighting glaucoma. As I mentioned before, what THC does in the body is cause dilation of the blood vessels and capillaries. When it comes to your eyes, in particular, dilation of the ocular capillaries is the result of decreased blood pressure.
That being said, this function of THC makes marijuana a useful medicine for glaucoma patients. Even though it doesn’t fully solve their issue, it helps them live with the symptoms without being afraid of losing their sight, which is the most severe consequence of neglected glaucoma. Cannabis releases the pressure that builds up due to glaucoma over time, so red eyes are actually a sign of something good, not bad.
How To Mask the Red Eyes Effect?
Source: Get Lifted
It’s not an overstatement to say that the reason behind red eyes when using marijuana is a harmless one, not to mention that it is beneficial for patients who struggle with increased blood pressure, especially in their ocular capillaries. Nonetheless, it doesn’t necessarily make it a desired reaction, because it’s almost always associated with marijuana use. When you step outside, people will tell right away that you’ve just blazed one when your eyes get red and glassy.
Thankfully, there are a few smart steps you can follow in order to get rid of red eyes from cannabis.
Well, if you haven’t razed yourself to the ground with that bong, red eyes won’t last long; it will typically take a couple of hours for the effect to wear off. Besides, if you’re super high, chances are you probably don’t feel like going anywhere. So waiting will be the best option.
Use Eye Drops
Okay, so let’s imagine that you’re not actually that stoned and there’s a meeting you have to attend. This is where waiting is out of the question. With that said, the best alternative is to turn to the kinds of eye drops that are formulated specifically for red eyes. They will reduce both their dryness and redness, so people will hardly notice that you’ve just had a nice time with Mary Jane.
Drink Coffee or Eat Chocolate
Since THC dilates blood vessels and capillaries, you can turn to food that constricts them again. This may be a strong cup of coffee or a bar of dark chocolate. I suppose ingesting them won’t be a problem when the munchies kick in.
Pick low THC and high CBD strains
Smoking pot that has high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) will increase the intensity of red eyes. That being said, it’s wise to opt for strains high in CBD or CBN; they will lessen your red eyes after toking.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
While increasing your fluid intake won’t have a direct effect on the redness of your eyes, it will certainly alleviate the dryness you feel after a smoke sesh, including that dry eye feeling. It doesn’t have to be water, though. Actually, there’s nothing better to cut the cottonmouth and dry eyes than drinking a cup of freshly squeezed citrus juice.
Next time, when you see yourself in the mirror after smoking weed and you notice a pair of glossy red eyes, don’t panic. It’s nothing dangerous and it can actually prove beneficial for your ocular pressure.
Nevertheless, if you can’t go outside looking as if you were about to shoot lasers, try the above methods to hide your red eyes from people.
Oh, by the way, what was your best excuse for having red eyes when someone asked if you have been smoking weed?