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Weed Eyes: What Causes Red Eyes & How To Get Rid Of Them

Have you ever noticed your eyes turning red after consuming cannabis?

Commonly referred to as “red eyes,” eye redness is a common side effect when you consume cannabis.

But what causes red eyes? And how do you reduce eye redness? Not everyone needs to know that you’ve recently consumed cannabis. But eye redness is one of the biggest telltale signs that you’ve been enjoying bud.

Here we’ll take a deeper look at red eyes caused by cannabis products, including what’s causing red eyes, if red eyes are different when you eat edibles, a few steps you can take to reduce eye redness and more.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the high eyes of Miss Mary Jane.

high eyes

Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis makes eyes red because THC causes the ocular capillaries to dilate.
  • Eye drops like artificial tears, a cold compress and splashing cold water on the eyes are a few ways to decrease how strongly you experience eye redness.
  • Both smoking weed and eating edibles that contain THC can make your eyes red, but it may take longer for high eyes to occur when consuming edibles.

Why Weed Causes Red Eyes

It’s no secret that smoking cannabis can make your eyes red, but why do high eyes even happen?

It all comes down to THC. The cannabis compound famous for its intoxicating effects also causes blood vessels and capillaries in the eyes to expand, ultimately leading to the bloodshot eyes THC is also famous for.

This occurs because THC lowers blood pressure, which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow throughout the entire body. The result is red, dry eyes, also known as bloodshot eyes.

As blood pressure begins to lower after THC consumption, it causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate, leading to an almost immediate increase in blood flow to the eyes. The result is the red, dry eyes, also known as bloodshot eyes, that are characteristic of cannabis consumption.

Vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, affects not only the eyes but also the entire body. This is why cannabis consumption can lead to a drop in blood pressure and an increased heart rate.

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So, the next time your eyes turn red after smoking weed, remember that it’s all thanks to the vasodilation caused by consuming THC as blood vessels begin to widen as blood flow increases.

While there are numerous chemical compounds in cannabis, THC is the primary cannabinoid to make your eyes red, as it is behind the increased blood flow that causes blood vessels to dilate. Other cannabinoids may make your eyes red, but THC remains the most significant factor.

Understanding the role of THC in causing red eyes can help you make informed decisions about your cannabis consumption.

Always consult with a licensed physician if you’re using medical marijuana for specific conditions, as they can guide you on the appropriate dosages and potential side effects, including eye redness.

The Impact of Cannabis on Glaucoma Patients

Cannabis has long been believed to support glaucoma by lowering intraocular pressure.

The decrease in intraocular pressure is primarily due to the increased blood flow and relaxation of eye capillaries, which is basically the same thing that causes eye redness.

This is why medical marijuana has been used to support the degenerative eye condition for decades. Of the 33 states that have passed medical marijuana use, 29 of them list glaucoma as a qualifying condition.

Maintaining a healthy IOP is critical for preserving vision in individuals with glaucoma. By lowering intraocular pressure, using medical cannabis may help prevent vision loss associated with this condition.

The pressure relief provided by cannabis typically lasts approximately 2-4 hours in most cases. So, while cannabis consumption may temporarily lower intraocular pressure, the short-lived nature of its effects can make it less than ideal for those interested in long-term relief.

Further research is needed to understand the potential benefits and long-term effects of cannabis use for those suffering with glaucoma.

high on life illustration

Do Edibles Make Your Eyes Red?

Wonder if eating THC-infused edibles can also cause eyes to turn red?

If edibles are your thing, you’ve probably noticed that you definitely get a case of stoned eyes after the edibles kick in. If you consume cannabis edibles that contain THC, your eyes will absolutely become red.

Lower blood pressure is still a thing in THC edibles, meaning they still affect blood vessels which lead to red eyes. That being said, things like absorption rates, metabolism and how much CBD content is in the edible can influence the intensity of redness.

Edibles may also take longer to cause red eyes due to their delayed onset compared to smoking. As with smoking cannabis and using other types of cannabis products, it’s vital to be aware of the potential risks associated with edibles and consume them responsibly.

Quick Remedies To Reduce Eye Redness

Want to get rid of stoned eyes fast?

If you’re looking to alleviate high eyes quickly, there are several remedies you can try to get rid of them, including:

  • Redness-reducing eye drops
  • Cold compress
  • Caffeine
  • Hydration
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Each of these remedies has its benefits and can help you get rid of stoned eyes fast.

Let’s take a closer look at how they work.

THC edibles illustration

Eye Drops

Eye drops designed to reduce redness contain active ingredients like tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride, which help constrict dilated blood vessels in the eye, providing fast relief from redness.

These eye drops can be a quick and easy solution for weed eyes, but it’s important to use them responsibly to avoid potential side effects. Overusing eye drops that reduce redness can cause increased dryness, irritation and even more redness due to rebound effect.

If you choose to use these eye drops, be sure to follow the instructions on the label and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Cold Compresses and Caffeine

Another effective remedy for weed eyes is applying a cold compress or ice pack to your eyes. The cold temperature helps constrict blood vessels, reducing redness and swelling. You can use a store-bought cold compress, or simply wrap ice in a clean cloth and gently press it against your eyes for a few minutes.

Caffeine can also help alleviate weed eyes by shrinking blood vessels in the eyes. Drinking a cup of coffee or tea, or placing cooled tea bags over your eyes, can help reduce redness and discomfort. Just be sure not to overdo it with caffeine, as excessive intake can lead to other side effects.

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Hydration and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining overall eye health and can help prevent and get rid of stoned eyes. Here are some tips to keep your eyes hydrated.

  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after consuming cannabis to keep your eyes moist and avoid dryness.
  • Use lubricating eye drops to provide additional moisture to your eyes.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, as they can both contribute to dehydration that causes eye’s blood vessels to expand.
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as they contain water and nutrients that promote eye health.

Consuming omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil supplements and fatty fish, can also help with weed eyes. These fatty acids reduce inflammation and improve blood flow to the eyes, which can help reduce redness caused by weed. Including omega-3s in your diet can not only alleviate weed eyes, but also contribute to overall eye health.

Can Frequent Marijuana Use Lead To Chronic Red Eyes?

If you’re smoking cannabis flower all day every day, you may find that your eyes stay consistently dry and red.

That said, there isn’t any research that indicates you’ll have chronic red eyes if you frequently smoke weed or consume cannabis edibles.

If you do consume marijuana frequently, it’s important to be aware of how weed works in the body and what you can do to reduce some of the unwanted effects of marijuana use, including high eyes and other side effects.

Keep in mind that THC is what causes eyes to turn red. While there isn’t much research to support it, you might consider balancing your THC intake with CBD to reduce some of the side effects of marijuana.

Research shows CBD may counter some of the negative effects of THC consumption, which can be beneficial to those who use marijuana frequently.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, weed eyes are a common side effect of cannabis consumption. They’re caused by the way THC interacts with the body. The decrease in blood pressure THC causes leads to the dilation of ocular capillaries, which causes eyes to become bloodshot and turn red.

While generally harmless, it’s essential to be aware of what causes red eyes if you’re a frequent cannabis consumer. Knowing how to reduce the appearance of your high eyes when high is also critical if you want to keep your cannabis consumption on the down low.

If you don’t want anyone you run into to know you’ve been smoking marijuana, quick remedies to get rid of stoned eyes fast include cold water, eye drops like artificial tears, cold compresses, consuming caffeine (but not too much), staying hydrated, placing tea bags on the eyes and consuming fish oil.

While you can’t prevent red eyes completely, you can help alleviate the telltale signs of your marijuana use by doing what you can to reduce just how bloodshot your eyes become.

By doing your best to maintain overall eye health, staying informed of what causes eyes to turn red and consuming cannabis responsibly, you can bypass a bit of the severity of the bloodshot stoned eyes that are a natural reaction in the body when consuming THC.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is eyes turning red really a side effect of weed?

Yes, red eyes are a common side effect of marijuana use. This is because due THC causes blood vessels to dilate, leading to redness or bloodshot eyes. When the blood vessels in the eyes expand, it causes the red, stoned eyes that are a result from smoking marijuana, eating edibles that contain THC or consuming other cannabis products with THC.

What is greening out?

Marijuana overconsumption can lead to greening out, which results in unpleasant physical symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness and other side effects.

How do you stop red eyes when high?

There are several ways to reduce the severity of high eyes when you smoke weed. To reduce red eyes once you get high, using eye drops containing tetryzoline can help reduce redness and itchiness. You can also splash cold water on the eyes or use a cold compress over the eyes.

Can you prevent how red your eyes get when using THC products?

Because THC causes a drop in blood pressure which leads to the red, dry eyes that are a clear indication of marijuana use, it’s pretty much impossible to prevent the appearance of high eyes completely. That said, consuming omega fatty acids and staying hydrated may help how red your eyes actually become.

While you can’t circumvent red eyes altogether, maintaining good eye health can help tremendously if you want to reduce the appearance of high eyes after you smoke weed or eat edibles infused with marijuana.

Is cannabis a viable treatment for glaucoma?

While more research is needed to say for sure, marijuana may be a viable alternative treatment for glaucoma. There is evidence to support the efficacy of marijuana for glaucoma, and the majority of medical marijuana states have listed glaucoma as a qualifying condition for a medical cannabis card.