Do you suffer from red eyes after smoking or eating an edible? Why does this happen? Is it dangerous? Discover why cannabis makes your eyes red and how to soothe them with some simple solutions.
- Why edibles make your eyes red
- Discover why this is nothing to worry about
- Suggestions for combating the red-eye look and discomfort
Why You Will Love This Guide
If you're brand new to cannabis, red eyes may cause panic, leaving you worried that cannabis use can damage your eyes.
Thankfully, this is a common misconception, and you can rest easy knowing that there are no significant health risks associated with red, bloodshot eyes.
The cannabis plant contains many different cannabis compounds.
One of the most popular active ingredients is THC, which is the primary reason red eyes occur in the first place.
In this guide, we will explore why THC causes red eyes and review my favorite solutions for treating this unwanted side effect.
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The Cause of Red Eyes
For recreational consumers and medical marijuana patients, intense bloodshot eyes are a dead giveaway of recent marijuana use, gaining the unpopular nickname "stoner eyes."
The main reason cannabis consumers experience blood-red eyes is the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as found in my THC gummies.
Note, that red eyes are not typically associated with the consumption of CBD products which result in different effects.
The short answer?
THC lowers your blood pressure, causing the dilation of the blood vessels and capillaries in the eyes.
As the ocular capillaries dilate, the expansion of our blood vessels increases blood flow into our eyes.
This increased blood flow reduces intraocular eye pressure, benefitting glaucoma patients (1).
However, this also creates unwanted redness in the white of the eye.
For the regular consumer, the main issue is that this can be uncomfortable and unsuitable for everyday life, especially in professional settings.
Smoking vs. Edibles
Just like smoking, red eyes can be a telltale sign that you’ve consumed cannabis with the active ingredient THC.
THC binds with the endocannabinoid receptors in your eye, dropping your blood pressure levels.
This makes your blood capillaries and vessels expand, increasing the flow of blood on the surface of the eyes.
This is the primary cause of your eyes turning red and happens regardless of whether you smoke or eat THC.
While redness can be expected when you consume edibles, it does not mean it will occur every time you have them.
Every edible has a different concentration of THC, suggesting that sometimes your eyes will be redder, while for others, they will not be red at all.
It is important to note that redness caused by consuming edibles can last longer than when you smoke cannabis.
This is because it takes longer to reach its maximum effect, approximately, 2-3 hours, while the redness may last between 4-12 hours.
Remember, edibles affect everyone differently. In addition, the individual health status of each person matters.
Factors like sex, blood pressure, and genetics will influence the effect of the edibles on the body.
For example, people with lower blood pressure may experience bloodshot eyes even with a low concentration of THC.
On the other hand, people with high blood pressure may need edibles with a higher concentration of THC to lower their blood pressure enough to cause red eyes.
How to Reduce Red Eyes
The quantity and quality of the cannabis you consume will determine the intensity of the redness in your eyes.
Eye redness does not last for long, and it usually goes away after a few hours.
The good news is, that abstaining from THC is not the only way to decrease the intensity and discomfort of your red eyes.
Here are some options to try the next time red eyes happen to you:
- Reducing the frequency of consumption
- Reduced your number of smoke sessions
- Use products with a lower THC content, like the CBD flower from my shop
- Increased your fluid intake, drink cold water and stay hydrated
- For itchy or puffiness, try a cold compress or ice pack over the eyes
- My favorite? Eye drops! Whether it be over the counter eye drops, or prescription, drops for dry eyes can be a lifesaver
- Take out your contacts if you have them in
Again, your experience will depend on the dose of THC you consumed and your unique endocannabinoid system.
The best thing you can do is start low and go slow when consuming edibles, especially if you do not know the effects of THC personally.
If you are concerned about any of the side effects of cannabis products, have medical eye conditions, or suspect a cannabis allergy, please seek professional medical advice.
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