Weed and red eyes – What is the relationship?

Avoid having bloodshot eyes when it’s least expected by understanding the science behind it! 

Several effects are always evident after consuming marijuana, whether you’re vaping, smoking, or opting for edibles. Getting high is expected, but what about those classic, bloodshot eyes? 

Well, that’s a concern many cannabis users are still battling with to this day.

It’s grown to such an extent that some people have started to believe that cannabis consumption is linked to chronic eye conditions, which certainly is not the case. 

So why does weed make your eyes red?

Studies seem to suggest that THC affects intraocular pressure (fluid pressure in the eye) more than other known cannabinoids, such as CBD.

Consuming THC in any form can lead to increased heart rate and blood pressure. For the sake of comparison, the increase in heart rate and blood pressure is similar to that which people experience when exercising. 

After around 5-10 minutes of your body reacting to the THC, your heart rate and blood pressure drop back to normal, causing your blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. This causes the eyes to appear red.

What can help ease the red-eye effect?

There are a few ways to prevent having red eyes from weed, or how long the effects last. 

  • Eye drops
  • Drink water
  • A cold compress or ice pack
  • Rosewater or green tea

Eye Drops

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The standard savior for red-eye relief. Whether brands like Visine or Safyr Bleu know that stoners and cannabis enthusiasts make good use of their products is not for us to say. (They do) 

After all, there’s a reason eye drops are made in travel sizes. 

Be careful though, exceeding the recommended daily usage can cause eye toxicity, rebound eye dryness, and redness.

Drinking-Water

A captain-obvious piece of advice, you might think. But, dehydration is a strong contender in producing the overall red-eye look. This can very easily be caused by too much caffeine or not consuming enough liquids on a warm day. 

Drinking one or two glasses of water can help clear out your whites and additionally, will aid the dry mouth you’re experiencing. 

Artificial tears or eye rewetting drops are also both good options to relieve dehydration in the eyes. 

Cold Compress or Ice Pack

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If you’re near a freezer or refrigerator, a cold compress is yet another effective way to deal with redness in the eyes. A damp cloth, ice pack, or even frozen veggies will do the trick. Just lay back with the cold compress covering your forehead and a portion of your eyes. 

Your blood vessels will shrink down when they’re cold, effectively reducing the red and at the same time waking you up a little.

If you’re near a freezer or refrigerator, a cold compress is yet another effective way to deal with redness in the eyes. A damp cloth, ice pack, or even frozen veggies will do the trick. Just lay back with the cold compress covering your forehead and a portion of your eyes. 

Your blood vessels will shrink down when they’re cold, effectively reducing the red and at the same time waking you up a little.

Rosewater & Green Tea

Soak a cotton ball in either of these cold liquids and place them on your eyelids for approximately 5 minutes. Cases have been reported where these substances have alleviated eye-redness from cannabis.

And if none of the above seem to work, there are always sunglasses. 

Soak a cotton ball in either of these cold liquids and place them on your eyelids for approximately 5 minutes. Cases have been reported where these substances have alleviated eye-redness from cannabis.

And if none of the above seem to work, there are always sunglasses. 

How to Prevent Red Eyes From Weed

An even further step ahead would be to avoid getting bloodshot eyes in the first place. Consider strains with a lower THC profile, for example:

  • Harlequin
  • ACDC
  • Charlotte’s Web

We can understand if lowering THC levels are not a top option for you. Here are some more cheeky tips to prevent red eyes from weed:

Stimulants like caffeine and theobromine (an ingredient in dark chocolate) both contribute to vasoconstriction – the narrowing of blood vessels by small muscles in their walls, restricting blood flow and ultimately preventing most of the redness.

CBD Products as an alternative to THC

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Many people consume cannabis for medicinal reasons. THC does have benefits in some cases such as pain relief, anti-inflammatory, and PTSD just to name a few. However, consuming CBD-dominant cannabis strains provide their own set of benefits and will certainly not cause red eyes or any of the major side effects of THC. 

Tinctures

Oil tinctures such as the Reakiro Full Spectrum CBD contain less than 0.2% THC, are lab tested, gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Simply apply a few drops under your tongue in the mornings or add them to your tea.  
Another premium broad-spectrum CBD oil tincture to consider is Full Swing, specially designed for golfers and sports enthusiasts. It contains 0% THC and is GMP certified. GMP (good manufacturing process) products undergo strict and continual quality control.

Capsules

This is one of the easiest ways to consume CBD and a good option for those seeking something a little more discreet. CBD capsules can be purchased in various strengths, the maximum recommended daily dosage in South Africa being 20mg.  

Reakiro’s Hemp CBD capsules are infused with black pepper extract, which has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in addition to its 15mg of CBD per capsule. 30 Capsules for 30 days. 

Rakiro’s Advanced Formula CBD Omega 3 Capsules contains 10mg CBD per capsule and provides essential fatty acids for the normal function of the heart and maintenance of normal brain function. 

Summary

Although more studies are needed on this subject, the current evidence seems to point out that red eyes from cannabis consumption are linked directly to THC. CBD will not induce similar side effects and additionally has its own unique set of benefits. 

Stimulants like caffeine and dark chocolate can help prevent redness in the eyes, although if it still occurs – feel free to try any of the time-tested hacks discussed in this article. Consuming too much caffeine, on the other hand, can contribute to dehydration which will only worsen the effects.  

As a rule of thumb – it’s always a good measure to carry eye drops and enough water on your person if you plan on burning one up elsewhere than the comfort of your home. 

Redness in the eyes after consuming cannabis is not permanent in any way but can cause mild discomfort if not handled properly. 

Maybe you found out that you don’t even need to consume THC for the health benefits you’re after, in which case switching over to a CBD product will make life much easier for you. Check out our blog article on CBD and medical conditions here.

Check out our premium selection of CBD-infused goodies at Cannarite. Visit a shop near you or buy online!

Weed and Red Eyes - Cannarite - Vaperite SA

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