Smoking weed can result in red bloodshot eyes for some users. In addition, others can get red-eyes even after vaping and eating cannabis edibles. Though the red eyes are harmless, some people feel it is a giveaway that they have smoked weed.
Red eyes occur to some users while others do not; this is caused by different body chemistry and the type and quantity of cannabis substance a person consumes. People usually relate red-eye syndrome to smoke. On the contrary, it is a result of the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound in weed.
Bloodshot red eyes from weed result from the interaction between the cannabinoid compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in Cannabis with cannabinoid receptors (CBRs). CBRs are found in your endocannabinoid system, which is all over your body, especially your eyes.
When the cannabinoids secure the receptors, they widen the blood vessels, which elevates the blood flow in some body parts. The increased blood flow causes a decrease in blood pressure; when the eyeball experiences an increase in blood flow, it causes eye redness and dizziness due to low blood pressure.
Smoking weed can also cause an allergic reaction that may increase eye redness. Mostly this type of allergic reaction is a result of sensitivity to incense and cannabis.
Marijuana’s main compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), lowers blood pressure, making the blood vessels and capillaries dilate. After the Ocular Cannabinoid Receptors bind with Cannabinoids, the ocular capillaries dilate; they reduce the intraocular pressure by increasing blood flow to the eyes.
Despite the rise of blood flow, causing the eyes to turn red, studies by the Canadian Association of Optometrists have shown that the reduction of intraocular pressure due to THC is significant in treating glaucoma patients. Research has also proven consuming Cannabis helps in lowering high blood pressure as well as vision.
Regardless of how you consume Cannabis, your eyes are likely to redden since the cause is the cannabinoid compound in the THC but not the smoke. Some people’s eyes will redden due to eating edibles and vaping, others by smoking low-THC strains, while some will not even experience any changes after smoking high-THC Cannabis.
Though the study has found Cannabis to cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, many believe that reducing intraocular pressure can potentially treat glaucoma. However, marijuana has not been medically proven as a glaucoma treatment. Many glaucoma patients seek medical marijuana to treat the disease.
Although red weed eyes are entirely harmless, it is convenient to eliminate the look of stoned eyes. There are products available at the pharmacy to reduce red eyes; also, you can do it naturally.
Here are some of the steps to get rid of marijuana-bloodshot eyes:
Eye drops are the best for clearing eyes after cannabis use. Most over-the-counter eye drops for reducing eye redness are helpful. However, do not use eye drops often to avoid dryness and irritation. Eye drops contain Tetrahydrozoline or Naphazoline, which suppress the blood vessels in the eyes. Choose the eye drops that will work with your needs to reduce red eyes from weed.
Caffeine is a stimulant that induces vasodilation, thus helping your eyes turn back to normal after weed eyes. After smoking weed, having a cup of coffee will help narrow blood vessels. Other stimulants like theobromine will help sedate the effect of Indica strains. You can also try other dietary supplements like those from BioLyfe.
Since the swelling of eye capillaries causes red eyes, pressing a cold cloth will narrow the blood vessels and reduce eye redness. You can also use an ice pack over your closed eyelids. Place a cloth between your skin and the ice pack to protect sensitivity.
Sunglasses may not help eliminate redness, but it is the best to prevent eye sensitivity from sunlight. It will also help hide the redness while in public after consuming Cannabis.
Cannabis may affect the eyes positively and negatively; studies have proven that some people seek medical Cannabis to treat eye diseases. However, after weed consumption, it may affect the eyes with red eyes, causing allergic reactions, improving night vision, and helping visual processing.
After smoking weed, some people encounter an allergic reaction in their eyes. The allergic reaction is caused by smoke, cannabis flower, and residual weed molds. The most visible signs of an allergy are tearing, dryness, itching, and swelling.
Cannabinoid receptors found in cannabis compounds help the eyes to withstand light. These receptors also improve the capability to see in low light. Research has proved that cannabis products like kief enhance night vision. Also, the endocannabinoid system increases visual evolution in the brain.
The only option to prevent red eyes from weed is to use a low-THC strain, which is less effective than a high-THC strain.
It may last from one to two hours, depending on how fast your body metabolizes the quantity of THC cannabis strain in your blood. The more the THC strain concentration, the longer it will take red eyes to clear. Some red eyes from smoking marijuana can last for three to four hours.
You can use cool compression by soaking a towel in cold water, then squeezing and pressing it on your eyes. The cold water will reduce itchiness and ease the swelling. You can also soak some cotton balls in rose water and place them on your eyes for some time. Green tea bags soaked in cold water also alleviates the problem.
Alongside THC lowering blood pressure, Cannabis can cause red eyes and a stinging sensation by getting smoke in the eyes. Also, stay dehydrated while using cannabis strains to reduce the effects of red eyes. You can also control your weed sessions to consume when indoors rather than when in public places to avoid red-eye concerns.
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McGill Office for Science and Society (July 12, 2018) It’s Not the Smoke from a Joint That Makes Your Eyes Red. Available at: https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/did-you-know/its-not-smoke-joint-makes-your-eyes-red#:~:text=Cannabinoids%20bind%20to%20cannabinoid%20receptors,blood%20pressure%20causes%20the%20dizziness.
Cannabis Ontario. (2023, February 1). Find the best cannabis in Ontario. Available at: https://cannabisontario.net/
Canadian Association of Optometrists (2022) How does marijuana affect vision? Available at: https://opto.ca/eye-health-library/how-does-marijuana-affect-vision#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20most%20noticeable,causing%20redness%20or%20bloodshot%20eyes.
Nguyen AX, Wu AY. Association between Cannabis and the eyelids: A comprehensive review. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020 Mar;48(2):230-239. DOI: 10.1111/ceo.13687. Epub 2019 December 6. PMID: 31747112; PMCID: PMC8328051. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8328051/
BioLyfe. (2023, February 1). Buy All-Natural Plant-Based Dietary Supplements Online. Available at: https://biolyfebrands.com/
Indiana University. (2018, December 17). CBD in marijuana may worsen glaucoma and raise eye pressure: Research in mice suggests over-the-counter substances could possess unknown side effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/12/181217151537.htm
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