High Eyes: Why Does Smoking Make Your Eyes Red?

Ever enjoyed some of your favorite cannabis only to find that your eyes are red and bloodshot afterward? Red eyes are actually one of the most common side effects of cannabis use. Why does weed make your eyes red and what can you do about it?

Different Methods Same Result

At one point, it was thought that the red eyes you would get after smoking weed were due to irritation from pot smoke. But is smoke really to blame? Do edibles make your eyes red as well? Of course! We know now that smoke is not the culprit because other consumption methods like edibles, beverages, and dabs will leave you with red eyes, too.

Changing up your consumption method will not keep you from getting bloodshot eyes. So why do your eyes get red after smoking? 

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red: THC and Vasodilation

If the way you consume it doesn’t matter, then it must be something in the cannabis itself, right? The real answer for ‘why does weed make your eyes red?’ comes down to the cannabinoids the plant contains. 

After consuming cannabis, people usually experience an increase in blood pressure and heart rate that is comparable to what you would experience during exercise or sex. This is believed to be due to the cannabinoids in cannabis, especially THC

Once your heart rate and blood pressure start to decrease back to normal levels, your capillaries and blood vessels will dilate (called vasodilation), including those in your eyes (your ocular capillaries). This basically means that more blood will flow through them, giving your eyes a red and bloodshot appearance, aka ‘high eyes’. 

So then why do edibles make your eyes red? The THC that they contain is slowly digested and processed through the liver, before making its way throughout your system and dilating your veins–leading to red eyes. See? No smoke is needed! 

How to Get Rid of Red Eyes

There’s not really much you can do in terms of avoiding the high eyes and red eye effect. One piece of advice that may have some merit is sticking to lower-THC strains and products. Since the impact on your eyes is dose dependent, ingesting less of it in the first place may mean eyes that are less red and bloodshot. However, it probably won’t guarantee you clear eyes. 

So how do you get rid of red eyes then? The easiest thing to do is to make sure you’re always carrying some over-the-counter hydrating eye drops like Visine or Clear Eyes. Applying a few drops will rid you of those high eyes in minutes and have you looking normal in no time. 

Why Do Eyes Get Red After Smoking: Wrapping Up

You may have never thought about the science behind high eyes, but we hope you enjoyed today’s post about why weed makes your eyes red.

Next time you stop by one of our dispensary locations, make sure to grab some eye drops from the nearest grocery store or pharmacy. Keeping some in your home or your bag can come in really handy when you want to get rid of those red eyes. 

We also accept online orders through our easy-to-use online menu if you want to shop from home. Either way, we look forward to seeing you soon!

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