Why Do Your Eyes Get Red When You Smoke Weed?

December 16, 2022
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  • Red, stoned eyes are a common side effect of using cannabis.
  • Red eyes when high on weed are caused by a decrease in blood pressure in the eyes, leading to the dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow into the eyes.
  • The duration of red eyes after using cannabis can vary based on factors such as an individual's unique endocannabinoid system, the dose of THC, and whether they are a regular cannabis user.
  • CBD may also cause red eyes in some people, although research on the topic is conflicting.
  • To reduce the risk of red eyes from cannabis, individuals can try using different cannabis products or ingestion methods, add in weed companion foods, or find their minimum effective dose. They can also try using artificial tears, applying a cold compress, or staying hydrated.

Why do your eyes get red when you smoke weed?

Why do your eyes get red when you smoke weed? Red, stoned eyes are the stereotypical sign that someone has recently used cannabis. This side effect is so common that it is described with various cannabis-related terms: stoned eyes, high eyes, marijuana eyes, red eyes from weed. In this article, we will explain why your eyes get red when you smoke weed and what you can do about it.

Why do your eyes get red when you smoke weed?

Many people think that smoke is what makes their eyes red. While smoke may irritate your eyes, red eyes when high on weed is caused by a change in blood pressure in the eyes.

Marijuana makes your eyes red because of the way the chemical compounds in the cannabis plant affect you. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a role in modulating many different biological processes, and cannabinoid receptors are distributed in tissues throughout the body, including the eyes. 

When cannabinoids from weed bind to receptors in your body, your blood pressure decreases. In fact, the reason cannabis is used to treat glaucoma is that weed causes a drop in intraocular pressure. When you use cannabis, this drop in blood pressure can lead to dizziness and causes the blood vessels in your eyes to dilate or widen. This process increases blood flow into the eyes, creating the red-eye side effect from weed.

How long do your eyes stay red after smoking weed?

The amount of time your eyes stay red after smoking weed will vary from person to person. The single most important factor affecting your cannabis experience is your unique endocannabinoid system. If you metabolize cannabinoids rapidly or are a regular cannabis user, you might only have stoned eyes for a brief period. Additionally, if you are a heavy cannabis user, you may not get high eyes at all—as you have built up a tolerance. 

However, if you use a high dose of THC, such as taking a dab or eating a weed edible, you may have high eyes for several hours. Which brings us to our next question, “do edibles make your eyes red?”

Do edibles make your eyes red?

Weed edibles will make your eyes red because they contain THC, which will trigger the same effect whether THC enters your blood stream through your digestive tract or your lungs. So, do dab pens cause red eyes? Like edibles, dab pens will cause red eyes because they contain THC. Dab pens are usually extremely potent, so it is possible they will make your eyes redder than other product types.

Does CBD make your eyes red?

There is a discrepancy between anecdotal reports and clinical research. Many people have reported that CBD products have given them red eyes, even when it was a CBD isolate and there was no THC. There has been some research into how CBD affects blood pressure overall, which indicated that CBD may reduce blood pressure. However, another study indicated that CBD administration appears to increase intraocular pressure, making it unsuitable as a treatment for glaucoma. In general, CBD doesn’t produce red eye to the same extant that cannabis does, but some people may experience this side effect.

How to mitigate high eyes or red eyes from cannabis

Here are some general suggestions on how to mitigate side effects from cannabis, and then we will explore some specific suggestions about how to fix red eyes from weed.

Try a new product

Different cannabis products will contain different chemical compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes, which may exert distinct effects. Use Jointly’s Product Finder to discover new top-rated products.

Try a new ingestion method

Additionally, the way you ingest a product will change how it affects you. Smoking a joint of cannabis flower may produce slightly different effects from vaporizing it, although both ingestion methods involve heating cannabis and inhaling the active compounds. Each ingestion method has its own advantages and may produce different effects or side effects. To learn how different weed ingestion methods produce different effects, read our article The Best Way to Take Cannabis for Wellness Purposes.

Add in a companion food

Did you know that weed companion foods can enhance your cannabis experience in different ways? Mangoes, dark chocolate, green tea, and thyme are all weed companion foods. Chemical compounds in these foods may alter your cannabis experience, and potentially mitigate adverse side effects like drowsiness. To learn about these foods and how to add them into your cannabis wellness routine, check out our article Do These Foods Get You Higher?

Find your minimum effective dose

Most adverse side effects from cannabis are caused by ingesting too high of a dose of THC. While you cannot die from ingesting too much cannabis, a THC overdose is a real risk. The single most effective way to mitigate side effects is to microdose and titrate up your dose until you find the minimum effective dose of cannabis to get the effect you want.

Turn the dials on 15 factors

According to cannabis experts, there are at least 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience and play a major role in whether a cannabis product is giving you the feeling you want, or producing adverse side effects like red eye. These 15 factors include your dose, the time of day you ingest, how much sleep you got the night before, and more. The Jointly app lets you to track the 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience. As you optimize how you consume cannabis, your favorite cannabis products will perform better for you.

How to get rid of red eyes from cannabis

Now that we have answered the question, “why do your eyes get red when you smoke weed?” let’s move on to specific suggestions for how to mitigate red eyes when high on weed. While you could just wait out your high eyes, many people want to know how to get rid of stoned eyes fast. Our main suggestion is tried-and-true, and a staple in any regular consumer’s cannabis toolkit: eye drops. 

Many cannabis users consider eye drops to be a necessary accessory if you are high in public. Surprisingly, there haven’t been any special eye drops for stoners or eye drops for weed invented that directly neutralize the effect of cannabis on your eyes. So, what causes high eyes or red eyes from weed?

What are the best eye drops for after smoking weed?

There are several brands of eye drops that cannabis users swear by. For example, Rohtos eye drops are a classic way to get rid of your high eyes fast—but be forewarned that these eye drops sting. 

While there is a tradition among cannabis users to favor this brand, many eye drops have compounds that constrict the blood vessels in the eyes. The best class of eye drops for dealing with high eyes are eye drops for allergies. Many cannabis users consider allergy eye drops to be “eye drops for stoners.” 

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If you're ready to discover new products and reach your goals, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website.   

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Whether you want to improve sleep, relieve daily stress, or just relax and refresh, Jointly can help you reach your goals with cannabis.  

With Jointly, you can shop your top-rated products, and save lists of your favorites to share and bring to your local dispensary to help guide your shopping experience.  

The Jointly app also helps you improve your cannabis experiences by uncovering what’s working and what’s not with reflections and personalized insights. In fact, the quality of your diet, how much you slept, who you’re with, and the time of day are just some of the factors that can impact your cannabis experience.  

So if you're ready to find your best products and enjoy your perfect cannabis experience, download the Jointly app today on the App Store or Google Play, or shop your matches on the Jointly website. Discovery awaits.

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