Example of what your eyes might look like before and after cannabis use
Marijuana use and squinted, puffy and bloodshot eyes go hand in hand, but why? What is it about smoking marijuana that makes you look like you got less than an hour of sleep last night, and what can you do to get your eyes looking normal again?
Before we jump in to how you can get rid of your red eyes, let’s discuss how and when this happens in the first place. Are red eyes a reaction to CBD, THC, or both? If I eat an edible instead of smoking marijuana, will my eyes still like I’ve been staring at the sun without sunglasses for a few hours? Let’s find out!
While bloodshot eyes are the common response to marijuana use for many, there are a few primary reasons that marijuana use results in reddened eyes.
The primary explanation happens to also be the reason why cannabis is such an effective treatment for glaucoma: THC lowers blood pressure, and as a result causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. Some of these capillaries that dilate happen to be in your eyes, which are known as ocular capillaries. As THC enters your system, your ocular capillaries dilate, allowing for increased blood flow, and thereby making your eyes appear to have a reddish hue.
Medical marijuana can help with intraocular pressure from glaucoma
You might think that if you decide to eat an edible instead of smoking marijuana that you can avoid your eyes reddening, but that’s not necessarily the case. It is the cannabinoids themselves that make your eyes red, not the method of consumption. No matter how you get THC into your system, if the dosage is sufficient, you can expect your beautiful white eyes to become redder than a baboon’s behind very soon.
Another, less common reason, for red eyes resulting from cannabis use is the possibility of an allergy or irritation to cannabis or smoke; however in these cases, the result of reddening eyes is not specific to cannabis, and would likely be a universal reaction to any type of smoke or irritant that touches your eyes.
While red eyes from cannabis use is harmless, many patients understandably don’t want to broadcast their marijuana use to everyone they come face to face with.
So your eyes are red, and you don’t know what to do? Here are a few tips and tricks to make your eyes as clear as a freshly cleaned window:
- Opt for low or non-THC strains: using strains that are high in CBD and CBN will be ideal for patients looking to avoid red eyes altogether.
- Have eye drops: there are certain brands specific to lessen the appearance of red eyes, with brands like Rohto being among the most popular choice in eye drops for cannabis users.
- Stay hydrated: drink lots of water! Increasing fluid intake can help alleviate the dryness of the eyes.
- Wait it out. With time, your eyes will eventually transition from red, back to white.
- Plan your medication sessions at home: the reddening of your eyes from cannabis use is not harmful, and if you stay in the comfort of your own home you won’t have to worry about what others may think.
And again, it is important to remember that your eyes turning red after cannabis use is not dangerous, and for glaucoma patients, the mechanisms that create a reddening of eyes are actually medically beneficial! Now that you are a legal medical marijuana patient in Ohio, don’t be afraid to wear those red eyes like a badge of pride – red eyes mean that you are experiencing the amazing relief of medical cannabis!
And always remember, do not drive while under the influence of cannabis. Although you may feel comfortable and confident driving around while under the influence of THC, ultimately it is a major risk for not only you but other drivers on the road. Plan your medication sessions out, and be smart when driving after medicating.