Red and watery eyes. Every stoner knows how that feels. Let’s understand why cannabis makes our eyes red and more “droopy” than normal!
How many times have your eyes shown other people that you were very high? Almost every stoner has gone through this situation, and ended up learning that it is best to always carry that friendly eye drop to get out of trouble. But have you ever wondered why this happens?
We already did! We researched a lot and set up this post so that you could unveil this little mystery. Shall we talk about it?
To tell you the truth…
… your eyes don’t get red because of cannabis and we’ll explain why!
After consuming a cannabis-based product (flower, concentrate, edible, etc.), you can usually experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This increase in blood pressure and heart rate is comparable to normal physical activity, such as exercise – or even sex. And there is nothing wrong with that: it is a very common effect for everyone who uses it.
Five to ten minutes after you smoke or inhale, your heart rate will return to normal and your blood pressure will start to drop. As blood pressure decreases, blood vessels and capillaries dilate – including your eye capillaries. The dilation of the eye capillaries causes increased blood flow to the eyes, which results in red eyes!
This reaction happens due to THC – and the variations in the intensity of the red eyes can be explained by the presence, to a greater or lesser extent, of this cannabinoid. An individual may smoke a low THC strain one day and have little or no red eyes, while the next day their eyes may turn red as hell after ingesting a richer THC strain.
In addition, this explains why red eyes can still occur even with a lack of smoke, such as when eating edible cannabis. It is not the smoke that makes your eyes red, but the cannabinoids!
Cannabis can treat eye diseases
The property that makes cannabis turn your eyes red is what makes it an appropriate treatment for diseases like glaucoma – a group of eye disorders that cause damage to the optic nerves and that can eventually lead to blindness.
The evidence that the THC found in cannabis can lower intraocular pressure is one of the main reasons why many glaucoma patients have tried to use it to treat and alleviate the symptoms of the disease. However, experts warn that there is a need for more research on the subject to understand this relationship – and also the long-term consequences of continued cannabis use.
How to get your eyes back to normal
Getting your eyes back to normal after smoking cannabis is not a very difficult task – you just gotta have the right instruments! Here, let’s give our tips for this moment:
Prefer strains with less THC: varieties richer in CBD and CBN can be a desirable alternative for those looking to reduce red eyes using cannabis.
Always have eye drops with you, especially brands specially formulated to moisturize and reduce redness of the eyes.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Increasing your fluid intake can help relieve the “dryness” you experience, whether in the eyes or even in your mouth.
Plan cannabis use for when it is safe to have red eyes and you will not be “judged” for it. There are those who cannot be seen in the condition because of family, employment and other various reasons – for those cases, we recommend that you avoid the inconvenience completely and use it when you are alone, in good terms, or with people who also use cannabis.
The next time you worry about red eyes, remember that this is completely normal and harmless! But it is worth avoiding when you are in public, especially in a prohibitionist context – because our security must always come first, and you never know when we might fall victim to a violent approach.
Take care – after all, staying safe and knowing your rights is also Harm Reduction, ok?