Why does smoking cannabis make your eyes red?

If you’ve smoked weed before, you know that sometimes when smoking, your eyes can get red, and it doesn’t happen just with smoking! Edibles and vapes can also cause red eyes.

But why does it happen to some people and not in others?

Short answer: it depends on your body chemistry.

Here’s the long answer to why weed causes red eyes.

If you didn’t know, marijuana is also a good treatment for glaucoma. And that’s also related to why your eyes get red. Glaucoma is a common condition with damage to the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Since THC lowers blood pressure, it causes the capillaries to dilate by expanding the blood vessels.

To go into more detail, ocular capillaries are the ones that dilate by increasing the blood flow to the eyes, and they reduce the intraocular pressure in the eyes. That’s what causes the redness of the eyes – the increase in blood flow and the decrease in the eye pressure that comes along with it helps glaucoma patients.

This is when you consume weed by smoking. However, redness of the eyes can still happen if you consume edibles. This is because the THC levels, not smoke, cause redness.

A less common reason this happens is that some people might be allergic to smoke, incense, tobacco, and, consequently, cannabis.

How to get rid of red eyes:

Many cannabis users need to hide their red eyes after smoking weed. This is okay because smoking can be a personal ritual without any public eyes involved. So, hiding the redness in your eyes is a common practice that basically cannot do you any harm. And here are the most common ways how to do it:

Using eye drops – many eye drops have a formula that reduces redness from the eyes caused by a decrease in eye pressure or allergies. The drops also force the blood vessels in your eyes to contract since THC dilates them in order to take more blood. They also moisten the eyes to reduce redness.
Eat some chocolate – yes, you read that right. Chocolate, sodium and caffeine are also known to constrict your eye’s blood vessels, so they reduce eye redness too.
Switch your strain – as you probably know, cannabis can be high in THC or CBD. So, since THC causes the redness of the eyes, switching to a strain that’s low in THC is a good idea if you do not want to have red eyes.

Pro tip: A common misconception to eye redness is staying hydrated – just like the rest of the body, the eyes also need to be hydrated. Eye hydration is important since it’s a way to keep bacteria, dust, and other particles out of the eyes. So, drinking water will help you obtain the moisture in your body, including your eyes. But, since the cause of redness when smoking isn’t dryness of the eyes, drinking a whole well of water will not help since this is not the cause.

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