Most have been there: after enjoying your favorite cannabis, your eyes look like you haven’t slept for a few days. Red eyes are a surefire sign you’ve been in touch with Mary Jane, but why does this happen and can you prevent it? Let’s take a closer look.
Why Weed Makes Your Eyes Red
When THC enters the bloodstream, it leads to a rise in blood pressure and the heart rate tends to go up. Shortly after, blood pressure actually starts to decline. When your blood pressure goes on a decline, the blood vessels in your eyes (ocular capillaries) dilate, which means you have more blood flowing through your eyes. This is essentially why your eyes turn red with weed, regardless of the consumption method.
How to Prevent Red Eyes from Weed
It can be pretty impossible to prevent red eyes altogether when you smoke, vape, or even ingest weed. The biological actions are pretty much always going to be the same. What may help is to opt for a lower-THC strain, which can have less of an effect on your eyes. It’s a common misconception that the longer you smoke weed, the less likely it is to give you telltale weed eyes, but that’s not the case.
How Long Do Your Eyes Stay Red from Smoking Weed?
The general outcome can vary depending on how quickly your body metabolizes the THC that gets into your bloodstream. A number of factors affect the metabolization process, such as age, health, and sensitivity to THC. So, there’s no one good answer for every person. The general consensus is that your eyes will likely be bloodshot for about an hour or two, and sometimes even a little longer.
How to Get Rid of Red Eyes from Weed
Escaping a bad case of red-eye after smoking weed is relatively unavoidable, but you may be able to soften the appearance with a few tips after the fact. While no effort will completely clear up your eyes so you don’t see any redness at all, you can usually calm down the side effect a little.
Over-the-Counter Eye Drops
Hands down, eye drops are the easiest route to clearer eyes after cannabis. Pretty much any good over-the-counter eye drops that state they can target redness will help on some level. Just be careful about using the products too frequently, as it can cause your eyes to get too dry and irritated.
Cold compresses on your closed eyelids can sometimes help narrow the blood vessels so your eyes don’t look so red. If you’re in a pinch and need to look less like you’ve been using cannabis, grab a cold washcloth and press it to your eyelids for a minute or so.
Caffeine actually narrows blood vessels, so, theoretically, caffeine may help your red eyes go back to normal after you have smoked weed. While there are no formal studies to prove this to be the case, a lot of anecdotal reports claim that having a cup of coffee or caffeinated soda may help the problem dissipate.
OK, so sunglasses probably won’t get rid of your red eyes, but they will protect your more-sensitive eyes from the sun and keep others from recognizing that you somehow look more tired than usual. While you wait for your red eyes to subside, slip on some shades.
Final Words on Red Eyes and Weed
When you use cannabis of any form, red eyes can sheerly be one symptom you can almost always expect. While the side effect is common, it is not one to cause concern, and, sometimes a low-THC strain may involve less redness. Find your favorite lower-THC strains on our menu at Silver Therapeutics.