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Why Marijuana Makes Your Eyes Red

Why Marijuana Makes Your Eyes Red

Red eyes or bloodshot eyes are a natural occurrence among Marijuana users. Red eyes are a common side effect and a telltale sign of marijuana usage. Scientifically, they are not a bother, and they pose no danger among cannabis users. For some individuals, it’s a common sign while others are less sensitive; it all depends on the quality and quantity of marijuana one uses.

Now, what is the main cause of red eyes among cannabis users?

Lower blood pressure and dilated capillaries

Dilation of blood vessels is the main reason for bloodshot eyes, and it’s also the main reason why marijuana is used to treat glaucoma. In summary, marijuana causes a decrease in blood pressure, and as a negative feedback mechanism by the body, ocular blood vessels dilate leading to increased blood flow to the eyes and a decline in intra-ocular pressure. The increased blood supply to the eyes leads to red eyes phenomenon among marijuana users; thus the name bloodshot eyes. Note that the decline in intra-ocular pressure benefits glaucoma patients. Also, the reddening of the eyes is as a result of the chemicals knowns as cannabinoids within the cannabis and not the smoke.

The intensity of redness of the eyes depends on the quantity and quality of THC consumed. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most prevalent cannabinoid in weed. The higher the amounts of THC consumption the redder the eyes. Red eyes can also occur when consuming other foods if they contain cannabinoids.

With that said, it’s possible for someone to have an allergy towards cannabis or smoke. Just that for those with an allergy their eyes redden as a result of the smoke being emitted and not the cannabinoids.

Bloodshot volume varies from one person to another

If you are a keen observer, you may have noticed that marijuana effects vary among people i.e., for some, their eyes turn very red while in others they turn slightly or not at all. Science explains that this happens due to a myriad of reasons some of which include: sex, genetics, consumption frequency, and one’s health status. Also, if one has a higher incidence of using weed, with time (s)he becomes tolerant, thus he/she experiences little or no side effects of cannabis consumption.

How to get rid of red eyes after weed smoking

How to get rid of red eyes after weed smoking

As much as red eyes are harmless and maybe beneficial, they are not a comfortable reaction. They also have some stigma being attached to them thus the need to rid them off. There are a few steps to take to reduce or do away with red eyes as highlighted below.

Use eye drops

The most common method of alleviating bloodshot eyes is through using over-the-counter eye drops that are meant for eye itchiness, redness, and allergies. All eye drops contain tetrahydrozoline (THZ) as one of their chemical components. THZ is an alpha agonist; thus it causes the dilated blood vessels (as a result of THC in weed) to constrict. Thus, eye drops cause a reversal of the cannabis, reinstating normal blood flow to your eye, therefore, alleviating red eyes after cannabis usage.  Eye drops medications are very safe; however it’s encouraged to read the manuals that come along with them. Some of the readily available alternatives to eye drops include sodium, caffeine, licorice, and chocolate.


Dehydration is one of the causes of dryness and irritation of the eyes. Yes, six glasses of water daily rule applies here. Therefore, keeping yourself hydrated from time to time prevents eye dryness thus alleviating red eyes.

Opt for low or no THC strains

As discussed earlier on, THC is a chemical in weed that causes red eyes among weed smokers. THC levels vary from one type of marijuana to another. Thus, it’s possible to lessen bloodshot eyes while toking if you opt to use cannabis strains that have low THC levels. Well, you can also use cannabis that has no THC or even a step further, stop using weed.

Wait it out

It’s evident that red eyes have no harmful effect except the stigma that comes along with them. Thus, if you know that your eyes to turn red, smoke during your leisure time where the red eyes are not going to be a concern to anyone.

Summing it up

Red eyes are nothing to worry about, and you really should not be alarmed about them. However, they can be worrisome when you want to attend an official function. Most people tend to stigmatize red eyes. Thus, that is the only reason that may push one to find possible ways to get rid of red eyes after toking some weed. Therefore, get yourself eye drops! They are the easiest and fastest way of getting rid of red eyes. Above all, they are readily available at any pharmacy as an over-the-counter medication.

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