Every cannabis fan has probably encountered the dreaded red eye at least once in their stoner career. Unfortunately, it seems to affect some more than others, and those trying to tackle it need a few tips to prevent this annoying side effect of THC! By now, no one believes that your allergies are acting up again. So, why does THC make your eyes red, and what can you do to prevent it? Read on to find out.
Red Eyes and Cannabis Consumption
Red eyes are not a fun side effect of THC. Not only do they announce to the world that you’ve been getting high, but they can be itchy, or even burn with dryness. So there has to be a connection between getting high and looking high, right? Well, there is. Science has a perfectly reasonable explanation for this!
Why Does THC Make Your Eyes Red?
Blood vessels are abundant in the eyeballs and become more prominent when you’ve been consuming cannabis—we call this effect “bloodshot eyes.” So, what causes this effect?
THC is a vasodilator. What does that mean exactly? It means that it has the ability to open up our blood vessels. So when we ingest THC, our blood pressure drops, and the blood vessels in our eyes dilate—becoming much more noticeable. Because so many of these tiny structures surround each eyeball, it's pretty easy to spot changes in their size when high. It's especially evident against the whiteness of the eye.
Bloodshot eyes are often connected to smoking pot, but vasodilation isn't the only reason your eyes might be red. Consuming THC triggers the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, which are responsible for producing a high—the feeling of relaxation that many users say makes cannabis worth smoking in the first place.
Cannabis also has other effects: it relaxes all muscular responses, including how often you blink. So as THC takes hold, your eyes might not respond to dryness quite like they used to—and that can cause eye strain and dry eyes after a little while. This leads to a glazed-over look, combined with red eyes. It’s a dead giveaway that you’ve been indulging in a dose of THC!
Do Weed Drinks Make Your Eyes Red?
The short answer is yes. Weed drinks can make your eyes red. Generally, a higher THC dosage might increase each person's chances of red eye. Any THC-infused product may act as a vasodilator, but there isn’t exactly a firm amount to determine the threshold. For example, you might consume 5mg of THC and have red eyes, while your friend can consume 20mg with no side effects. It really depends on the person and how THC affects them.
Weed drinks, edibles, or joints all have the potential to make your eyes red, it just depends on how much you can personally tolerate without side effects. Interestingly, CBD is not a vasodilator and is shown to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. While we don’t have any research to support its red-eye-reducing effects, it’s a worthwhile experiment!
You can try CBD alongside THC (plus CBN!) in our latest bubbly beverage—Midnight Berries.
How to Get Rid of Red Eyes
Not a fan of the red-eye look? Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to calm down the redness.
- Try a cold compress. Wet a washcloth in ice-cold water and lie down. Put the folded washcloth over your eyes for 10-15 minutes, which will soothe some redness. Plus, taking a little break gives your eyes time to naturally lubricate again.
- Use eye drops. There are plenty of eye drops specifically formulated to reduce red eye. This is a quick, easy way to manage red eyes when you’re about to walk into a family gathering where you don’t want anyone to know you’re high!
- Try cold spoons. If you encounter this problem often, consider keeping a pair of spoons in the fridge! Placing the backs of the spoons against your closed eyelids can soothe them faster than a cool compress. Plus, this trick reduces puffiness for a fresh-eyed look.
- Wait it out. Red eyes from THC don’t usually last too long. So if you aren’t too worried about it, just give it some time. It will ease up in an hour or two.
Don’t let a little red eye discourage you from using cannabis! THC drinks are an excellent way to experience a subtle buzz without getting too high. Find Pabst Blue Ribbon High Seltzer online and try our newest Variety “Party” Pack. It contains 24 twelve-ounce cans. There are four cans of each six flavors, so you can find your favorite or stock your fridge for your next party.