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How to Get Rid of Red Eyes After Smoking Cannabis

When smoking cannabis, you’ve probably encountered the “red-eye syndrome”. It’s easy to tell when someone has been smoking cannabis because the white of the eye (sclera) turns red. Luckily for you, it’s completely harmless and doesn’t affect you in any way, other than being a quicker indicator to others that you smoke.

Want to find out how to help alleviate red eyes? We have gathered a few reasons why this happens and how you can get rid of it.

Why do your eyes turn red?

To start, many people assume that red eyes are caused by the smoke exhaled after smoking flower or a vape, but this is actually untrue. Although smoking obviously produces a lot of smoke that could get in your eyes, that’s not actually the reason for your red eyes. No matter how you take in cannabis, your eyes will still turn red.

The reason is actually that of the THC inside of cannabis. This is the compound that gives you the euphoric feeling you’ve come to expect when smoking, and one of the effects it has is decreasing your blood pressure. This ultimately leads to the expansion of our blood vessels to allow more blood to flow around our body. In the case of eyes, it means that our ocular capillaries are dilated so that they can take in more blood. These expanded blood vessels make the white of the eye appear red, hence the effect.

However, THC also reduces the intraocular pressure of the eye. Increased intraocular pressure is a key factor when it comes to glaucoma diseases. Lowering the intraocular pressure is actually the way we battle against glaucoma. If left untreated, it could lead to a severe loss of vision and also blindness. This is why THC strains can actually help to lower intraocular pressure anywhere between 25 to 30%.

The amount your eyes “turn” red will vary from person to person. If you smoke the same strain with someone else, you might notice that their eyes stay relatively white while yours can go extremely red, or vice versa. A number of factors can affect this, such as your genetics, sex, health and also how often you smoke. The redness is completely dependant on your blood pressure and it can last varying different timeframes as well.

Getting rid of red eyes

The most common way to get rid of bloodshot eyes after smoking is to use over-the-counter eye drops that are designed to overcome allergies. These contain tetryzoline which is an alpha agonist that causes dilated blood vessels to constrict. As previously mentioned, THC makes blood vessels and capillaries dilate, thus causing the redness. Eye drops can reverse this effect, returning your eyes to their normal whiteness and helping to relieve red eyes very quickly. This is a safe method to get rid of bloodshot eyes and it’s recommended that you read through the manual in order to get a good understanding of how to use them properly.

This is generally the best and fastest way to get rid of red eyes, but there are also other alternatives that can help constrict the blood vessels to reduce redness. This includes consuming chocolate, more sodium or even caffeine.

However, a misconception that you might hear is drinking more water to help you reduce redness in the eyes. This is sadly entirely false. Red eyes are not a sign of dehydration so no amount of water intake will help you get rid of bloodshot eyes.

The redness in your eyes isn’t anything serious, so you shouldn’t be alarmed. There’s nothing to be worried about and you’re generally not going to suffer any negative effects if do you have red eyes, but it can be worrying if you’re expected to attend a meeting or a work-related event.

So in short, get yourself some eye drops! They’re the fastest and easiest way to get rid of bloodshot eyes, and you’ll typically find them at the nearest pharmacy or convenience store!

How to Get Rid of Red Eyes After Smoking Cannabis When smoking cannabis, you’ve probably encountered the “red-eye syndrome”. It’s easy to tell when someone has been smoking cannabis because the

Why Do Eyes Turn Red After Smoking Weed?

Friday February 3, 2017

T he most well-known identifier of being high is the classic red eye look. Some users can experience a “worse” reaction than others, but it’s one of the physical markers that you just can’t avoid.

Why do you get red eyes after smoking weed ? Some say it’s because of the smoke in the air—that the lingering particles are to blame for irritating your eyes. Others say that red eyes are considered to be an allergic reaction to smoking. And while both are logical and possible, there’s a more scientific reason behind it.

Red eyes are caused by a change in pressure. The main psychoactive endocannabinoid in marijuana, THC, gets into your system and causes your blood pressure to decrease. As a result, your inner-eye pressure lowers and causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. This allows blood flow to increase and gives small blood vessels more room to expand, resulting in what we see when we look in the mirror.

But the same scientific reasoning above is why cannabis can help glaucoma patients: A condition that causes increased pressure in your eye and on your retinal nerve. It can often lead to blindness, but researchers since the 1970s have found a positive link between marijuana and glaucoma since the drug can help lower intraocular pressure. This only lasts a few hours so it certainly isn’t a treatment, but it’s a good option for patients in pain.

Even retinal damage, one of the most common eye problems, can be improved with the use of marijuana. Studies show that cannabis has neuroprotective and antioxidant properties that encourage retinal health and prevent vision loss.

Your red eyes aren’t anything to be ashamed of; many people experience red eyes — plus it’s just marijuana doing its medicinal thing. But it can be a burden if you’re about to walk into work or have dinner with the grandparents. Remember that it’s due to the endocannabinoids within cannabis, so it can happen with any form of consumption.

The good news is that you can do something about it. And although you may already have your own ways to remedy red eye-syndrome and being high in general, here are a few of the most common methods to avoid getting red eyes after smoking weed:

  • Eye drops. P roducts (like Visine) are the oldest trick in the book and work within minutes since it helps to constrict blood vessels. (Remember that over-using these products can be detrimental.)
  • Drink water. Unrelated to cannabis, redness in the eyes is sometimes associated with dehydration. Avoid caffeine and s tay hydrated to eliminate the redness .
  • Consider low THC strains. If you’re really looking to limit the amount of redness, consider a strain without high levels of CBD, CBN or THC.
  • Cold compress. Cold water will soothe irritated eyes and can help decrease swelling and the amount of blood flow.
  • Sunglasses. You may look ridiculous, but if nothing else works you can easily use your shades. The sun may be an irritant in and of itself, so avoid harmful rays whenever possible.
  • Wait. Generally, your eyes will only stay red for a few hours so just stay where you are and wait it out.

You may have heard that consistent users have developed some form of “resistance” to experiencing red eyes. (I guess there’s only one way to find out for yourself.) But at the end of the day, it’s all harmless and red eyes are just a side-effect, so there’s no need to worry if you don’t have clear eyes all of the time. Plus, it’s good to know that everyone will be affected differently based on tolerance, strain types, genetics and overall health so don’t count red eyes as a bad thing .

A born and raised Hoosier and Indiana University alumna, Morgan Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in the Denver area. Morgan has worked with B2B, nonprofit and regional publications, but especially enjoys learning and educating others about the inner-workings of the cannabis industry. Her freelance writing supported her recent six-month solo backpacking trip to South America where she climbed volcanoes, played with llamas and jumped off a bridge.

Probably the most well-known identifier of a marijuana high is the classic red-eye look. But what is the science behind why red eyes occur? Here's a breakdown, plus a few common remedies to help avoid red eyes after smoking. ]]>