A surefire way of knowing someone’s been smoking weed (besides the delicious lingering smell) is the famed telltale sign of bloodshot eyes. If you’re a stoner, you’re familiar with the feeling. If you’re a newcomer to the cannabis scene, you may wonder: what’s up with weed making your eyes red?
Cannabis has been legalized or decriminalized across much of the country. Even so, there is still an unsavory stigma attached to cannabis use by many people, who associate bloodshot eyes with the stoner stereotype.
Why Does Smoking Weed Make Your Eyes Red?
Marijuana makes your eyes red for the same reason it’s used to treat glaucoma— a physiological mechanism known as vasodilation. The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) lowers blood pressure. When blood pressure is lowered, blood vessels dilate. When ocular capillaries dilate, it increases blood flow to the eyes, and reduces the intraocular pressure. The increased blood flow to the eye creates redness.
Can Red Eyes Cause You Problems?
Anyone that’s been caught by their parents with red eyes knows that they’re gonna be busted for smoking weed. And though you should never drive when you are stoned, many do. Red eyes are a dead giveaway that you’re high; if you’re pulled over by a cop when you’re baked, you’re going to be in major trouble. Don’t drive high!
How Does Weed Help Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in those over 60 years old, although it can occur at any age. With glaucoma, a group of eye conditions can damage the optic nerve in the eye. The optic nerve health is vital for good vision. Some forms of glaucoma give no warnings signs at all. It can happen gradually over time, and vision change might not be noticed until it is in an advanced stage.
Vision loss from glaucoma can not be recovered. This is why you need to have eye exams regularly that include measurements of eye pressure. This helps to uncover the problems in the early stages so it can be treated to prevent further damage. Vision loss can be prevented or at least slowed if the condition is diagnosed early. Most people with diagnosed glaucoma must be treated for life.
Symptoms of glaucoma can include patchy blind spots inside or peripheral vision, tunnel vision, severe headache, eye pain, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, halos around lights, and eye redness.
One of the reasons some suggest smoking cannabis to treat glaucoma is because it causes lower blood pressure, which in turn causes the ocular capillaries to dilate, and increases blood flow to the eyes. The reduction in intraocular pressure is why some think smoking cannabis may help treat glaucoma.
Can You Get Rid Of Red Eyes?
Even though red eyes are harmless, it might not be a look you want to sport. Drink plenty of water, and keep a pair of sunglasses on hand. There are also tons of brands of redness-reducing eye drops available. They are relatively inexpensive, sold over the counter, and can be kept in your personal stash box for convenience. Just one or two drops in each eye can significantly reduce redness.
Do Redness-Reducing Eye Drops Kill A High?
It seems like this myth has been around ever since people began using eye drops that reduce redness after smoking weed. Does using eye drops really inhibit your high if you use them after smoking, vaping, or eating edibles? No. If you smoke weed, your high isn’t affected by a little Visine. And your cannabis consumption may even be good for your eyes!