why does smoking pot make your eyes red

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red?

published on September 29, 2020

Table of Contents

All weed smokers will tell you that one of the most common after-effects of smoking weed is the famous red eyes. For anyone who is not a frequent user of marijuana, seeing these bloodshot eyes might lead to panic.

Novices might think they’ve damaged their eyes, and this fear is not calmed by the post-weed paranoia. However, it is key to note that your red eyes are not caused by any serious health issues, and it is probably not an allergic reaction either. While people may tease you for your weed eyes, you want to know what causes it.

Blood Pressure

After the initial consumption of weed – flowers, concentrate, edibles, etc. – your heart rate and blood pressure increase in a similar way that it would after exercise. After about ten minutes, your blood pressure begins to lower.

According to various studies, marijuana can be used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. This is made clear by its ability to lower blood pressure. This reduction in blood pressure leads to the dilation of blood vessels and capillaries, increasing blood flow, and causing bloodshot eyes. While you may associate red eyes with ill health or other negative events, this process actually reduces intraocular pressure.

The reduction in intraocular pressure is linked to the treatment of glaucoma. Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. These conditions are caused by excessively high pressure in the eye and can lead to permanent blindness in people over 60 years old. Despite weed eyes making you look like a total stoner, your partaking in the drug may actually have long term benefits for your eye health.

Better To Be Red?

Since eye redness caused by THC in cannabis is not harmful, having extremely red eyes after smoking should not concern you too much. Remember that the cause of the red eyes also reduces intraocular pressure and your chances of glaucoma and permanent blindness in later years.

Therefore, an extremely potent cannabis product with high THC can’t be causing too much damage. Having extremely red eyes after a weed session may only cause problems with your parents, or the law (if you live in a place where it is illegal). The redness also clears up on its own over a few hours, so there is no need to use any special products to reduce it.

When asking why your eyes get red when you smoke weed, you would need to consider many factors. One of these factors includes the concentration of THC.THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is one of at least 113 cannabinoids found in various marijuana varieties. It is also the main psychoactive ingredient in the plant. THC is what leads people to experience that “high” feeling.

Thus, the higher the THC concentration, the more bloodshot your eyes will appear. Studies have shown that any weed product containing THC can help reduce intraocular pressure, resulting in the red-eye look. However, CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) contains no THC and can actually worsen the effects of glaucoma. Therefore, if your aim is to reduce your chance of glaucoma, you need to consume weed products that contain THC.

Other Aspects

If you’ve ever smoked weed with your friends, you may be asking why smoking weed makes your eyes red, but your friend seems to remain unaffected. Studies show that there may be factors other than THC concentration affecting this. These include genetics, gender, overall health, and frequency of use.

If your friend partakes in marijuana more regularly than you, she or he will have a higher tolerance. This means that your friend will be less likely to show his or her marijuana eyes. It also depends on your blood pressure. While THC can reduce blood pressure, if you have high blood pressure, it won’t be reduced sufficiently to cause the redness in your eyes. If your blood pressure is average or tends to the lower end, you are more likely to have red eyes.

Red Eye Treatment

Now you know the answer to the question, why does weed make your eyes red and you want to hide your weed eyes after a night of relaxation and fun. Here are tips on achieving just the right methods to treat or hide your high eyes.


Opt for strains of weed with lower concentrations of THC. As discussed, it is the THC that results in red eyes. Therefore, choosing strains of weed with low THC will reduce the prevalence of the bloodshot look. It might require more “hits” to feel high, but you won’t look high too quickly, at least. Don’t avoid strains with THC altogether because you’ll lose the high too.

Eye drops

Using eye drops that can treat allergies can also reduce the look of red eyes. Good eye drops contain chemicals that constrict blood vessels in the eyes, thereby putting a stop to the dilation that caused the redness in the first place. Keep in mind that some eye drops cause dry eyes after extended use, so use them only when required.

Water: Sometimes, eye redness is simply because you are dehydrated. Drinking water can help reduce the look of red eyes. Be sure to avoid dehydration agents such as caffeine and alcohol to help you maintain your water levels.

Cold compress

Using a cold compress on your eyes can reduce inflammation and decrease swelling and blood flow. Just get ice cubes and wrap them in a clean cloth, then place them on your closed eyes for a while.

Sunglasses or waiting: Obviously, these two will be your last resort. Wearing sunglasses may not always be practical, especially at night. Additionally, you may not have time to wait for the redness to dissipate on its own.

The Legal Side

According to research, the global legal marijuana industry is worth 13.8 billion US dollars in 2018, and is growing rapidly. This is a result of the legality of growing the product, as well as its usages in medical fields for treating Parkinson’s disease, cancer, glaucoma (a benefit for those with red eyes), arthritis, and neurological disorders.

The increasing demand for usage of marijuana and related products to treat chronic pain and mental disorders means that the legal industry will continue to grow. It may even be possible that marijuana and related products will be completely legalized across the world in the near future. This would mean relief for many cancer and AIDS patients around the world, as well as those affected by chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.

Concluding Thoughts

Through many studies, it has been proven that using weed and other related products is safe and can be beneficial. Used in treating chronic pain, mental disorders, and even helping cancer treatment, marijuana holds a long list of benefits that may persuade you to use it. While there has been no evidence that marijuana usage directly results in death, it is important to be in a safe place and to be careful after consuming the product to ensure that you do not come to harm.

The red eyes that most people experience when using marijuana is caused by the presence of THC and is not harmful; in fact, it may be beneficial in treating and reducing glaucoma. Overall, most studies show that marijuana does more good than harm, and as long as it is legal, there is no reason you should not use it.

It's common to have red eyes after smoking weed. In this article, we cover why it happens and how you can prevent this effect in the future.


Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red? How to Get Rid of Stoned Eyes

Every cannabis user’s experience with the plant is unique, but there are a few telltale signs that someone has been smoking weed. There are the uncontrollable giggles, munchies, and of course, bloodshot eyes. Whether you’ve been consuming marijuana for a week or a decade, odds are you’ve looked in the mirror after a smoke session and wondered “why are my eyes red?”

The answer to that question delves deep into marijuana’s medicinal properties, the varying effects of different cannabinoids, and exactly what happens when weed enters our bodily system. And because so-called stoned eyes are a natural occurrence for both novice and experienced potheads, we’ll cover edibles, vapes, and the best options for eliminating marijuana eyes when you need to be presentable in public.

Why Does Marijuana Make Your Eyes Red?

So why does weed make your eyes red? Without getting too far into the science, it all comes down to blood pressure and blood vessels. When THC – the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis – enters the body, it causes an immediate increase in heart rate and blood pressure. The jolt to your circulatory system is akin to a jog around the block or a quick game of pick-up basketball. Unlike prolonged exercise, though, only ten minutes or so after the THC is processed, blood pressure and heart rate will return to normal resting rates.

As blood pressure begins to lower, blood vessels begin to dilate. This phenomenon happens all over the body but is most visible in the ocular capillaries. With more blood rushing to your eyes, they quickly begin to look red and glossed over. At the same time, that increased blood flow to the eyes relieves intraocular pressure. Because intraocular pressure is a key agitating symptom of glaucoma, marijuana’s quick-relief has made the plant a mainstay in the treatment of the common eye ailment since the 1990s. So while the increased blood flow to your ocular capillaries is what causes red eyes, it is also the sensation that causes relief for thousands upon thousands of glaucoma patients using medical marijuana.

How Do Different Cannabinoids Effect Eye Redness?

The eye-reddening effects of cannabis are tied directly to THC consumption. It is THC that causes increased blood pressure and heart rate, and the subsequent expansion of ocular blood vessels. In practical terms, that means that the more THC you consume, the redder your eyes will become.

As users build a tolerance to THC, though, they may notice a significant decrease in eye redness. In the same way that frequent cannabis consumption will eventually decrease the strength of intoxication, regular pot users experience less fluctuation in blood pressure and heart rate, and in turn lower levels of capillary dilation. Likewise, cannabis users who prefer CBD, CBG, or CBN-dominant strains will experience significantly less eye redness than THC consumers. Unlike the immediate rush of THC, CBD, CBG, and CBN have far less psychoactive effects, and can even decrease blood pressure, eliminating the cardiovascular reaction and eventual red eyes of traditional, full-strength THC cannabis.

Do Edibles Make Your Eyes Red?

Just like smoking flower, the eye-reddening effect of cannabis edibles depends entirely on the amount of THC in the infused product. If your favorite edible has 50mg of THC, there is a high chance that you’ll end up with bloodshot eyes. If your next magic brownie is full of CBD and only a few milligrams of THC, you likely won’t look nearly as stoned in public. Because the THC from traditional edibles is processed through the liver and not directly through the bloodstream it takes a little bit longer for edibles to get you high, and the bloodshot eye effect is similarly delayed.

The same general principle goes for vape cartridges, dabs, tinctures, topicals, and other cannabis products. If your chosen consumption method contains a fair amount of THC, the cardiovascular system chain reaction we’ve been discussing will likely cause your eyes to turn red and give away your heady habits. If you use a CBD vape cart or take a CBN tincture, you won’t let on about your cannabis secret.

How To Get Rid Of Stoned Eyes

Now that we know the science behind red eyes and which cannabis products do and don’t result in bloodshot selfies, it’s time to break down how to eliminate the pesky pot side effect. After all, cannabis is still a Schedule I drug, and sometimes it helps to hide your love affair with Mary Jane. If you need to hit a dinner party or office function after a smoke session and you don’t want to let on that you need a little weed to make the function fun, there are a few options for masking your red eyes.

First, hit up your local convenience store or pharmacy and find the eye drop aisle. Basic eye drops are a great way to quickly and easily clear the stoned look off your face. For even quicker relief, redness-reducing eye drops contain active ingredients like Tetrahydrozoline or Naphazoline that artificially clamp down the blood vessels in the eye. These products are entirely safe to use sparingly, but if used frequently, can cause eyes to dry out and could even increase eye redness if used too often.

If you’re using eye drops too often and need an all-natural cure for stoned eyes, try to up your water intake. Increased hydration won’t make your red eyes clear immediately, but it will help relieve any dryness that might keep your eyes bloodshot. Lastly, you can let your body work its course and get rid of your red eyes with the help of father time. Sure, you might need to avoid your in-laws or professors for a couple of hours, but you won’t be looking wide-eyed and paranoid into your front-facing camera, either.

Do you have a super-secret technique to cure cannabis-induced red eyes? Spill the beans and let us know in the comments below.

Every cannabis user’s experience with the plant is unique, but there are a few telltale signs that someone has been smoking weed. There are the uncontrollable giggles, munchies, and of course, bloodshot eyes. Whether you’ve been consuming marijuana for a week or a decade, odds are you’ve looked in the mirror after a smoke session and wondered