The eyes often reveal what the mouth cannot say, especially when we walk around with red eyes and a big smile. This can be a simple and harmless consequence of consuming cannabis. In fact, red eyes are one of the most distinctive characteristics of cannabis users.
But, we know that there are times when showing red eyes to the entire world is not convenient. Fortunately, some tricks can help prevent red eyes when consuming cannabis. If you are in a position where you must use cannabis to spend your days calm but must hide the redness of your eyes, this is the perfect post for you.
Read on and you will find the answer to some widespread doubts from cannabis users who constantly have to hide red eyes. But first of all, let's start by answering something basic.
Why Do Eyes Get Red When You Smoke Weed?
Some people tend to believe that the redness of the eyes when smoking cannabis has to do with the smoke or the dryness caused by the THC. But, the truth is that this redness is due to an internal process.
When some cannabinoids, especially THC and its derivatives, bind to cannabinoid receptors, they cause dilation or enlargement of blood vessels. As a consequence, this increases blood flow to particular areas while at the same time lowering blood pressure.
The increased blood flow to the eyeballs causes the infamous "red eyes," and the drop in blood pressure causes the dizziness that some users experience.
How Long Do Red Eyes Last From Weed?
After the THC enters your system and the effects begin to take place, it is only a matter of time before the eye redness starts. The time it takes your eyes to turn red and how long they will stay red depends on several factors, such as the amount of weed you consumed and the amount of THC that the strain you chose contains, among other things.
But, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, red eyes typically take about three to four hours after smoking high-THC cannabis to return to normal. The story is slightly different when we ingest cannabis in edible form.
When we eat high-THC cannabis-infused edibles, red-eye effects take longer to appear but can also last significantly longer. When eating cannabis, the psychoactive effects and red eyes can take 2-3 hours to peak and can take 4 to 12 hours to disappear dose-dependently.
Do Weed Gummies Make Your Eyes Red?
Yes and no. This may seem like a confusing answer, but the truth is that not all cannabis gummies cause the "red eyes" effect. For example, there are Delta-8 THC gummies that can also generate psychoactive effects and red eyes but at a significantly lower intensity than Delta-9 THC.
Some cannabis edibles are high-CBD hemp-based and contain no THC. These medicinal edibles can provide the therapeutic benefits of hemp without causing psychoactive effects or eye redness. This is because the natural compound that causes red eyes is the THC that some cannabis-infused gummies may contain.
THC is a vasodilator, so it increases blood flow to the eyeballs, resulting in eye redness. When THC enters your bloodstream, regardless of the way it goes into your body, your blood vessels and capillaries dilate, blood flow increases and blood pressure decreases; one of the symptoms of all these effects, whether you smoked or ate the THC, is the infamous red eyes.
Does Vaping Weed Give You Red Eyes?
It all depends on what type of weed you vape. If you are going to vape some CBD extract, you are still vaping cannabis, but these types of extracts such as CBD oil, hemp live resin, hemp terp juice, or vaping juice with CBD should not cause eye redness whatsoever because CBD does not cause this effect in people.
On the other hand, if the extract you vape contains THC or some psychoactive derivative of this same cannabinoid, such as HHC, Delta-8, or Delta-10 THC, the answer is yes; you will have red eyes after a few vapes.
The general consensus is that when vaping cannabis extracts that contain THC, you will have red eyes for around an hour or two depending on the dose vaped and the percentage of THC in the extract you vape, sometimes even a little longer.
How To Prevent Red Eyes From Marijuana?
While red eyes may not be a problem at all for some people, for others, it can be an unwanted side effect and even cause some really uncomfortable moments. As you can see, red eyes when smoking weed high in THC are almost inevitable.
This can be a problem for users who need to medicate with cannabis to get through the day but still have to attend work meetings, deal with clients, or simply have to face situations where it is not the most convenient to show with blazing eyes.
If you're in a position where you can't afford to walk around with red eyes without worrying about it, know that there are a few little tricks you can apply to prevent, avoid, or get rid of red eyes from smoking cannabis. Here are some hacks you can use yourself to see which works best for you.
Low THC Strains
This may not be your favorite option if you are a fan of high THC cannabis strains, but it is undoubtedly one of the most effective. Switching to low THC strains or less psychoactive cannabis extracts such as Delta-10 or Delta-8 live resin tinctures should significantly reduce the red-eye issue.
If you want to take things one step further about staying away from THC, you can also switch to high CBD, low THC strains, like Sour Elektra or Cat's Meow, which could eliminate the problem altogether. You could be surprised about how good it can feel using CBD instead of THC and the effectiveness of some of these strains for treating some conditions.
Another positive aspect about using hemp or high CBD strains is that, if you end up liking hemp a lot, there is an enormous and exponentially growing list of high-quality CBD flower strains available in almost all dispensaries from which you can choose your favorite.
Some stimulants such as theobromine or caffeine can function as vasoconstrictor agents. By contracting our vessels a bit, some stimulants can help maintain blood flow and pressure within normal ranges, thus preventing eye redness.
So, a simple cup of coffee or a few squares of dark chocolate could significantly reduce red-eye. This method can also boost your alertness and energy levels and ward off the drowsiness or sedative effects sometimes caused by some potent Indica strains.
Cold water can work perfectly as a vasoconstrictor as it activates a survival response in the body that pushes blood into the torso to protect vital organs from the cold. It doesn't mean you should jump into an ice bath or a cold shower, although it can be genuinely revitalizing. Wetting your face with a bit of cold water can be enough to achieve a similar effect.
Cold Compress or Ice Packs
Using cold compresses or ice packs placed over your eyes for short periods of time can achieve a similar effect to cold water. Another option that can work very well is cold slices of cucumber, which can achieve the same effect as ice, moisturizing the surrounding area and leaving you with an overall feeling of freshness.
Eye drops can be one of the most effective in combatting red eyes. The effectiveness of this remedy can vary a bit depending on which brand of eye drop formula you use and how each person reacts to that formula. Nonetheless, some eye drops brands use natural ingredients like chamomile or eyebright that can help refresh and revitalize red eyes amazingly.
User reports suggest that some cotton swabs dipped in fresh rosewater could help lighten red eyes, and you place them over your eyes for around 15 minutes.