One of the most common and visible side effects of using marijuana is bloodshot eyes. There are no serious medical risks associated with red eyes from weed. Bloodshot eyes after using cannabis is normal and usually goes away after a little while. But why does it happen? Why are bloodshot eyes an aftereffect of using cannabis?
Why Do Eyes Get Bloodshot?
After smoking cannabis, users can expect an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Marijuana contains cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds in the plant that give it many of its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. These interact with chemicals in the body, which results in an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, similar to normal physical activities. This effect usually lasts only a few minutes before the heart rate and blood pressure begin to decrease back to normal.
As the blood pressure begins to decrease, blood vessels begin to dilate—including the blood vessels in the eyes. This causes increased blood flow, which results in the eyes looking bloodshot. The blood vessels on the surface of the whites of your eyes expand, which gives the whites of your eyes a pink or reddish tint. Edibles can also result in red eyes, depending on the amount of THC consumed. Since red eyes are an effect of cannabinoids’ interactions with the body, you can expect red eyes to a certain extent after consuming any product with cannabinoids.
THC and Bloodshot Eyes
The extent of redness in your eyes after consuming a cannabis product depends on the amount of THC that is consumed. The greater the concentration of THC, the redder your eyes will become after using. Red eyes, then, can be a signal of how potent your cannabis product is. Red eyes can reflect a high, so if your eyes are more bloodshot after consuming cannabis, it is likely that your cannabis has a high concentration of cannabinoids.
The primary cause for bloodshot eyes after consuming cannabis is also one of the reasons why marijuana is a great treatment option for glaucoma. When someone suffers from glaucoma, they have built-up pressure in their eyes that can lead to decreased vision. Because THC lowers blood pressure, causing blood vessels to dilate, blood flow to the eyes is increased. This reduces pressure in the eyes, which benefits users who suffer from glaucoma.
There is no cause to be concerned about red eyes after consuming cannabis. This redness generally lasts only a few hours and will go away on its own. If you are bothered by the appearance of red eyes after consuming cannabis, you can try eye drops that are designed to reduce the appearance of bloodshot eyes. Consuming cannabis with a lower THC level can make for a less drastic red appearance in the eyes as well. Staying hydrating and drinking plenty of water can help alleviate any dryness that may be associated with bloodshot eyes. Wearing sunglasses until the appearance of bloodshot eyes lessens is also an option.