Red eyes are a sure way to tell if someone’s completely baked, but few of us may actually know why cannabis causes this phenomenon. Whether you smoked, vaped, dabbed, or ate an edible, if you find yourself particularly high, your eyes are likely to be glazed over as if you have pink eye.
Cannabis makes your eyes red because THC, the plant’s main psychoactive chemical, lowers blood pressure which then causes blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. When the capillaries, or fine branching blood vessels, in the eyes dilate, more blood flows to the eyes. This causes the eyes to look red, and incidentally also decreases intraocular pressure. That’s why cannabis is such a well-known treatment for glaucoma.
The more THC you have in your system, the more likely your eyes are going to become red. So if you smoke a low-THC strain of cannabis or take a CBD-only tincture, your eyes will likely stay white.
In some cases, in which people are allergic or sensitive to smoke, the actual cannabis haze might also make their eyes red — however, in most scenarios, the mode of ingestion has nothing to do with red eyes, but only the cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, acting on your body.
If you’re in a situation in which you don’t want your eyes to be red after smoking, there are a few ways you can combat it. For one, you can choose a strain that has lower levels of THC and high levels of other cannabinoids like CBD, CBV, or CBN. However, regardless of which strain you pick, also make sure to always have eye drops on hand. Look out for the certain kinds of eye drops specifically made to target red eyes. Also make sure that you stay hydrated, as fluids will help tackle dryness in your eyes.
If all else fails, having a pair of cute sunglasses in your purse is your safest bet to concealing red eyes. And remember: Having red eyes from weed is totally safe and regardless, it will go away within a few hours.