Among some of the most common effects of marijuana use is red, bloodshot eyes. It’s to be expected when smoking weed, but that doesn’t answer the mysterious question on the minds of generations of stoners; why does weed make your eyes red? Will the CBD make your eyes red, or is it something else present in weed that could be the culprit?
Red eyes are a classic, tell tale sign that someone has smoked weed. For some people, it’s a guaranteed occurrence, while others who appear to be less sensitive, the symptom of red eyes may come and go depending on the quantity of cannabis they consume, and the quality.
Many people associate smoking weed with overly red eyes, and you may be surprised to hear that the main reason for this effect has very little to do with the smoke itself. In the majority of people, it’s the THC found in marijuana that creates the red-eye effect. CBD is not responsible for making your eyes red. Let’s take a closer look below.
Why Does Marijuana Cause Red Eyes?
Most people have experienced bloodshot or red eyes for some reason or another, especially because it’s a symptom of ubiquitous ailments such as seasonal allergies and fatigue. The symptoms are quite similar whether your eyes are red from cannabis use or pollen.
However, weed doesn’t cause red eyes because of irritation – unless you are getting a lot of smoke in your eye. Instead, it causes red eyes due to the biological reaction to the psychoactive drug working in the system. The culpable psychoactive substance in question? It’s THC.
But, in reality, the exact cause of red eyes in cannabis users can be a complicated issue. Marijuana contains several active ingredients, known as cannabinoids – and each can have different effects on the user.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is arguably the most well-known cannabinoid found in marijuana. It’s the main cause of the drugs intoxicating effects. THC is thought to cause similar effects in the body and brain as a substance called anandamide. This is a fatty acid that binds to the same receptors as THC does.
Anandamide works to dilate the blood vessels and lower blood pressure. THC is believed to work in the same way. Marijuana that contains a high THC content is far more likely to cause bloodshot eyes.
Illicit weed is becoming increasingly potent, because strains are being made with more THC and less CBD. Because THC causes euphoric feelings associated with cannabis, drug dealers focus on creating more potent versions so that they can sell smaller quantities for a higher price. This allows them to transport valuable amounts in smaller, hard-to-detect packages.
This is why you are more likely to get red eyes when using illicit cannabis rather than medical marijuana. However, it is a possible effect of both.
Ultimately: No, CBD will not make your eyes red. It’s THC that is responsible for this effect. So if you are buying CBD products containing low levels of THC, you should not experience bloodshot eyes.
Reasons for the Redness
For most people, it’s the THC in marijuana that creates the red-eye effect. This is because THC interacts with a receptor in the body called CB1. There is an abundance of these types of receptors present in the human eye.
This binding action activates signals to lower the blood pressure throughout the body, including the intraocular pressure in your eyes. When the intraocular pressure is lowered, the vessels open up wider, and this results in more blood rushing to the eyes.
There are some people who are allergic or irritated by smoke and will, therefore, experience some type of eye redness regardless of the type of smoke that they are exposed to. Another lesson common reason for bloodshot eyes is an allergy to cannabis itself.
The ability of THC to lower intraocular blood pressure is actually a very positive effect for people who suffer from an eye disease, known as Glaucoma. The high pressure associated with this disorder leads to optic nerve damage and eventually blindness. Cannabis therapy that is administered via edibles can lower the blood pressure for up to eight hours – this helps to slow down the progression of Glaucoma.
Final Thoughts on Whether CBD Will Make Your Eyes Red
CBD itself is not responsible for the red-eye effects associated with cannabis. Rather, THC is the cannabinoid found in weed that makes users eyes bloodshot. This is why red eyes are common after smoking weed, but typically aren’t a side effect when consuming CBD products.
The only time that you may experience red eyes when consuming a CBD product is if the product contains significantly high levels of THC. This is not likely, so generally, you don’t need to worry about bloodshot eyes when consuming CBD.