You’ve probably noticed that a lot of people who smoke cannabis often end up with red eyes. This distinctive sign is a dead giveaway that you’ve smoked weed… but what if you’ve consumed something a little different?
Cannabis products come in all shapes and sizes these days. Many of them are edible – do these also make your eyes red?
What are edibles?
Edible products are one of the many ways that you can consume cannabis and its compounds. Typically you’ll find three main types of cannabis edibles:
- THC edibles
- CBD edibles
- THC/CBD edibles
THC and CBD are two naturally occurring compounds found in cannabis and hemp plants. Both THC and CBC are called major cannabinoids, meaning that they’re two of the most common cannabinoids found. Cannabinoids can be extracted from cannabis or hemp plants using various extraction techniques to produce oil. This oil is then used to produce edible products.
THC and CBD share some similar therapeutic effects, but they do affect the body differently. The main difference between THC and CBD is that THC induces a high, whereas CBD won’t result in any intoxicating effects.
When it comes to edible products, the world is your oyster! National and regional legalizations affecting cannabis and cannabis products have led to a boom in edible product options. Edible cannabis products that you might come across include:
- Chewing gum
- Drinks (e.g., smoothies, flavored water)
Do edibles make your eyes red?
You might get red eyes if you consume edibles, but it depends on the type of edible you ingest. THC and CBD will have very different effects on you.
THC edibles can make your eyes red due to the effect that THC has on your blood vessels (1). We know that THC can lower blood pressure, and, when this happens, your blood vessels dilate. We all have many tiny blood vessels in our eyes, and it is thought that the dilation of these vessels due to THC is what causes the post-smoking or post-edible “bloodshot” look. That same drop in blood pressure is also responsible for the dizzy feeling that people often experience when smoking weed or any edibles that contain THC, including CBD/THC edibles.
CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t dilate blood vessels like THC. So, if you’re consuming edibles that only contain CBD (and contain no THC traces) then you shouldn’t experience red eyes.
Is it dangerous to get red eyes?
THC-induced red eyes aren’t dangerous, but they can leave your eyes feeling irritated, slightly puffy, and uncomfortable.
There are other reasons why you might be experiencing red eyes, especially if you’ve been consuming CBD-only edibles. If you have red or irritated eyes, then you might want to discuss your symptoms with a doctor. You could be experiencing an allergy, an issue with contact lenses, or eye fatigue.
How to treat red eyes
If your edibles are causing you to experience red eyes, there are some steps you can take to reduce the redness.
- Reduce your THC intake: switching to CBD-only edibles, or edibles with lower percentages of THC, should help reduce your blood vessel dilation and, thus, reduce the redness that you’ve been experiencing.
- Drink lots of water: keeping hydrated will help reduce the eye dryness and irritation that can come with THC consumption.
- Use eye drops: eye drops specifically formulated for dry and red eyes can reduce the appearance of bloodshot eyes and may lessen irritation, too.
- Apply a cool compress to your eyes: a cool face cloth pressed against your eyes can help reduce the puffiness and irritation that can make red eyes even redder.
Edibles can make your eyes turn red, but it depends on the type of edible that you consume. THC is the culprit behind bloodshot eyes after cannabis use, and so any edible containing THC could cause red eyes. The good news is that red eyes aren’t dangerous. If your eyes are bothering you, though, there are a few steps you can take to lessen redness and irritation.