Why Do Our Eyes Turn Red When We’re Stoned?

One of the many effects of consuming or smoking marijuana is red, bloodshot eyes. This has many of us carrying eye drops just in case, to help neutralize the effects of the weed on our eyes.

Sometimes we get so high our eyes are blood-red, it leads to paranoia and questions like “can smoking weed damage your eyes?” Thankfully, there are no serious health risks associated with your sudden red-eyed circumstance.

We are here to answer the question of why our eyes always cast us when we get stoned and what it actually means.


Under pressure: lower blood pressure and dilated capillaries

After getting super stoned we typically experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This effect is due to the plant’s cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds responsible for some of the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis. This rise in blood pressure and heart rate is comparable to normal physical activities like exercise or sex.

It generally takes about five to ten minutes for users’ heart rates to return to normal and for blood pressure to begin to decrease. As the blood pressure lowers, the blood vessels and capillaries dilate, including the ocular capillaries. The dilation of ocular capillaries causes increased blood flow to the eyes, which results in your eyes turning red and also reduces intraocular pressure.

It’s cannabis’ ability to reduce intraocular pressure in the eyes that makes it a potentially viable treatment for glaucoma, a group of eye disorders that causes damage to the optic nerves which can eventually lead to blindness. It also happens to explain why your eyes become bloodshot after smoking cannabis.

According to Dr. Melanie Bone, a board-certified OB-GYN who practices in West Palm Beach, Florida.

What Of Edibles?

Just like smoking weed, ingesting edibles could also make your eyes turn red. It all depends on the amount of THC consumed.

NB: Remember, it’s not the smoke itself that makes your eyes red, but rather the ability that cannabinoids have to lower blood pressure, causing blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. 

Could redder eyes mean better THC content?

The amount of blood pressure lowered and how red your eyes become depends on the amount of THC you consume. So, bloodshot eyes can act as a sign that your cannabis has a high cannabinoid content (i.e., it’s potent)

NB: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most common cannabinoid in the plant, is responsible for the intoxication associated with smoking cannabis. The greater the concentration of THC in a cannabis product, the stronger the effects and the redder your eyes become.

So next time you’re stoned as fuck and your eyes are blood-red there’s a good chance you’ve landed yourself some really strong ass weed.

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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