Can CBD Make Your Eyes Red? No!
Posted on December 9th, 2020
You are probably familiar with the words ‘stoned’, ‘drugged,’ and ‘high,’ commonly used in movies, television, and on the streets. These terms are associated with an individual that’s highly intoxicated as a result of some substance such as marijuana or narcotics. Conventionally, redness in the eyes is specific to somebody who’s smoked weed. This redness is typically caused by inflammation in the eyes. The redness depends on the quantity and quality of cannabis said person ingested. So, what causes this redness? This is a question that many CBD consumers would like to know the answer for. Whatever form of marijuana you consumed, edibles, vape, dabbing, or smoking, your eyes will turn red, watery, and inflamed because of the effects of the THC. But can CBD make your eyes red as well? The short answer to that is: NO! However, there’s more at play when it comes to the redness one experiences after smoking cannabis, and, here, we aim at finding out what’s going on what exactly is to blame.
Why Do Eyes Get Red?
Your eyes may get red when the tiny blood vessels situated between the sclera and overlying conjunctiva of the eye get dilated. There are various lifestyle and environmental-related factors that may cause these small blood vessels to get swollen or expand. The most prevalent causes of red eyes are eye infections, eye fatigue, and allergies. Wearing contacts throughout the day is another factor that usually leads to red eyes. They let your eyes can get dry and strained if left on for long. Red eyes can also result from more severe eye diseases and conditions such as glaucoma.
There are various environmental variables that may be in play when your eyes appear red, one of the most frequent being air pollution and allergies. Your eyes can also get red from smoke, be it fire-related or second-hand cigarette smoke. Airborne fumes, dust, and dry air can also cause red eyes, as does sunlight overexposure.
Common Eye Conditions
You can get red and bloodshot eyes from eye conditions such as digital eye strain, wearing contacts, dry eyes, and not getting sufficient sleep. Digital eye strain is also called computer vision syndrome. On average, an individual spends around seven hours in front of their computer or tablet every day, which can result in headaches, blurriness, and eye strain. Make sure you look at your computer from a distance and have the proper posture to minimize the chances of straining your eyes.
If you use contacts, make sure that you clean and store them properly and never try reusing disposable lenses. If you’re going to touch the area surrounding your eye, make sure to wash your hands. This will help in preventing the chances of infection. Excessive consumption of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco can also result in red eyes.
Serious Eye Complications
Sometimes bloodshot eyes can be a sign of a significant problem such as an eye injury or eye infection. It can also be uveitis, corneal ulcer, or glaucoma. A person can also have red eyes from eye surgeries such as LASIK. If you don’t know what has caused your eyes to become red or are experiencing some discomfort, you should consider contacting an eye doctor.
Can CBD Make Your Eyes Red?
You probably know that one of marijuana’s prominent effects is causing red eyes, however, CBD does not share that feature. CBD is a natural compound found in marijuana and hemp plants. This cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the body. The ECS plays an integral role in your body’s homeostasis. That means it plays a part in keeping an overall internal balance for many bodily functions. These includes memory, mood, digestion, appetite, stress, muscle formation, sleep, and so on.
CBD doesn’t connect with any cannabinoid receptors directly and, instead, influences receptor-independent pathways, which produce a range of beneficial effects. Dilation of blood vessels isn’t one of CBD’s potential beneficial effects, meaning it doesn’t play a hand in your eyes’ redness.
Does CBD Make Your Eyes Dry?
In most cases, redness usually comes accompanied with dryness. The primary cause for dryness is a dysfunction in the meibomian gland that sits behind the eyelashes. The meibomian gland generates a fatty substance that helps in slowing down tear evaporation. If there’s no oil production, dry eyes will follow as a result of the subsequent lack of tears. Some studies indicate that CBD topicals may assist in restoring the functioning of the meibomian glands and reduce dry eyes. Therefore, CBD may do the opposite!
Why Does Marijuana Make Your Eyes Red?
Red eyes are usually a sign of fatigue, allergy, or infection. But the redness of the eyes as a result of smoking weed isn’t because of any exhaustion, illness, or irritation. Instead, it’s the body’s natural reaction to the psychoactive compound of marijuana – THC.
Marijuana has many psychoactive and non-psychoactive chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is the most prominent psychoactive one, while CBD is the primary non-psychoactive of the lot. Although both compounds have similar molecular structures, their atomic arrangement varies slightly. That’s why, although they interact with the same receptors in the nervous system, they act differently.
THC has the same effect on the body and mind as anandamide – often called the ‘bliss molecule.’ Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter that attaches to the same receptor that THC does. It has the effect of making you feel happier, calmer, and even excitable at times. Anandamide dilates blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure. THC has a similar effect – marijuana allows more blood to shoot into the eyes since it has a higher content of THC .
These days, drug dealers use THC-strong strains to make more potent versions of weed. That enables them to make more cash by selling small quantities at a steep price. This gives you a more potent high, meaning that you’re more likely to get noticeably red eyes. By using hemp-derived CBD, there’s little to no chance that your eyes will get red since it has extremely low traces of THC, the sole responsible for this effect.
THC, High, & Red Eyes
Consuming marijuana results in increased blood pressure and increased heart rate. This occurs when the cannabinoids in the plant interact with your ECS’s receptors. The ECS has two types of receptors, CB1 and CB2. Much of the brain and the eye have CB1 receptors. When THC interacts with these receptors, it can lead you to get a pair of noticeable bloodshot eyes.
After the effects of THC begin to normalize, your heart rate will return to normal, and your blood pressure will decrease. Afterward, CB1 receptors signal the body to lower blood pressure throughout, this includes your eyes’ ‘intraocular’ pressure. When that occurs, your blood vessels will expand, increasing blood flow to the eyes. That’s when your eyes begin to look bloodshot and red.
If you prefer consuming edibles rather than smoking marijuana, your eyes will still get red. It’s not about the smoke, rather, it is the THC amount consumed. However, it may take a while for you to experience these side effects because edibles take longer to enter the bloodstream. Hopefully, the information provided above on THC answers the question if indeed can CBD make your eyes red.
Do Red Eyes Mean ‘Better’ Cannabis?
As mentioned earlier, THC interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors in the body directly. Meanwhile, CBD doesn’t interact with the same receptors but instead triggers the ECS to keep more of its natural cannabinoids. As a matter of fact, CBD has proven to counteract the effects of THC since it hinders THC from interacting with receptors directly.
Depending on the amount of CBD consumed and the type ingested, CBD will limit the psychoactive effects of THC. How potent the THC is also plays a part in CBD‘s ability to counter its effects. Although you can consume THC and CBD separately, most people take them together to get the ‘Entourage Effect.’ That is when the cannabinoids work in unison to deliver the most benefit. The higher the THC concentration, the more potent the psychoactive side effects, and that includes red eyes. If your eyes get red for extended periods of time, it means the marijuana was very strong and you’ll experience the effects for longer and much more intensely.
Getting Rid of Marijuana’s Red Eyes
Although weed-triggered redness of the eyes is pretty much harmless, it’s not something that conventional society will appreciate. It gives off a wrong impression from where misconstrued assumptions and judgments will form. So, if you’re susceptible to eye inflammation after smoking weed, consider staying hydrated to avoid the possibility of heavy dry eyes from THC intake.Have a good eye drop at hand. Also, you can also change the strain you’re taking if it proves too much to handle.
Can CBD Make Your Eyes Red? – The Takeaway
Considering how CBD has gained traction lately, knowing whether can CBD make your eyes red helps in separating yourself from the common misconceptions and stigma associated with cannabis usage. Generally, CBD doesn’t cause redness in the eyes, but consuming it won’t remove the redness that ensues with THC usage. CBD products that are THC-free can’t cause red eyes. But if you find your eyes getting red after consuming a CBD product, it would be due to high THC levels in it. Avoid those kinds of CBD products, especially if you live in a state that bans cannabis.