Does CBD Make Your Eyes Red?
Posted on November 14th, 2020
You might have come across it in your favorite comedy movie. Maybe in a meme. Or even when looking at yourself in a mirror. Yes, it is true; having red eyes is a common side effect of smoking marijuana. However, what most people don’t understand is the reason why this actually happens. So, just what is it that turns your eyes red after smoking marijuana? In this article, we will answer that question. Also, since the popularity of the cannabinoid CBD continues to rise, many today might also be wondering- does CBD make your eyes red?
So, does it? The short answer is: No, it does not! But to find out the reasons behind one cannabinoid does and another does not cause red eyes, you need to know the mechanism behind the phenomenon. Read on to find out.
Why Do Some Cannabis Products Give You Red Eyes?
Since popular culture adopted cannabis, red eyes almost instantly became a clear sign that you just recently had some. However, the average cannabis smoker has no clue why weed gives them red eyes. Their bloodshot, swollen eyeballs are alternatively a status symbol to show-off momentarily or something to hide away, traditionally from law enforcement officers.
But why does cannabis give you red eyes? Colloquially, some cannabis smokers might say that weed smoke finds its way into their eyes and, thus, gets them irritated. However, if that were the case, why don’t campfires or cigarettes do the same thing? There’s definitively more to the story.
Let’s wind back the clock to those early days of the U.S medical marijuana movement. American mainstream culture was much more averse to weed then than it is now. Despite negative perception then, evidence persuaded some thought leaders that medical cannabis could help with severe illnesses. As a result, the first medical weed patients in California and other early-adopter states sought assistance with terminal conditions. Thus, medicinal marijuana gradually became a treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea, and sometimes, glaucoma.
Cannabis, Red Eyes, And Glaucoma
Glaucoma, particularly, is an ocular condition that brings swelling of eyeballs. Unlike CBD, glaucoma does give you red eyes. However, those red eyes coming from glaucoma are a serious issue. The condition will slowly ruin your optic nerves, degrading your vision and, if left untreated, likely making you blind.
The primary cause of glaucoma is high intraocular pressure; this is, in turn, brought about by ocular hypertension. Regardless of where it occurs in the body, high blood pressure could be harmful and result in severe medical disorders. Just how bad said high blood pressure is in your eyes, particularly? Well, ocular hypertension could completely take away your sight.
According to early advocates of medicinal marijuana treatment for glaucoma, they did not have high expectations for it at first. Thought at the time was that it would only get you high and neglect your painful, swollen eyeballs. That changed after some time. Now, physicians suggest glaucoma patients ingest marijuana because of its proven vasodilatory properties.
See, THC, a prominent cannabinoid inside cannabis, usually makes your veins expand. That can reduce intraocular pressure and ease the pain from glaucoma. However, by widening your eyes’ capillaries, cannabis enables blood to flood into the eyes. That, in turn, makes your ocular capillaries distinctly red. Thus, THC is a potent vasodilator that can make your eyes swell by promoting blood flow to them. It’s for this reason that marijuana helps glaucoma patients
So, your eyes don’t become red after you smoke cannabis because some of the smoke got inside of them.
THC vs. CBD – Does CBD Make Your Eyes Red?
So, if THC does indeed make your ocular capillaries red, does CBD make your eyes red as well? Before answering that question, let’s research the cardiovascular CBD impacts and the anecdotal evidence collected so far from long time users.
Indeed, some CBD users do get eye redness when taking CBD via smoking. However, those symptoms are mostly due to ingesting CBD products that also contain above-average THC levels. However, some other CBD users report ingesting CBD isolate or similar products consisting of cannabidiol without THC.
The tales about CBD’s vasodilatory properties were attractive enough to catch the eye of researchers. Clinical research focused on finding out the true potential vasodilatory that CBD holds. Results showed that while CBD does indeed have some vasodilatory potential, it is overall less potent than THC’s.
Note that only a small amount of research so far has gone to focus exclusively on the vasodilatory CBD properties. As with every science arena, it would be ideal to have several studies that replicate to give a definitive answer. However, based on what research shows far, it is highly unlikely that smoking CBD or taking it in any other way will give you red eyes.
However, lots of things apart from CBD can give you red eyes. Illnesses, allergies, and lots of other things factors could irritate your eyes. What’s more, there are quite a lot of vasodilators apart from THC that could also enhance ocular blood flow. Those factors could help explain CBD users’ experienced eye reddening situations even though CBD is not as potent as a vasodilator as THC’s.
Other Differences Between Smoking THC and CBD
The eye redness attributed to THC typically occurs in tandem with the cannabinoid’s intoxicating effects. However, THC doesn’t give you red eyes because it makes you high. Still, if you’d wish to avoid becoming high and prevent your eyes from becoming red at the same time, try smoking CBD instead.
Compared to THC, CBD won’t make you high regardless of the CBD-rich hemp flower quantity you smoke. That also means that smoking CBD won’t have you experiencing any psychoactive effects. Furthermore, smoking CBD long-term can’t result in physiological or psychological addiction. The cannabinoid simply doesn’t produce that kind of dependency, and, also, it won’t give you the munchies.
Generally speaking, smoking CBD is a comparatively more relaxing, centering, and overall a milder experience than smoking THC. Although THC offers you an initial euphoria rush, this sense of intoxication could alter your mental state and result in addiction.
On the other hand, smoking CBD neither makes you high nor encourages dependency. Even more appealing is that there are close to none side effects to smoking CBD. Although smoking any substance may be harmful to your lungs and oral health.
But, if you’re already smoking, CBD will not make your eyes red. Those are excellent news for those looking to avoid the social and legal stigmas associated with being high. You can enjoy CBD without fear of a visible sympbol of your usage.
The Science Behind Marijuana and Red Eyes
In an intriguing presentation, Dr. Denise A. Valenti shows us all we need to know about THC, CBD, and their corresponding intraocular pressure effects. In there, she clearly illustrates the opposing effects that CBD and THC seem to have on intraocular pressure.
There, Dr. Valenti highlights that although it is common to use marijuana to reduce pressure in the eyes, this is only because it contains much THC. She actually argues that CBD works to spike the eye pressure.What’s more, a 2008 human study that analyzed the different effects of CBD and THC doses on six glaucoma patients supports her claims.
According to the study results, although a 5 mg THC dose reduced intraocular pressure, a 20 mg CBD dose showed a less noticeable effect. Then, a 40 mg CBD dose actually raised it.The specific physiology for these particular reverse intraocular pressure effects isn’t well-understood. However, it’s evident that THC and CBD have noticeable differences when it comes to reducing the pressure in the eyes and causing red eyes.
Will Smoking CBD Make Your Eyes Red?
In general, there are tons of different factors that may give you red eyes after using CBD. The CBD flower requires to have less than 0.3% THC to be lawfully commercialized. However, this tiny THC amount causes enough vasodilation to give slightly red eyes to some users!
What’s more, it is entirely possible to be allergic to certain flavonoids, terpenes, or other compounds in the hemp flower. Moreover, some people are somewhat sensitive to eye irritation, be it from dirt or from products like CBD.
Therefore, rest assured that CBD flowers do not generally make your eyes red. Remember, CBD has only slight vasodilator properties, so your eyes are unlikely to become flooded with blood. Meanwhile, THC is an excellent ocular vasodilator still recommended to address glaucoma to this day.
Getting the Red Out
In case you have red eyes from marijuana use, you can be sure that it isn’t that complicated to resolve. Approaches to avoid or assuage cannabis-induced bloodshot eyes include using quality eye drops and remaining adequately hydrated. Also, changing from a relatively high-THC strain to a low-THC/ high-CBD could also do the trick.
Does CBD Make Your Eyes Red – The Takeaway
Hopefully, by now, you’ve learned a lot about whether or does CBD makes your eyes red. Suppose you’d like to try CBD but aren’t too keen on sporting red eyes. In that case, better only to use quality CBD products like Tanasi’s. Their proper CBD to THC ratio will allow you to enjoy its benefits without struggling with puffy, watery, red eyes.In case you got any lingering inquiries about CBD, check some of our other articles. They are excellent materials for learning everything to do with CBD.