Cannabis edibles are loved for many reasons, with discretion among the top factors for some. What might look like an unsuspecting snack food may actually contain substantial amounts of THC. While the munching might go unnoticed, the red eyes that some people get from cannabis are hard to hide.
Just when you thought you escaped from the smell of smoking a joint, and dosed subtly, your shiny red eyeballs are a dead giveaway. So, why do edibles make your eyes red? And is there anything you can do to combat that unmistakable glossed-over look?
Cannabis and Red Eyes
Red eyes are one of those stoner stereotypes, just like the munchies and fits of laughter. Yet, unlike the former, red eyes can be really annoying. Not only do they often burn and sting with dryness, but they also tell the world, “Hey! I’m high!” and that’s not always a good thing. However, it doesn’t seem to happen universally. What causes this, and who is most susceptible?
Do Edibles Make Your Eyes Red
THC is a vasodilator, meaning it opens blood vessels, and it lowers blood pressure, — when you consume it – i.e. eat THC edibles – your blood vessels dilate.
There are tons of blood vessels in our eyeballs, which you can see even when you’re not stoned. So, when they dilate, the little red vessels become very apparent. This is what we refer to as “bloodshot” — and it’s notoriously connected to consuming THC.
Sometimes eyes can appear glossy or hazy after consuming cannabis, and this isn’t related to the blood vessels. Cannabis affects the central nervous system, often relaxing our physical sensations.
This is why THC is so effective for treating muscle spasms or overall bodily relaxation. However, it can also cause you to blink less than you normally would, which leads to dry eyes that take on a glossy appearance.
If you’ve ever eaten CBD edibles, you’ll notice that they don’t have the same effect. This is because CBD is not a vasodilator.
How to Get Rid of Red and Glossy Eyes from Cannabis
Sometimes you just have to wait it out, but if you have the luxury of taking on your red-eye battle, there are a few things you can do. Staying hydrated can help provide more moisture to the sensitive tissues in our eyeballs. Since cottonmouth is another side effect of cannabis, it’s helpful to satiate your thirst with a glass of lemon water for a little freshly flavored hydration.
Eye drops are certainly your best friend for combating dryness, and many types are made specifically for reducing redness. Resting your eyes with a cold compress is helpful, and there are plenty of ways to do it. A washcloth soaked in ice water is a good option, or you can use spoons. Place two metal spoons in the fridge for 10-20 minutes (or in the freezer for up to 5 minutes) and place the backs of the spoons against your eyelids. This can help reduce redness and puffiness, so it’s like getting two birds stoned at one time. Wait, is that the saying?
If redness seems to happen every time you eat edibles, consider adding a little CBD to your routine. This can help counteract the effects of THC
Protect Your Peepers
If you are in a situation where you simply cannot take the time out to rest your eyes, put on some sunglasses. Not only are you staying safe from UV rays, but they will no doubt make you look cooler. Who says you can’t wear sunglasses indoors?