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Why Do Edibles Make Your Eyes Red?


Do you know or have you seen someone that has red eyes on and off after ingesting or smoking marijuana?  Have you ever wondered what causes that?  More specifically, do edibles make your eyes red, or does it only happen when smoking marijuana and becoming irritated by the smoke?  

What Are Edibles Actually?


Edibles are cannabis-based food or drink items.  They come in several different forms like gummies, brownies, or drinks.  The candies or food include marijuana with two active ingredients, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).  Edibles contain either just one or both of these ingredients.  Edibles are becoming more and more popular each year, and the recent widespread legalization of marijuana has only increased its prevalence.

Why Edibles Make Eyes Red


Edibles make the eyes red because one of the ingredients, THC, is a vasodilator.  The cannabinoids interact with receptors in your body and your eyes.  This causes your blood pressure to drop and the blood vessels and capillaries to dilate or expand, which brings blood flow to the area.  This is why your eyes (or at least the white part called the sclera) turn red in color.  

Although eye redness can occur, it doesn’t mean that it will happen every time you ingest edibles.  Every edible product has different concentration levels of THC in them.  Because of this, eye redness won’t always take place.  

Also, a person’s individual health plays a part.  This includes blood pressure, sex, genetics, and overall health. For example, those with high blood pressure will need a higher concentration level of THC to make their blood pressure drop enough to result in eye redness.

What has your experience been?  Do edibles make your eyes red?

Is It Something to Worry About?


Red eyes after taking edibles are entirely normal and totally harmless.  It can be a tough side effect to deal with, especially if you take edibles as a medication.  Taking cannabis does have a certain stigma, and dealing with red eyes at work can bring unwanted attention.

You can treat your red eyes with over-the-counter eye drops typically used to treat eye redness and irritation caused by allergies and more.  You can also try splashing cool water on your face and across your eyes or drink some caffeine or eat dark chocolate, all of which can aid in constricting the eye blood vessels.

All the eye redness will eventually go away, but just know; eye redness caused by taking edibles usually lasts longer than other marijuana administration choices.  It not only lasts longer but takes longer to reach its maximum effect of 2-3 hours. The redness can last anywhere from 4 – 12 hours, depending on the dose.  Your weight, metabolism, and tolerance all impact how long it will take for your eyes to clear up.  Plan accordingly and choose low THC strains or only use CBD strains if possible.  

Want to Know More?


If you want to know more about this topic or other vision and eye-health-related subjects, call us to schedule an appointment and an eye exam.

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