Have you ever wondered why your eyes turn red after consuming cannabis? Many people assume it’s due to dryness, but the real answer is a bit more complicated. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind red eyes and how it relates to cannabis consumption.
The Culprit: THC
The primary psychoactive compound in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). When THC enters the body, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which can cause a variety of effects, including altered perceptions, increased appetite, and relaxation.
One of the less desirable side effects of THC is the dilation of blood vessels in the eyes, causing them to appear red. THC affects the autonomic nervous system, which controls many involuntary functions, including the constriction and dilation of blood vessels.
When THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body, it can cause blood vessels to dilate, including those in the eyes. This dilation increases blood flow to the eyes and can cause them to appear red and bloodshot.
While THC is the primary cause of red eyes, there are other factors that can exacerbate the condition. For example, smoking cannabis can also cause eye irritation and dryness, which can make redness more noticeable. Additionally, certain strains of cannabis may have higher levels of THC, which can increase the likelihood of red eyes.
It’s worth noting that red eyes aren’t necessarily a sign of intoxication or impairment. While they can be a side effect of THC consumption, they don’t necessarily indicate how “high” a person is. Some people may experience red eyes even after consuming small amounts of cannabis, while others may not experience redness at all.
Treating Red Eyes
If you’re concerned about red eyes after consuming cannabis, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the symptoms. One of the simplest solutions is to use over-the-counter eye drops, which can help to reduce redness and dryness. However, it’s important to choose eye drops that are designed for redness relief rather than those designed for dryness.
Another way to reduce redness is to drink plenty of water, which can help to hydrate the body and reduce dryness. Additionally, avoiding smoking cannabis or using a vaporizer instead can help to reduce eye irritation and dryness.
In summary, red eyes after consuming cannabis are primarily caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the eyes due to THC consumption. While this side effect can be bothersome, it’s not necessarily an indicator of intoxication or impairment. If you’re concerned about red eyes, there are a few simple steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms, including using eye drops and staying hydrated.