Even while using methods of consuming cannabis that avoid the smell, such as edibles or tinctures, many people still get red eyes. This is because THC, along with other cannabinoids, temporarily affects the blood pressure of the body. In human and animal studies, results have consistently shown shifts in blood pressure lead to red eyes. Anandamide is a naturally occurring endocannabinoid which is very similar to THC in structure and effect. It also binds to red blood cells to reduce blood pressure. Lower blood pressure causes dilated capillaries, which causes bloodshot eyes.
There is no way to avoid this for those that are sensitive to THC. The effect will be more pronounced through heavy use, such as a long session with several hits, and when using particularly potent products. At first, THC and other cannabinoids will cause a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. After five to ten minutes the heart rate and blood pressure will return to normal, which causes the dilatation of blood vessels and capillaries. This is why red eyes do not appear immediately but over time. These same attributes are why cannabis is effective at relieving interocular pressure and may be an effective treatment for glaucoma, although research still needs to be done on the subject.
The Dangers of “Stoner” Eyes And How to Avoid Them
While this may be an annoying side effect of consuming cannabis, there’s no danger associated with it other than being discovered as a stoner. Unless a parent is threatening to kick a user out of the house, there’s no need to worry about red eyes, and they can be addressed with simple eye drops. Many people find that hydration is related to dry eyes, a common side effect from consuming cannabis, and red eyes. Some people may be able to limit the presence of red eyes by simply drinking more water and practicing effective self-care.
Other methods of avoiding red eyes include changing strains. Incredibly potent strains are likelyto cause red eyes due to their rich cannabinoid content. Finding a weaker strain may be a good idea for those looking to go undercover. There is no reason to believe that any method of consuming cannabis would allow someone to avoid the notorious condition. Simply invest in eye drops, practice better self-care, find a weaker product, or embrace the stoney look.