Other than a goofy smile, the only thing that makes a person noticeably high is their red eyes. It is one of the most common physical symptoms of getting high, but what makes the red eyes exactly? It’s a little peculiar that red eyes are something experienced by almost everyone who smokes.
Well, if you think getting red eyes is a bad thing, then you are mistaken. The red-eye phenomenon has also been linked to the reason that cannabis is recommended to patients with glaucoma. So what is it exactly that causes you to come out of a smoke session with it written in their eyes?
Some suggest that it could, in fact, be an allergy to the smoke of cannabis that causes red eyes. According to some studies, there are people out there who are allergic to cannabis. Even those who smoke tobacco even experience red eyes sometimes, so this could naturally suggest that the eyes are uncomfortable with having smoke in them.
Even though this idea is not so far out, it still doesn’t explain why we get red eyes even if we eat weed or vaporize it (check out the DaVinci IQ2 Vaporizer). Even those stoners who prefer to ingest their cannabis through tinctures, oils or edibles experience the red-eye phenomenon. So steering clear of smoking doesn’t mean you can run away from it.
The most likely explanation for what causes red eyes in people that use cannabis is the famous main ingredient of cannabis itself – THC. One of the things that THC does in the body is that it decreases blood pressure, causing a dilation of blood vessels and capillaries. For the eyes, in particular, this causes a dilation of the ocular capillaries, encouraging the blood flow through the eyes and effectively causing red eyes.
It is this function of THC that makes it good medicine for glaucoma patients. Even though it doesn’t completely cure their condition, it helps them live with the symptoms without the threat of losing their sight. The pressure that builds as a result of glaucoma is relieved through cannabis use, and it is this very property of cannabis that causes one to have red eyes.
Photo via The Daily Beast
When you eat an edible, it takes longer for the THC to reach your brain than when you smoke or vape. This means that your eyes won’t turn red as quickly, even if you’ve eaten a substantial amount of the product. But they will, eventually.
When you smoke or vape cannabis, THC goes into your lungs, quickly passes through the membranes lining your lungs, and moves directly to the bloodstream. With edibles, whatever delicacy you choose to eat, your body will thank you for it because the edibles go through a couple of stages before reaching your bloodstream.
First, the THC needs to reach the stomach and gets digested. Once your THC edible has been absorbed into your stomach, it can be challenging to understand what’s happening next. This is because the liver will begin processing the incoming THC before sending it on to your small intestine and then to the rest of your body.
Your liver metabolizes THC to 11 hydroxy THC, a metabolite that can reach the brain quickly. 11-hydroxy-THC makes you feel high faster and longer than regular THC.
What you need to know is that red eyes are a fact of life when you’re consuming high levels of THC. If you want to enjoy the benefits of THC, you might want to do it at home, where you don’t have to deal with stares from the public or coworkers, and where having red eyes is cool.
So, having red eyes is not actually a bad sign. It’s a sign that the cannabis you are using is doing one of the medicinal things it is meant to do. However, there is still, unfortunately, a stigma attached to having red eyes, because it is almost always associated with cannabis use. So how then to avoid telling the whole world you just smoked a joint through your red eyes?
In general, if you haven’t completely smoked yourself into oblivion (in which case you probably don’t feel like going out anyway), then red eyes will only last a couple of hours. You could always just wait. The alternative is to turn to the kinds of eyedrops they sell in the pharmacy for red eyes.
Clear Eyes are definitely a good addition to your smoking kit, just in case. You could also turn to the kinds of foods that constrict the blood vessels again, such as caffeine and chocolate.
How do you deal with having red eyes? Hit us up in IG and let us know!