Bloodshot, red-rimmed eyes are a telltale sign that someone’s been hitting their ganja. But does it happen to everyone? And WHY does it happen at all?

We can answer that.

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Get Red?

The primary reason your eyes turn red after smoking weed is because THC lowers your blood pressure. As this occurs, the blood vessels and capillaries within your eyes dilate, making them stand out. This increases the blood flow to your eyes, giving them a powerful boost of oxygen and nutrients and big, red veins. The dilation of your ‘ocular capillaries, as they’re technically called, also reduces intraocular pressure.

It’s these effects of cannabis that also make it an effective supportive treatment for glaucoma. Who knew?

Why Do Some People Get Red Eyes While Others Don’t?

There are a couple reasons that red eyes can vary from individual to individual.

Some of us are more susceptible. Some of us are affected more strongly by THC than others. Also, some of us metabolize marijuana very quickly. Just as marijuana can affect us all a little differently mentally and physically, the same is also true for our eyes. Some of us can count on red eyes every time we consume, while for the rest of us it comes and goes.

You may take bigger hits than other people. If you’re taking huge hits, you will have more THC in your system. Others who consume less will be less likely to develop red eyes.

You’ve got good quality cannabis. Good quality weed that’s fresh has a higher concentration of THC than older, dried herb. Also, choosing a product from a premium weed store, like ours, instead of a back-alley grunge shop, will likely offer a high quality as well.

You choose high THC strains. The higher the amount of THC in your strain, the more likely you’ll be to develop dilated blood vessels in your eyes. If you want to toke up, but avoid red eyes, such as before an event, choose a lower THC strain instead. Or, just make sure to have some eye drops on hand.

And just so you know, the way you consume doesn’t really make a difference. It’s a myth that only smoking makes your eyes red. All forms of consumption, from edible to vaping to dabbing, can produce red eyes because the factor causing them stays the same — consumption of THC!


Then Again, You May Be Allergic

It is possible to have an allergic reaction to cannabis, or to smoke in general. Red eyes may be one part of the side effects you experience if this is the case. If you want to know for sure, you can get tested, but a good indication is a universal reaction to all smoke, whether marijuana, wood fires, tobacco, or even incense.

If you think you may be allergic to cannabis, stop consuming immediately and consult a health professional. The same is true for those who suffer from low blood pressure — consult a doctor before consuming. (Which, just to be clear, is definitely not us.)

How To Get Rid of Red Eyes

Because lowered blood pressure is a good thing for most of us, and the dilated ocular vessels are beneficial as well, we’d suggest that you don’t ‘fix the issue’. It’s not really an issue.

But, if it makes you uncomfortable or you need to erase the evidence, there are a few tricks we know to minimize red eye.

  1. Purchase eyes drops designed to reduce eye redness. Keep some in your bathroom cupboard, your purse or backpack, and your car so you’ve always got some on hand.
  2. Drink more water! Staying hydrated will alleviate any eye dryness that accompanies the redness.
  3. Reach for low or no THC strains. Strains that are low in THC and high in CBD include Harlequin, ACDC, Ringo’s Gift, Stephen Hawking Kush, Canna-tonic, Harle-Tsu, and Canna-Tsu.
  4. Plan for it. If you know that red eyes are likely to happen, don’t sweat it. Plan your smoking sessions when you’ve got a lazy day at home where red eyes aren’t going to bother anyone — much less you.

Find Premium Marijuana Stores in Seattle

Seattle is a weed hot-spot for tourists and residents. There are many weed stores to be found scattered throughout the area. Our own marijuana store in Seattle, Diego Pellicer, is located in SODO, or South Seattle.

We have a variety of marijuana products available for every buyer. Whether you want to splurge on some top-shelf products, or if you’re just looking for your affordable favorites, our budtenders are here to help you out.

Contact us now to have us prep your order before you arrive, or just to ask questions. And the next time you glance in the mirror and see bloodshot eyes? Enjoy the fact that your smoke sesh is also helping you take care of those eyes!