One of the most prevalent effects of marijuana use, often serving as a noticeable indication that someone has recently consumed it, is the reddening of the eyes but why does weed make your eyes red? While this phenomenon may initially cause concern, particularly among those unfamiliar with cannabis, it is important to understand that there are no significant health hazards associated with this temporary condition. Contrary to popular belief, your red eyes are not a result of smoking itself.
The presence of bloodshot eyes after using marijuana has intrigued countless enthusiasts over the years, prompting them to ponder the underlying cause. For those new to cannabis, the appearance of red eyes may even lead to anxiety-driven internet searches questioning whether smoking weed can harm the eyes. Fortunately, seasoned cannabis users can reassure novices that this occurrence does not pose any serious risks or complications, such as an allergic reaction or damage to the eyes.
It is worth noting that the redness of the eyes following marijuana consumption is entirely natural and unrelated to the act of smoking. While some individuals may playfully tease or criticize those displaying their “weed eyes” in public, it is essential to understand that this occurrence is a common physiological response that takes place after using cannabis.
What Happens Inside and Why Is It Red
Upon consuming cannabis in various forms such as flower, concentrate, or edibles, individuals commonly experience an elevation in heart rate and blood pressure. This physiological response can be attributed to the presence of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant responsible for its therapeutic and medicinal properties. When cannabinoids interact with the body, they initiate this increase in heart rate and blood pressure. It is important to note that this effect is comparable to the physiological changes observed during activities like exercise or sexual intercourse.
Typically, it takes approximately five to ten minutes for users’ heart rates to return to their baseline levels, and at the same time, their blood pressure starts to decline. As the blood pressure decreases, the blood vessels and tiny capillaries, including those in the eyes, begin to dilate. This dilation of ocular capillaries leads to an augmented blood flow towards the eyes, which subsequently causes the noticeable reddening of the eyes. It is worth mentioning that this dilation also contributes to a reduction in intraocular pressure.
Therefore, the redness of the eyes commonly associated with cannabis use is a direct consequence of the increased blood flow to the ocular region, caused by the dilation of ocular capillaries. This physiological process, while giving rise to the red appearance of the eyes, is also associated with a decrease in intraocular pressure, which can have potential benefits for individuals with certain eye conditions.