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Why does weed make your eyes red?

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Contents

  1. Under pressure: lower blood pressure and dilated capillaries
  2. Do edibles make your eyes red?
  3. The redder the better?

Among the most common effects of marijuana use (and telltale signs you’ve recently partaken) is red, bloodshot eyes. It’s to be expected, sure, but that doesn’t answer the mysterious question pondered by generations of stoners: why does weed make your eyes red?

For weed novices, the onset of bloodshot eyes could cause a panic-induced internet search asking “ can smoking weed damage your eyes? ” Thankfully, as those who regularly consume cannabis can tell new users, there are no serious health risks associated with your sudden red-eyed circumstance. You’re probably not experiencing an allergic reaction or some bigger complication. Some might poke fun or chastise you for sporting your so-called “ weed eyes ” in public, but otherwise, it’s a completely natural occurrence that transpires after smoking cannabis.

In fact, your eyes turning red has nothing to do with the act of smoking at all.

Under pressure: lower blood pressure and dilated capillaries

After consuming a cannabis-based product (flower, concentrate, edible, etc.), users generally experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. This effect is due to the plant’s cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds responsible for some of the therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis, and their initial interaction with the body. This rise in blood pressure and heart rate is comparable to normal physical activities like exercise or sex.

It generally takes about five to ten minutes for users’ heart rates to return to normal and for blood pressure to begin to decrease. As the blood pressure lowers, the blood vessels and capillaries dilate, including the ocular capillaries . The dilation of ocular capillaries causes increased blood flow to the eyes, which results in your eyes turning red and also reduces intraocular pressure.

The dilation of ocular capillaries causes increased blood flow to the eyes, which results in your eyes turning red in the process, and also reduces intraocular pressure. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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In fact, according to Dr. Melanie Bone, a board-certified OB-GYN who practices in West Palm Beach, Florida, “It’s cannabis’ ability to reduce intraocular pressure in the eyes that makes it a potentially viable treatment for glaucoma , a group of eye disorders that causes damage to the optic nerves which can eventually lead to blindness. It also happens to explain why your eyes become bloodshot after smoking cannabis.”

Evidence that the THC found in cannabis can lower intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major reason why many glaucoma patients have attempted to use medical marijuana to treat and relieve symptoms of the disease. It’s important to know that some studies have contradicted or added a caveat to the claim that cannabis is beneficial for glaucoma. For instance, a 2018 study conducted at Indiana University found that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in marijuana, could potentially worsen the condition by increasing eye pressure . More research into the use of cannabis for glaucoma treatment is needed.

Do edibles make your eyes red?

Similar to smoking cannabis, ingesting edibles could also make your eyes turn red. Again, this depends on the amount of THC consumed. Remember, it’s not the smoke itself that makes your eyes red, but rather the ability that cannabinoids have to lower blood pressure, causing blood vessels and capillaries to dilate.

The redder the better?

The amount your blood pressure is lowered and how red your eyes become depends on the amount of THC you consume.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most common cannabinoid in the plant, is responsible for the intoxication associated with smoking cannabis. The greater the concentration of THC in a cannabis product, the stronger the effects and the redder your eyes become.

The greater the concentration of THC in a cannabis product, the stronger the effects and the redder your eyes become.

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So, red eyes can act as a sign that your cannabis has a high cannabinoid content (i.e., it’s potent). In other words, if your eyes are noticeably bloodshot after consumption, there’s a good chance you’ve landed yourself some highly potent weed.

Other than being a dead giveaway that you’ve recently consumed cannabis, you have no reason to be concerned about the redness of your eyes. Cannabis-induced eye redness will typically only last a few hours and can easily resolve if you have the right tools at your disposal.

It isn’t a bad idea to have eye drops (or some sunglasses) on hand. Look for eye drop brands that are specifically designed to reduce eye redness. There are other methods that could potentially help combat cannabis-induced bloodshot eyes, including staying hydrated, washing your face and eyelids with cold water, or simply consuming cannabis products with lower THC levels.

Ever wonder why using marijuana or cannabis makes your eyes red or bloodshot? Discover why weed gives you bloodshot eyes.

Red Weed

Red Weed

Biological classification

Homeworld

Found on

Habitat

Specifications

Other nutritional info

Effects

Red Weed (also referred to as the Red Creeper) is a Plant-like organism from Mars that spread during the invasion of earth. It is uncertain whether it was introduced intentionally, or by accident.

The plant was one of several carried over from Mars but it was the only one that was able to spread across the countryside, coloring the affected areas with a red tint. The dominance of red over green in Martian flora is thought to be what gives Mars it’s red color.

Red Weed in the novel is composed of stubby fingers, resembling small cacti, and, when underwater, wide fronds, resembling Lilly pads. Red weed can grow to a height of at least six feet on land, and can rapidly clog waterways, hiding bridges, and causing widespread flooding. The red weed is apparently edible, though it has a sickly metallic taste.

After about fourteen days, the red weed began to develop white patches which eventually spread, and made the plants increasingly brittle until they crumbled into powder. It is assumed that this was caused by a bacterial infection, similar to that which brought down the Martians. The narrator notes that six years after the invasion, the red weed is no longer present anywhere.

Other Versions Edit

In the 1978 musical of War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne the red weed is portrayed as having claw like leaves and the ability to creep along the ground, whith the journalist likening it to an animal.

Fast moving, or growing red weeds with a voracious appetite for human flesh appear occasionally in comic books, and other incarnations of the movie, but since the narrator walked through the red weed unharmed several times in H.G. Well’s original novel, this does not seem to have been his intent.

In the The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume Two, Red Weed is being grown on earth again after the invasion, supposedly in order to lubricate the martian technology that has now become common. Large fields of it are seen in the north of Great Britain.

In the 2005 adaptation of War of the Worlds by Steven Spielberg, the red weed is portrayed as a form of fast-growing vine and is clearly intentional. The plant is brought by the alien invaders to be used to aeriform or mark their territory on Earth, and possibly be used as a food source. The plant is fertilized by using processed human, or, in some possible cases, animal blood, which could be manufactured by a standard Tripod. The end substance is then sprayed across the areas intended for red weed growth, and the plants quickly grow on it. Near the end (like in the book) the red weed turns white and can be crushed to dust before it can be closely examined. Speculation from an SFX magazine suggests that the red weed was originally intended to be used as a breeding medium for the aliens, before the design team changed it to vine-like design. This speculation is also backed up by some concept art for the movie.

In the War of the Worlds graphic Novel, Red Weed is dropped as bio-weapon bombs from Flying Machines. they land on, and grow voraciously, on one unfortunate character.

In the 1998 video game, martians seed conquered territories with Red Weed. It serves no gameplay purpose other than to designate martian controlled land.

Red Weed (also referred to as the Red Creeper) is a Plant-like organism from Mars that spread during the invasion of earth. It is uncertain whether it was introduced intentionally, or by accident. The plant was one of several carried over from Mars but it was the only one that was able to spread…