Red eyes are the telltale sign of a stoner. Does smoking CBD cause the same easily recognizable effect? Find out if CBD makes your eyes red in this guide. Is CBD responsible for red eyes? Why does THC cause this effect, and what are the fundamental differences between these two cannabinoids? Smoking a joint or two can definitely cause the tell-tale red eyes. But does CBD also cause red eyes, and if so, how can you avoid it? We'll tell you!
Does CBD Make Your Eyes Red?
THC use has become a lot more prevalent over the last few years. That doesn’t necessarily mean, however, you want to be identified as a stoner just because you use CBD.
Even though having red eyes isn’t dangerous, it’s understandable that you’d like to know whether smoking or vaping CBD is likely to make your eyes red. Find out whether CBD will make your eyes red, and discover some of the key differences between smoking THC and smoking CBD.
Why do some cannabis products make your eyes red?
Since the dawn of stoner culture, having red eyes has been considered a telltale sign that you’ve recently partaken of reefer. Even though the average cannabis smoker has no idea why weed makes your eyes red, their bloodshot, swollen eyeballs have either been exhibited as objects of pride or desperately hidden from law enforcement officers.
Why does Cannabis sativa make your eyes red, though? Many cannabis smokers would guess that weed smoke gets in your eyes and makes them irritated. If that’s the case, however, why don’t cigarettes or campfires do the same thing?
To find the answer, we need to turn back time to the early days of the medical cannabis movement in the United States. American culture was far more averse to cannabis then than it is now, but voters and legislators were still swayed by the evidence that medical weed could help with serious conditions.
The role of glaucoma in medical cannabis
The first medical cannabis patients in California and other early-adopter states sought help with chemotherapy-induced nausea and terminal illnesses. In some cases, they also used medical cannabis for glaucoma , an ocular condition that causes swelling in the eyeballs.
Somewhat ironically, glaucoma can make your eyes red. There’s nothing funny, though, about the damage this condition dealsa to your optic nerves over time, potentially leading to blindness.
At the root of glaucoma is increased intraocular pressure, which is in turn caused by ocular hypertension. Wherever it occurs in your body, high blood pressure can wreak havoc and lead to severe medical conditions, and in the case of glaucoma, hypertension can take away your sight.
Early advocates of medical cannabis treatment for glaucoma didn’t recommend weed because it gets you high, allowing a brief blissful respite from sober awareness of your swollen eyeballs and deteriorating optic nerves. On the contrary, they suggested that cannabis might have vasodilatory properties .
Because THC makes your veins expand, it can reduce intraocular pressure and help with glaucoma. By widening the capillaries in your eyes, however, marijuana also allows blood to flood into your peepers, making your red ocular capillaries stand out more than usual.
So no, your eyes don’t get red after you smoke weed because you got smoke in your eyes or you have the munchies. It’s for the same reason that cannabis helps with glaucoma — THC is a vasodilator that increases blood flow throughout your body.
Does CBD make your eyes red like THC?
If THC makes your eyes red because it is a vasodilator, does CBD do the same thing? To answer this question, let’s take a look at research into the cardiovascular effects of CBD and note the anecdotal evidence on subject.
Quite a few CBD users have noted eye redness after smoking CBD or ingesting this cannabinoid in another way. In some cases, these symptoms can be attributed to ingesting CBD products that also contain THC.
Certain red-eyed CBD users insist, however, that they ingested CBD product types that only contain cannabidiol without THC.
The available evidence on CBD and intraocular blood pressure seems to conflict with this anecdotal testimony. While clinical research has been conducted into the potential vasodilatory effects of CBD , research indicates that this cannabinoid might increase intraocular blood pressure , not lower it.
So far, the evidence on CBD and intraocular pressure is too limited to reach any firm conclusions. Based on what we do know, however, it’s extremely unlikely that smoking CBD or ingesting this cannabinoid another way will make your eyes red.
Lots of things aside from CBD can make your eyes red, however. Allergies, illnesses, and other factors can irritate your eyes, and vasodilators aside from THC can also increase ocular blood flow.
These alternative factors might help explain cases in which people who used CBD experienced eye reddening despite the fact that this cannabinoid does not share the vasodilatory properties of THC.
Other differences between smoking CBD and THC
The eye redness associated with THC certainly occurs in tandem with this cannabinoid’s intoxicating effects. THC doesn’t make your eyes red because it gets you high, though.
If you want to avoid getting high and keep your eyes from getting red at the same time, you might want to try smoking CBD instead of THC. Unlike THC, CBD won’t get you high no matter how much CBD-rich hemp flower you smoke.
This means that smoking CBD also doesn’t cause anxiety or any other common side effects of THC. Existing research hasn’t found that CBD has any habit-forming properties, and it doesn’t even appear to give you the munchies.
In general, smoking CBD is a much more relaxing and mild experience than smoking THC. While THC provides you with an initial rush of euphoria, this sense of intoxication undeniably alters your mental state.
Smoking CBD, on the other hand, offers all the delicious aromas and flavors of Cannabis sativa without getting you high. Even better, CBD doesn’t appear to have any serious side effects , so you can enjoy this cannabinoid without worrying about damaging your health.
As if all these advantages weren’t enough, you’ve learned in this guide that CBD also won’t give you red eyes. Smoke CBD flower content in the knowledge that you won’t feel high and no one will accuse you of smoking weed based on the color of your eyes.
Will smoking CBD make your eyes red?
Your eyes might become red after using CBD even though this cannabinoid isn’t a vasodilator. By law, CBD flower can only contain negligible THC concentrations, but even that might be enough to cause ocular vasodilation in some people.
It’s also possible to be allergic to specific terpenes, flavonoids, or other compounds in hemp flower. In the end, you might just be the kind of person whose eyes are sensitive to smoke.
There doesn’t appear to be anything in this type of hemp product that will increase ocular blood flow. Still, we won’t 100% guarantee that CBD flower won’t give you red eyes.
THC is such a potent ocular vasodilator that it’s used for glaucoma to this day, but CBD doesn’t share these qualities. If you have any lingering questions about CBD making your eyes red, contact us , and check out our other guides in the Shared Secrets blog .
CBD eye redness FAQ
Still concerned about CBD making your eyes low? Check out these quick answers to popular CBD ocular questions:
1. Does CBD affect your eyes?
It’s possible that CBD might worsen existing cases of glaucoma . This potential side effect intriguingly delineates the differences between CBD and THC — while the medical cannabis movement was largely founded around the utility of THC for glaucoma, CBD might actually be counterproductive to glaucoma treatment.
It’s worth remembering, however, that only one study has shown CBD might lead to an increase in intraocular pressure in patients who already have glaucoma. These results haven’t been corroborated by followup research.
2. Is CBD good for cataracts?
There’s no scientific evidence that CBD might help with cataracts. The development of cataracts appears to be related to oxidative stress , and the impact of CBD on oxidative stress and inflammation has been well-researched . It’s unclear if CBD helps with the same types of oxidative stress involved in cataracts, however.
3. What are the side effects of CBD?
We’re still learning about how CBD affects the body. At present, no serious side effects of CBD have been identified, but this CBD might make you sleepy or experience digestive discomfort.
CBD can also interact negatively with certain prescription medications. Consider consulting with your doctor before trying CBD if you’re concerned about drug interactions.
Can CBD make your eyes red?
In the collective imagination, cannabis is associated with red eyes and a cerebral high. Marijuana smokers can even be easily identified by their red, ringed eyes, euphoria, and drowsiness. The only problem is that red eyes are a side effect of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Unlike THC, cannabidiol (CBD) does not cause red, inflamed, watery eyes. This side effect usually occurs after consuming a product with a very high THC content.
You’re probably wondering why CBD doesn’t make your eyes red like THC, even though both cannabinoids come from the same plant. Why one and not the other? What is the difference between THC and CBD? Why does THC cause red eyes and what can be done about it? All the answers to your questions about CBD and red eye can be found in this article.
Why is CBD not responsible for red eyes?
Therapeutic cannabis can relieve many pains, alleviate stress and anxiety, and help you get a good night’s sleep. Indeed, it is able to affect mood, appetite, pain, sleep, and many other parameters to regulate your body. But when it comes to red eyes, THC is the only molecule responsible.
This is because THC lowers blood pressure and dilates blood vessels, which causes small blood vessels to appear in the eyes. This high blood flow is manifested by red, irritated and watery eyes. A look often associated with cannabis smokers.
That said, CBD is a cannabinoid that does not act like THC. CBD doesn’t cause that rush of blood to the eyes, so it’s not responsible for red eyes. But the difference between CBD and THC does not end there. To fully understand, it seems essential to know the fundamental differences between these two molecules.
The difference between CBD and THC
Hemp lovers have always consumed THC. This molecule, naturally present in cannabis plants, causes psychoactive effects that are highly appreciated by some people, yet illegal. Without human intervention, cannabis has a THC content that predominates over CBD. In some countries, THC can be used for medical purposes. Although THC is still prohibited in France because of its psychoactive effects, its potential should not be underestimated, nor should we stigmatize consumers who may find it a source of relief.
Over time and genetic crossbreeding, some varieties with high CBD content have emerged. Today, products marketed with CBD do not contain THC. They are therefore completely devoid of psychoactive and euphoric effects. CBD allows you to relax, relieve physical pain and sleep well, without altering your physical and mental state, and without any danger to your health.
How does CBD work on the body?
At first glance, THC and CBD look very similar. But if you take a closer look at them, the way they work and their effects are totally different. One of the biggest differences is the chemical structure of CBD, which contains an extra combination of oxygen and hydrogen. This extra layer allows the multiple benefits of cannabis to be enjoyed without disrupting cognitive abilities.
From scientific research, we know that CBD is intimately linked to the endocannabinoid system. Thus, it regulates the body in a beneficial and non-aggressive way. Among these beneficial effects, we can mention the regulation of sleep and mood, the relief of physical pain and mental tension. The dilation of blood vessels and the appearance of red eyes are not part of the effects of CBD.
Why do THC users have red eyes?
As previously explained, the main reason why THC users get red eyes is because of the dilation of blood vessels, especially the blood flow to the eyes. The higher the level of THC, the greater the effect.
The eyes can also become red from tobacco smoke, which is often very irritating. Smoke that enters the sinuses can also make this problem worse. This explains why smokers of cannabis in joint form have red eyes much more easily.
CBD and red eyes: beware of scams!
You have consumed CBD and you have red eyes? You should ask yourself questions about the origin of the product you bought. If your CBD came from a friend or an uncertified seller, you may have consumed THC without your knowledge. In fact, if you have experienced a cerebral high, a great euphoria and an almost uncontrollable urge to sleep, you can be sure that you have taken cannabis with THC.
Normally, all CBD products that you can find on the internet or in a physical shop are subject to numerous quality controls and must meet very strict European standards. By going through a reputable and certified seller, you are guaranteed to get a product rich in CBD and totally free of THC. To conclude, always be vigilant about the origin of the products you consume to avoid unpleasant surprises.
How to get rid of red eyes?
However, if you have been consuming THC or using CBD with tobacco, you probably want to get rid of those unsightly and slightly painful red eyes. To relieve the inflammation and get back to healthy eyes, here are some tips:
- Use eye drops: Putting a few eye drops in your eyes will quickly and effectively relieve the inflammation, while reducing the red, irritated appearance.
- Consume vasoconstrictors: Certain foods such as chocolate, coffee, and salt help counteract the dilation of blood vessels by narrowing them.
- Be patient: Red eyes never stay red for long. Sometimes all it takes is a little rest to make red eyes go away. In the meantime, avoid exposure to screens and sunlight for a few hours, as this may make the condition worse.
Are red eyes bad for my health?
Red eyes are unsightly and sometimes painful, but they are not dangerous to your health. As long as it doesn’t prevent you from going about your daily business, there’s nothing to be alarmed about. However, if this problem persists and does not seem to be improving, you should see a doctor to find out what is causing the problem. As a reminder, it is very unlikely that CBD is responsible for the appearance of red eyes.
Is CBD completely legal?
Yes, CBD is completely legal as long as the finished product does not contain THC and it meets all the current European standards. CBD is not considered a narcotic, doping or psychoactive product. The French law authorizes its marketing under certain conditions: the cultivated cannabis plants must not contain more than 0.2% THC and the finished product must not contain any. THC, however, is still illegal in France. Its marketing and use can be punished by law. All the more reason to choose your CBD products carefully!
Do CBD Edibles Make Your Eyes Red?
Stereotypes indicate that red or bloodshot eyes are a tell-tale sign of a well-smoked blunt. However, while this is a generalisation at best, it’s rooted in truth. Marijuana can, in fact, cause red eyes – but can CBD do the same?
Studies indicate that THC could be the reason for red eyes. At CBD Village, however, we consider ourselves industry experts. Therefore, today, we’ll explore the idea of CBD – and whether it can cause red, bloodshot eyes.
Can My CBD Edibles Cause Red Eyes?
Here, the short answer is no – CBD edibles cannot cause bloodshot eyes. This means that you can safely consume your CBD gummies or capsules without fear of those bloodshot eyes.
However, it’s also important to remember that CBD can sometimes cause dry eyes. While this is a fairly rare side-effect, it could affect you – especially if your eyes are rather sensitive. In this case, you might be inclined to rub at your eyes, causing them to turn bloodshot.
Here, you should note that these bloodshot eyes occur due to physical irritation and broken blood vessels. These red eyes aren’t caused by CBD at all. In this case, what causes red eyes?
THC – The Real Culprit
Studies show that THC could be behind those bloodshot eyes. Apparently, marijuana consumption can lower your blood pressure. This, in turn, can dilate and widen the blood vessels in your eyes.
Wider blood vessels mean increased blood flow to your eyes. Therefore, this is what causes red eyes – that complete and total giveaway.
While you might think that smoking a joint or two can cause red eyes, they certainly aren’t the only culprits. In fact, consuming THC in any way, shape, or form can cause this to occur. Due to this, we can conclude that it’s THC – not CBD – behind those red eyes.
Help; I Only Consume CBD, but I Still Have Red Eyes!
Sometimes, you may experience red or bloodshot eyes after consuming CBD. Here, we should reiterate – on its own, CBD cannot cause red eyes. However, there could be a few other factors that cause red eyes.
Smoking and Vaping Can Cause Bloodshot Eyes
First, red eyes could be due to your method of ingestion. For example, smoke and vapour could contribute to bloodshot eyes. Therefore, when you smoke CBD flower, or use CBD e-liquid in your vape pen, this could contribute to red, watery eyes.
In addition to this, sensitive eyes could also play a factor here. When your eyes are sensitive, they could be more susceptible to external factors – including smoke and vapour. A smoky environment could cause red, watery eyes.
In this case, we’d recommend smoking your CBD flower, or puffing on your vape pen in a well-ventilated area. This will draw the smoke or vapour away from your eyes, helping you avoid bloodshot, watery eyes. Additionally, you could also change your consumption method.
Instead of smoking CBD flower, or utilising your vape pen, consider taking an alternative. For example, a CBD oil or tincture could go a long way, in terms of bioavailability. Plus, with this method, you’ll be able to avoid red eyes!
Your CBD Edible Could Contain THC
You might think that you’re consuming a THC-free CBD edible – so why are your eyes still red? Well, it could all come down to your product of choice. In the UK and Ireland, the CBD industry is still largely unregulated.
While the government is trying to implement proper guidelines around CBD products, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Plus, with multiple new businesses popping up every month, the CBD boom is well underway. However, this also means that you might be consuming an unregulated CBD product.
If your product of choice isn’t tested at a third-party lab, then it could still contain THC. With the number of unregulated CBD products on the market, this is becoming a fairly common situation. Earlier, we mentioned that THC – in any form – can cause red eyes.
Therefore, your CBD tincture, or gummies of choice, could contain large amounts of THC. This, in turn, could lead to red or bloodshot eyes. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid this.
First, we’d recommend buying your CBD edibles from a reputable retailer. This will help avoid unregulated CBD products, which could result in red eyes.
Before making a purchase, look for a company with its Novel Foods certifications in order. This will help establish that you’re buying and consuming a government-approved, established CBD product. Generally, these products will only contain trace amounts of THC – perfect for avoiding bloodshot eyes!
We’d also recommend purchasing third-party lab-tested products. These products usually come with Certificates of Analysis (COAs). By browsing these certificates, you’ll be able to tell just how much CBD they contain – and whether or not they contain THC.
With this method, you’ll be able to confirm that you’re buying and consuming THC-free CBD products, effectively dodging watery, red eyes!
So, CBD Doesn’t Cause Red Eyes… but Are There Any Other Side Effects?
By now, we’ve established that CBD isn’t to blame for red eyes. However, it could have some other side effects. While side effects from CBD consumption are fairly rare – especially when you buy from a reputable business, they can still occur.
Here are two of the most common:
- Feelings of exhaustion: Many people take CBD as a sleep aid. While we need more studies to properly conclude its effectiveness, it can sometimes cause feelings of sleepiness and exhaustion. If you experience this with your regular CBD dose, consider changing your consumption method. You can also take a CBD dose just before bedtime!
- Appetite changes: CBD could also play a role in feelings of hunger. Some people report that it increases their appetite, while others say that it suppresses it. If CBD increases your appetite, why not take a dose just before mealtimes? You could also have a selection of healthy snacks on hand – fruit, yoghurt, and protein bars all make tasty treats. However, if CBD decreases your appetite, take your dose right after mealtime, which will help ensure that you don’t skip meals.
In addition to these side effects, CBD could also interact with some medication. To safely consume CBD, discuss its use with your doctor, highlighting any other forms of medication you already take. Once your doctor gives you the green light, you’re good to go!
The Final Word on CBD and Red Eyes
On its own, a CBD edible won’t cause red eyes. However, there are some circumstances where CBD consumption can lead to bloodshot, watery eyes. For example, you might be accidentally consuming THC with your CBD. Your CBD smoke or vapour could also be affecting your eyes.
To avoid accidentally consuming THC, we’d recommend purchasing your CBD edibles from a reputable supplier. Certain online shops – like us, at CBD Village – work to procure and stock the best CBD products on the market. By doing this, we ensure that our customers only get the best CBD options – third-party tested and ready to ship.
As for avoiding smoke and vapour, we’ve got hundreds of other options. Choose from tinctures and teas to creams and capsules – at CBD Village, the choice is yours. Browse our CBD selection right here on the website, and maybe even pick up a new CBD product or two!