THC has become a lot more commonplace in society over the last few years, but that doesn’t mean you want to be considered 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 CBD or using this cannabinoid any other way is likely to make your eyes red. In this guide, learn whether CBD will make your eyes red, and discover some of the key differences between smoking THC and smoking CBD.
Why do some types of Cannabis sativa 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. Despite the fact that 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 marijuana movement in the United States. Despite the fact that American culture was far more averse to cannabis then than it is now, voters and thought leaders were swayed by the evidence that medical weed could help with serious conditions. The first medical marijuana patients in California and other early-adopter states sought help with chemotherapy-induced nausea, terminal illnesses, and, in some cases, glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an ocular condition that causes swelling in the eyeballs. Somewhat ironically, glaucoma can make your eyes red, but there’s nothing funny about the fact that this condition gradually damages your optic nerves and can even cause you to go blind.
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 marijuana treatment for glaucoma didn’t recommend weed because it gets you high and makes you forget about your painful, swollen eyeballs and deteriorating optic nerves. On the contrary, they suggested that glaucoma patients ingest cannabis because of its documented 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. THC is such a potent vasodilator, in fact, that it can make your eyes positively swell with blood.
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, we’ll need to take a look at research into the cardiovascular effects of CBD and the anecdotal evidence that has amassed around this subject.
It can’t be denied that 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, but certain red-eyed CBD users swear that they ingested CBD isolate or other product types that only contain cannabidiol without THC.
However, 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.
Unfortunately, only a very limited amount of research has been conducted into the vasodilatory properties of CBD, and as with all arenas of science, studies must be replicated to confirm their results. 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 any other 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
While the eye redness associated with THC usually occurs in tandem with this cannabinoid’s intoxicating effects, THC doesn’t make your eyes red because it gets you high. If you want to avoid getting high and keep your eyes from getting red at the same time, however, 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 won’t make you hallucinate, panic, or develop delusions of grandeur. Even smoking CBD long-term won’t result in psychological or physiological addiction since this cannabinoid isn’t habit-forming, and CBD also won’t give you the munchies.
In general, smoking CBD is a much more relaxing, mild, and centering experience than smoking THC. While THC provides you with an initial rush of euphoria, this sense of intoxication can alter your mental state and lead to addiction.
Smoking CBD, on the other hand, offers all the delicious aromas and flavors of Cannabis sativa without getting you high or leading to dependence. 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 that no one will accuse you of getting high based on the color of your eyes.
Will smoking CBD make your eyes red?
There are tons of different factors that might make your eyes red after using CBD even though this cannabinoid isn’t a vasodilator. By law, CBD flower must contain less than 0.3% THC, but for some people, this tiny amount of THC might cause enough vasodilation to make your eyes slightly red. Plus, you might be allergic to certain terpenes, flavonoids, or other compounds in hemp flower, and you might just be the kind of person whose eyes are sensitive to smoke.So, we won’t guarantee that CBD flower won’t give you red eyes even though there doesn’t appear to be anything in this type of hemp product that will increase ocular blood flow. THC is such a great 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 at any time, and check out the other guides in the Secret Nature blog for excellent educational materials on all things CBD.