Weed Eyes – The Secret Behind Red Eyes and Weed

weed eyes

One of the most telltale signs of being high is weed eyes. Whether you choose to imbibe in everyone’s favourite plant through smoking, vaping, or edible consumption; red and bloodshot eyes are a symptom of getting high that everyone should expect.

But with that being said, why does getting high turn your eyes red in the first place? Some more green-horned smokers might even wonder “can smoking weed damage your eyes?” 

Fortunately, tokers new to the experience don’t have anything to worry about. While the sight of red and bloodshot eyes can be alarming, it’s no cause for concern, and we’ll explain why in a second!

What Are Weed Eyes?

weed red eyes

Weed eyes are part of a suite of symptoms that happens to the human body after cannabis is consumed. Along with cotton mouth, hunger, and feelings of euphoria, weed eyes is a natural phenomenon that occurs whenever cannabis in any of its form is consumed. There’s a reason why so many tokers carry around eye drops in their stash box, after all! 

What Causes Weed Eyes? Why Does Weed Make My Eyes Turn Red?

Your eyes turning red after tokin’ on some ganja isn’t actually due to the weed itself. Instead, consuming THC can increase heart rate and blood pressure, causing this redness.

THC and other cannabinoids within weed bind to the body’s endocannabinoid system, a natural bodily system that manages the levels of natural cannabinoids within our bodies. 

The ECS is responsible for managing many different bodily functions including hunger, energy, libido and even mood. 

When external cannabinoids enter our ECS through the consumption of weed, the increase in cannabinoids causes our blood pressure to increase as well. 

However, this change in pressure doesn’t last long and usually returns to normal in 10 minutes to half an hour. However, as our blood pressure lowers, the blood vessels and capillaries that transport blood throughout our bodies dilate and increase in size.

Human eyes have ocular capillaries. When these capillaries dilate due to increased blood flow, they turn red and become easier to see! 

So, the dilation of blood vessels from consuming cannabinoids is the reason why our eyes turn red, and while many tokers find this facet of smoking annoying, weed’s ability to turn our eyes red might actually be a good thing according to some scientists. 

According to Dr. Melanie Bone, the ability of weed to reduce intraocular pressure within our eyes is the reason why cannabis is such a good treatment for glaucoma.

Glaucoma is an eye disorder that damages the eye’s optic nerves and eventually leads to blindness, which also explains why our eyes become bloodshot after smoking up. 

Weed’s ability to reduce intraocular pressure is also why so many patients suffering from glaucoma have flocked to cannabis to treat the disease, but the jury is still out on its efficacy. A 2018 study from the University of Indiana argues that CBD might make the disease worse by increasing eye pressure. So, whether or not weed can treat glaucoma is still up in the air, but anecdotal accounts do seem to suggest that it helps! 

Can Edibles Give You Weed Eyes?

Yes, edibles can give you weed eyes. Many tokers believe that it’s the act of smoking or vaping that causes our eyes to turn red when we consume cannabis, but it’s actually the THC and other cannabinoids within weed products that make it turn red. 

If you want to turn to edibles to hide your high, this might be bad news for you!

More Potency, Redder Eyes?

Does the potency and strength of your weed products affect how red your eyes get?


THC, the chief cannabinoid behind weed’s psychoactive effects, is the reason why our blood vessels and capillaries dilate after smoking up. If you’re smoking some premium top-shelf bud, your eyes are likely going to be a lot redder than if you were smoking some trim. 

If your eyes turn red after smoking some killer weed, it’s a sign that the stuff you’re smoking (or eating) is great, or at the very least, has a high THC potency! 

Weed Eyes – Nothing to Worry About

While red eyes are a telltale sign that someone is high (or suffering from allergies), these aren’t dangerous and won’t harm you in the long run. Bloodshot eyes from smoking weed will last, on average, a few hours at most and won’t cause you any pain for the entirety of its duration. 

If you’re worried about getting busted for smoking weed or simply just don’t want anyone knowing that you smoked up, carrying around a bottle of water to stay hydrated, a thing of eye drops to moisten your eyes and some sunglasses to hide them altogether might be a good idea. Of course, you could also consume lower THC weed products, but who wants to do that?

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