Can Consuming CBD Cause Red Eyes?
It’s no secret that smoking cannabis can cause red eyes. Consumption is also sometimes noticed due to unusual dilation of the pupils. With cannabidiol (CBD), extracted from industrial hemp plants, the name was given to legal cannabis, and so the question legitimately arises. Can CBD cause red eyes? Beyond that and more generally, how does CBD interact with the eyes? That’s the topic of the day.
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Why Do Cannabis Users Have Red Eyes?
If we think of a stoner, there’s a good chance that the cliché of the hippie with long hair and red eyes will appear at one time or another in our imagination. However, beyond the cliché, there’s a proven risk of having red, swollen, or watery eyes among the side effects of cannabis. However, this phenomenon is primarily related to marijuana use and cannabis with a high THC content, and is therefore illegal.
A common assumption is to think that the red-eye phenomenon is caused by smoking and therefore smoking CBD (which is, remember, prohibited) or even vaping could lead to the appearance of red-eye from its consumers. However, it is not the smoke that’s responsible.
If smokers have red or even glassy eyes, it’s for the same reason that they sometimes also have dizziness. The culprit has a name: vasodilatation. In fact, when we consume cannabinoids, our endocannabinoid system (ECS) activates. However, ECS sensors are present throughout the body, including in the eyes (Read more about the ECS here). In the case of THC consumption, blood vessels dilate. Their enlargement increases blood flow in the affected areas, causing the redness typically seen in the eyeballs. Due to increased blood flow, blood pressure drops. This is what causes vertigo.
Moreover, these effects are attributable to simple THC consumption. Opting for edible cannabis, rather than smoking it, therefore, doesn’t circumvent the problem.
Alright, so we’re set on the fate of THC, but what about CBD?
Let’s end the suspense: CBD doesn’t count red eyes among its side effects. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause blood pressure to drop sharply after initially increasing it, which is what causes that redness in the eyes. Indeed, CBD has no direct influence on the cognitive state of its user, except of course to relax it. Antagonist but nevertheless complementary to THC, CBD influences the way receptors bind to molecules, allowing certain neurotransmitters such as serotonin to circulate freely. This is what allows CBD to help consumers fight depression. No red eyes then, but potentially many virtuous effects (for example painkiller, anti-inflammatory, and relaxing).
Thus, CBD not only does not cause eye irritation, but is also an effective and legal alternative to THC to take advantage of the properties of cannabis. It’s also possible to limit the appearance of red eyes by drinking water, resting, and possibly using eye drops.
Beyond red eyes, CBD could nevertheless have other eye effects, with some consumers even indicating positive effects, for example in cases of glaucoma.
Before buying CBD edible products or oils, consult your doctor. Our online products are 100% pure and highly recommended but consulting your doctor is necessary.
CBD for the Eyes: Opportunities and Limits
Red eyes are an embarrassing phenomenon, since it’s neither very pleasant to bear nor discreet. Indeed, going out with red eyes is certainly synonymous with embarrassing questions about the possible use of illicit products. However, it isn’t a health hazard disorder. The eye presentations are nevertheless numerous and more problematic. Since THC is a natural vasodilator, its interest has naturally given rise to numerous discussions as to the possible interest of taking cannabinoids for eye problems, especially in the case of glaucoma.
CBD and Glaucoma
Glaucoma is an eye disease commonly resulting in too much pressure inside the eye. Unsupported, it causes the progressive destruction of the optic nerve. Since marijuana can lower blood pressure, it was quickly considered to provide relief to people suffering from glaucoma.
CBD doesn’t have the same properties as THC. That’s why it’s legal (and it’s non-psychoactive, non-addictive, and doesn’t cause major side effects). This is also why it doesn’t give red eyes. Finally, it’s for this reason, it may be unqualified to treat glaucoma. Worse, a press release from the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommended against using CBD as a natural treatment for glaucoma. The paper is based on a December 2018 study by researchers at Indiana University on mice. The conclusion is clear: an 18% increase in eye pressure was seen in mice treated with CBD-enriched drops.
This confirms that CBD is, in many ways, an antagonist of THC. Not only does it seem unable to cure glaucoma, but it could, in some cases, make your symptoms worse. In the event of an eye problem, it’s therefore advisable to systematically consult a health professional, ideally a specialist in ophthalmology, before considering CBD.
It’s clear now that CBD products don’t cause red eyes. Further, it can be used for other eye disorders, but more research is required.
At Down To Earth, we’ve got an incredible collection of CBD products including CBD edible products, oils, and other products. All our products are tested by independent labs to ensure their quality and purity. Check the lab reports online here.
Of course, if you’ve any questions or want more information about any CBD-related topics, feel free to leave a comment or contact us!