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Will CBD Really Make Your Eyes Red?

Green Shoppers Written by Green Shoppers
Updated on October 10, 2019

CBD is renowned for being a safe supplement that you can take daily with minimal side effects. Although it is still understudied, CBD has been declared safe and non-toxic by the World Health Organisation.

Studies are still ongoing into the real possibilities of CBD, and much of the evidence about what it does is anecdotal up to this point. Nevertheless, it appears that CBD could have some positive effects on your general health due to the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.

With this in mind, health-conscious individuals are trying out CBD supplements. Many are encouraged by the fact that CBD is said to have little to no side effects; for the most part, this is true. Many users don’t see side effects when using CBD, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Side effects induced by CBD are all non-fatal and include things like dry mouth, nausea, lethargy, and dizziness. These effects usually subside after the first few uses, and of course, none of them are serious – they are more just irritating!

But one side effect seems to trouble CBD users more than the rest: Red eyes. This is a known side effect of cannabis, and people new to CBD often worry that they will develop red eyes after taking a dose, revealing their supplement use to everyone at work. Despite the fact that CBD is completely legal in the UK, it is often misunderstood, and so this situation might be one you want to avoid.

In today’s article, we look at whether CBD really makes your eyes red; and if so, what causes this phenomenon?

Why Cannabis Makes Your Eyes Red

As most people know, CBD comes from the cannabis plant. Many of its effects can also be seen in cannabis use, but marijuana is, of course, illegal due to its THC content.

There are hundreds of compounds in the cannabis plant, and any one of these could be causing the famed ‘red eyes’ reaction that is a tell-tale sign of someone’s cannabis use. Is it CBD that is triggering this effect?

In several places, cannabis is becoming legalised for medicinal use, but patients must have a qualifying condition in order to be recommended marijuana. Glaucoma, a condition related to inter-ocular eye pressure, often appears on these lists of qualifying conditions. This is because THC lowers blood pressure, relieving the pressure on the eyes and therefore helping with glaucoma. But as blood flows to the eyes through dilated vessels, the eyes can appear red.

Smoking marijuana, in particular, can cause red eyes because it leads to additional dryness. As your eyes dry out, they can appear red and irritated. However, since THC leads to the dilation of the blood vessels, red eyes can occur regardless of your consumption method.

So far, it seems as though THC is the culprit for red eyes; can CBD also cause this symptom?

Does CBD Cause the Same Reaction?

Immediately after taking CBD, the user may experience a drop in blood pressure. This is similar to the way THC acts, and it is possible that CBD could also cause dry eyes through this mechanism. However, some studies have also shown that CBD increases blood pressure; if this is the way CBD affects you, then you may not experience red eyes.

Many users still report experiencing a feeling of dryness after using CBD. This primarily affects the mouth in what is known as cottonmouth, but the eyes may also be affected. As such, redness may occur if the eyes feel dry and itchy. Once again, this is not a symptom that affects all users.

Some methods are more likely to bring about dry, red eyes than others. Some users choose to smoke high-CBD cannabis flowers. This is more common in places where cannabis is legal. The smoke can dry out the eyes and lead to this symptom. Other methods are less likely to trigger redness in the eyes.

It is hard to definitively say whether CBD causes red eyes or not. Some users may experience this symptom, but it is definitely rarer than the other side effects encountered as a result of CBD.

How to Avoid Red Eyes When Using CBD

If you do find yourself experiencing red eyes after taking CBD, there are some things you can do to help yourself.

  • Choose products with little THC: In the UK, CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC to be legal. As such, you shouldn’t be getting much THC anyway! Nevertheless, you can opt for a CBD isolate to avoid THC altogether.
  • Stay hydrated and drink lots of water: The dryness caused by CBD can be easily mitigated by increasing fluid intake. Make sure to drink water before and after taking your CBD dose, because this will combat dryness most effectively.
  • Use eye drops: If you are often plagued by dry, red and itchy eyes, you can simply use eye drops to get around the problem. Some brands even sell eye drops specifically intended to target redness, so look out for those.
  • Avoid going out after using CBD: Tried everything and just can’t get rid of redness? You might just have to plan your doses for when you know you’re going to be at home. Try taking CBD in the evening for a way to wind down and avoid wearing your red eyes in public.

In reality, you likely won’t suffer from red eyes when using CBD oil. This common side effect of cannabis is more associated with THC, so you should be safe to use CBD as and when you please. Nevertheless, some users do experience some dryness after using CBD. But using our tips above, you should be good to go!