How to Get Rid of Red Eyes After Smoking Cannabis

There are very few things more relaxing and enjoyable than the euphoric high you get from smoking cannabis, but despite the many health benefits accompanying cannabis consumption, there are some downsides as well.

If you’ve ever smoked cannabis before, you’ve probably experienced the inevitable and uncomfortable red eyes that commonly follow.

Having red eyes won’t put your health at risk, but they can feel dry, irritated, and flat-out uncomfortable. So whether it’s your first time smoking weed or your hundredth, here are five ways to help get rid of red eyes after smoking cannabis.

Why do your eyes turn red after smoking?

In most cases, in order to solve a problem, you need to understand the cause. Dealing with bloodshot stoner eyes is no different! Many people think that red eyes are caused by excessive smoke irritating your eyes when you exhale. If you’re hot-boxing indoors, it seems like common sense to assume that smoke will irritate your eyes, turning them that all-too-familiar red color.

This is actually a common misconception. We know this because no matter how you get THC into your system, your eyes will always turn red -even if you vape or ingest! For a more in-depth look at the pros and cons of smoking vs ingesting cannabis, check out this article on Veriheal.

THC causes your blood pressure to drop slightly, resulting in the dilation of the capillaries in your eyes. As your capillaries expand, more blood is able to flow through them, so they appear more red than usual! The severity of redness in the eyes varies from person to person, and can be seen less in smokers with higher tolerance for THC due to regular use.

Use over-the-counter eye drops

Every cannabis enthusiast knows this well -especially if you have to get out of the house after smoking and avoid suspicion from friends and family. Eye drops are easy to find in grocery stores and pharmacies, and a small bottle will last you a long time.

Most eye drops which are designed to overcome symptoms of allergies (like the ones you’ll use to treat your stoner-red eyes) contain an active ingredient called tetrahydrozoline which works to constrict the flow of blood through your ocular capillaries. This is the fastest and easiest way to alleviate bloodshot eyes after smoking cannabis. Some commonly used eye drops are from companies like Visine, Rohto, and Refresh.

Cold Compress:

If you’re out of eye drops, or have an aversion to putting things in your eyes (like many people -you’re not alone), you can still help alleviate your red eyes by applying a cold compress. All you have to do is place some ice cubes in a plastic bag and place that bag over both of your closed eyes.

Make sure you have a towel or cloth in between the bag and your eyes to keep sensitive skin around your eyes from getting too cold. Using an ice pack or a cold compress will help to decrease the flow of blood to your eyes and also temporarily reduce sensations of dryness and itchiness.

Drink more water

It’s another misconception to think that dehydration will result in red eyes, but drinking more water will almost certainly help reduce the feeling of dryness or itchiness -which is really what you’re trying to get rid of after all.

If drinking plenty of water doesn’t seem to have any effect, you can try eating some chocolate, foods high in sodium, or even drinking caffeine. This can help to constrict blood vessels and ultimately reduce redness in the eyes.


If you’ve got plans to spend time in public after smoking your cannabis, but don’t have access to eye drops, you can always rely on a nice pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sunlight and keep others unaware of your highness.

Avoid high-potency THC products. Use high CBD instead

As we mentioned earlier, the actual cause of eye redness when smoking cannabis isn’t the smoke itself -it’s the cannabinoids in your system (namely THC). So if you’d prefer to avoid dry and bloodshot eyes altogether, you should avoid high-potency THC products.

A great alternative to high-potency THC products like cannabis flower and THC concentrate is CBD. You won’t get that euphoric high that many people enjoy, but you can still get many of the same health benefits associated with smoking cannabis -just without the red eyes!


Smoking cannabis is fun, but not if you have to deal with dry, itchy, red eyes the whole time! If you follow these five tips, you can skip the stoner eyes and have the most comfortable smoke session you’ve ever had!

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