Does CBD Make Your Eyes Red? Can CBD help with Red Eyes from Cannabis or THC?

Does CBD Cause Red Eyes


This is another case of guilt by association.

A known side effect of smoking cannabis is red eyes.

This is mainly due to THC, the other major component in cannabis.

What about CBD?  Does it make your eyes turn red?

Great question so let's dig into it.


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Here are the key topics:

  • Why cannabis turns your eyes red
  • Does CBD turn your eyes red?
  • Does CBD make you feel high
  • Is CBD addictive
  • The relationship of CBD to THC

Let's get started!

Why cannabis turns your eyes red

The main reason that cannabis turns some people's eyes red deals with blood flow in the eye.

It all comes down to THC.

THC causes the capillaries and blood vessels to dilate as a result of dropping blood pressure.

Essentially, this causes more blood flow in the eyes which leads to the appearance of redness.

This is also tied to dropping pressure in the eye which is one reason it has gained attention for glaucoma.

So what about CBD?

Does CBD turn your eyes red?

CBD does not have red eyes as a listed side effect nor have we seen it in any feedback across 1000's of orders.

CBD has been shown to affect blood pressure and even eye pressure so why does it have a different response than THC?

This gets to the heart of CBD's fascinating effects on the body.

Both CBD and THC work within the endocannabinoid system.

This system is tasked with balancing other key systems including:

  • Nervous system - neurotransmitters and the like
  • Endocrine system - hormones
  • Immune system - inflammation and cellular birth/death cycle

Here's the main difference.

THC pushes in one direction on these pathways.

Essentially it acts like anandamide, our natural endocannabinoid.

The problem is that the body can't break it down quickly like anandamide so its effect is prolonged.

That's why you have side effects (red eyes, drowsiness, high, suppressed immune system, etc).

CBD works more like a feedback mechanism in this system which is why the safety profile is so strong.

We see this across every pathway such as inflammation:

  • Healthy cell with low inflammation - CBD has no effect
  • Healthy cell with high inflammation - CBD reduces inflammation
  • Cancerous or virally-infected cell - CBD INCREASES inflammation

Read that back's very interesting.

It makes more sense once you realize that inflammation (oxidative stress technically) is how the body kills cancer.


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Chemo and radiation are essentially massive doses of oxidative stress and inflammation.

Check out CBD and serotonin (our master mood regulator) to see more examples of this feedback effect in a discreet, albeit very powerful pathway.

Let's touch base on the other associated questions.

Does CBD make you feel high?

CBD does not have a high feeling.  One note...this is CBD isolate. CBD by itself.

Full-spectrum CBD may have small amounts of THC and other cannabinoids which have some type of effect.

Check out How will CBD make you feel or Does CBD make you high.

Long term, we don't want to push key systems in one direction only as the body/brain pushes back.

It's called normalization which is a great lead into our next question.


Is CBD addictive

Not only is CBD not addictive but there's lots of new research on CBD helping with addiction.

Check out CBD and addiction to learn more with breakout reviews by drug class.

Cannabis addiction can be found here as THC can cause addiction in about 10% of the population.

THC builds tolerance (normalization) and stokes the dopamine pathway (our reward circuit).

CBD does not build tolerance or hijack dopamine.

In fact, it has a countering effect to THC there (see CBD and tolerance or CBD and dopamine).

This brings up the whole relationship of CBD to THC?

Can  CBD help with red eyes from THC or cannabis?

The Godfather of CBD research coined a term called the "Entourage Effect" which CBD marketers have since ran wild with to promote benefits of full-spectrum.

All the research is on CBD isolate.

The real meaning behind his term was how CBD would counter many if not all of the effects of THC.

Check out CBD versus THC.

We see this effect across every pathway we've studied:

  • Mitochondria function
  • Anxiety and paranoia
  • Appetite
  • Immune response
  • Psychoactive response

In fact, CBD (and pregnenolone) are commonly used when a person has had too much THC (see CBD and greening out).

Even in pathways that CBD shares with THC, CBD tends to counter the "excess" effects of THC.

Again...this is due to its role as a feedback mechanism and if THC is pushing too much CB1 (the main receptor) activity, CBD will counter.

This effect has not been directly investigated for red eyes but the cannabis community at large can attest to CBD's effect there.

Check out what exactly is CBD to learn more.


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Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!

The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.


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