Besides the smell, red eyes are usually a dead giveaway you were smoking a blunt. Red eyes are caused by vasodilation. That means, when you smoke, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) causes an increased blood flow to your eyes, hence their red appearance. While having red eyes doesn’t appear to be dangerous, many stoners prefer not having red eyes. In order to prevent red eyes, you can opt for a strain lower in THC. If weed with more THC is your thing, you can opt for eye drops. Wondering how eye drops work? Want to know the best eye drops for weed? Continue reading!
How Do Red Eye Relief Eye Drops Work?
According to Eye Associates, red-eye relief eye drops typically have the active ingredient tetrahydrozoline or naphazoline. These are classified as sympathomimetics. Sydney L Tyson, MD, MPH, President and Medical Director of Eye Associates said they work by vasoconstriction. Vasoconstriction will basically undo the effects of vasodilation. Eye Associates say the eye drops will “clamp down on the superficial blood vessels on the eye surface.”
While that sounds great, Tyson believes using red-eye relief eyedrops in the long term can be dangerous. Tyson says that the eye drops are meant to be used for one or two days max.
Dangers of Red Eye Relief Eye Drops
While Red Eye Relief Eye Drops are fine for a day or two of discomfort, they shouldn’t be used often. Eye Associates warns against using them daily or indefinitely.
According to Eye Associates says red eye relief eye drops can:
- Prevent your eyes from recovering from the irritant causing red eyes in the long term.
- Redder eyes as the vasoconstriction effects wear off. This may encourage you to reach for the drops again.
- Prevent oxygen from getting to the cornea if you use it while wearing contacts. This can cause an infection.
Tyson advises artificial tears to be used as an alternative to Red Eye Relief Eyedrops.
Best Eye Drops For Stoners
There are so many options for eye drops. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, there are some over-the-counter options you can pick up. However, if you’re on other medication, it’s worth talking about with your doctor to avoid drug interactions.
When picking eye drops we looked at the complaints stoners have. Stoners don’t only have red eyes, sometimes they report dry eyes as well. We looked for eye drops that either reduce redness, alleviate dryness or serve as artificial tears. Here’s our list.
Visine is a well-known and effective brand for handling eye issues such as red eyes.
This product should work in as little as 60 seconds and uses tetrahydrozoline HCI (0.05%) as its active ingredient.
A reviewer from their website said, “These are the best drops money can buy. My eyes get red and irritated frequently and the drops clear them up so fast and have my eyes feeling refreshed.”
Thi product from Baush + Lomb is both an eye redness reliever and a lubricant for your eye. According to their website, “Advanced Eye Relief Maximum Redness eye drops contain 0.03% naphazoline hydrochloride, the maximum amount of the redness reliever allowed for over-the-counter use.”
As we mentioned before, naphazoline works by causing vasoconstriction. Therefore, since it’s an active ingredient, this eye drop should be effective.
Clear Eyes Redness Relief has both lubricant and redness reliever. The active ingredient is Naphazoline Hydrochloride (0.012%). It has less naphazoline than Bausch + Lomb, however, the amount in Clear Eyes is standard and effective.
Vision Center named Lumify as the best eye drop for red eyes. This eye drop boasts a 95% satisfaction rating and uses brimonidine as the active ingredient.
According to WebMD, brimonidine can relieve redness caused by minor eye irritation such as smoking.
Brimonidine may be the better option if the active ingredient in other eye drops comes with side effects for you. Lumify says, “It selectively targets redness in your eyes, which leads to a lower risk of the side effects associated with other redness relievers when used as directed.”
Rohto V provides relief for red eyes as well as dry eyes. These eye drops are fast-acting and provide coolness to the eye when applied. It has Naphazoline hydrochloride (0.03%) as the active ingredient so it should work to reduce red eyes.
Some of the comments on the website said, “stoners, they work :)” and “This product really gets the redness out! Great product”
Refresh Tears Lubricant Eye Drops are artificial tears used for the treatment of dry eyes. The active ingredient is Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium (0.5%) which is an eye lubricant.
Artificial tears are an alternative to red-eye drops that can be used for a longer period of time. According to Web MD, artificial tears can be used as often as needed.
However, it doesn’t have any active ingredients that target redness.
Using weed can cause red and dry eyes. However, there are over-the-counter solutions available. While we recommend these as the best eye drops for weed, feel free to use other options. You may have to shop around to find which eye drop is best for you. We also suggest speaking with a doctor because there could be drug interactions between the eye drops and whatever medication you’re on.
Do you have more burning questions around cannabis?
Email us at [email protected] with your questions/topic suggestions and we will get back to you!