It’s no secret that weed can affect your eyes. For example, stoners often report having red eyes after using weed. Besides having red eyes, some stoners report that their eyes twitch after using weed. Just to be clear, an eye twitch is an involuntary spasm of your eyelids. Is this all in their head? Could the eye twitch be caused by other factors? Here is what we know about the weed eye twitch causes.
Types of Eye Twitches
Before we get into weed and its role in eye twitching, let’s look at the different types of eye twitches.
Healthline states that there are 3 types:
- general eyelid spasm
- essential blepharospasm
- hemifacial spasm
Here is a short summary of each.
General Eyelid Spasm
These are more typical and not believed to be dangerous. Healthline says some eyelid spasms are normal and do not indicate serious issues.
These spasms usually disappear after resting and can be attributed to other factors.
However, Healthline cautions anyone who has chronic eyelid spasms that disrupt their life to see a doctor.
Essential blepharospasm refers to “chronic and uncontrollable winking or blinking”. This affects more people than you may think. Healthline puts the number at up to 50,0000 in the US alone.
This condition develops in middle to late adulthood and may cause blurry vision among other things.
Essential blepharospasm is incurable but treatable.
Hemifacial spasm is a neuromuscular disorder. According to Healthline, a blood vessel putting too much pressure on a facial nerve is the cause. This condition requires treatment. If you abstain from treatment, you could lose the ability to open your eye.
Can Weed Make Your Eye Twitch?
Yes, it can!
According to a study titled Association Between Cannabis and the Eyelids, eyelid tremors are a common physical symptom of weed use. The study states that weed use no matter what method — whether that’s smoking a joint, bong, dab rig or consuming edibles — may be associated with temporary eyelid tremors which are different from true blepharospasm.
To be clear, the study described eye tremors as, “…a generic term referring to involuntary and intermittent spasms of the eyelid muscles” The study went on to say that diagnosing eye tremors is difficult because they could be eye twitches, myokymia or blepharospasm.
Scientists believe that using weed may cause eye twitching due to the activation of the TRPA1 receptor. The TRPA1 receptor may be triggering dry eye symptoms, which causes eye tremors.
The study says, “TRPA1 is actively involved in the peripheral cannabinoid pathway in sensory neurons.” In other words, the cannabinoids and other chemicals in weed interact with this receptor.
What Else Can Cause My Eyes to Twitch?
Weed and dry eyes are not the only things that can cause your eyes to twitch. According to Healthline, some factors include:
- Lack of sleep
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Caffeine use
- Alcohol use
However, eye twitches may be a result of other serious conditions. Healthline says brain and nerve disorders can cause eye twitching, including:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Bell’s palsy
- Parkinson’s disease
Healthline advises that you visit a doctor if the eye twitching continues for several weeks or affects other areas of your face.
How Can I Treat Eye Twitches?
Eye twitches come with a variety of treatments depending on the cause. For example, if alcohol or coffee causes your eye to twitch, you can limit intake. If your eyes twitch when you’re tired, get some rest.
In addition to that, Healthline also suggests using eyedrops. We published a list of 6 eyedrops that are ideal for stoners. Whether or not your eye twitching is caused by the weed, you can still use eye drops to treat it.
Healthline also suggests applying a warm compress to your eye. Botox is also a possible temporary fix for eye twitches.
Can Weed Help to Treat Eye Twitches?
There are studies examining the role of weed in treating eye twitches. Association Between Cannabis and the Eyelids, concluded, “The relationship between cannabinoids and eyelid tremors is still unclear.” It went on to say, “some studies have shown that cannabis can potentially treat blepharospasm, while others have noted light eyelid tremors and significant ptosis as secondary effects.” FYI, ptosis is a condition that results in upper eyelid drooping.
Let’s look at the evidence that showed that cannabis may help treat eye twitches, specifically, blepharospasm.
In one study, 75% of patients had symptom improvement for their blepharospasm after using medical cannabis.
The researchers stated that since cannabis is an accepted treatment for muscle spastic disorders, it may help blepharospasm.
A case study stated a woman with severe blepharospasm was given treated with 25mg of Dronabinol (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) for several weeks. It was reported that she was able to see improvement in her social life and pain perception.
Therefore, the case study concluded, ” therapy with a cannabinoid agonist may provide a novel tool in the treatment of blepharospasm and maybe of other multifactorial related movement disorders.”
In conclusion, weed can cause eye twitches. Scientists believe weed-induced eye twitch is due to the activation of the TRPA1 receptor, which triggers dry eye symptoms. Interestingly, weed is being explored as a treatment for blepharospasm, which is a more chronic disease.
It’s important to add that there are many reasons why you may be experiencing eye twitching. Some reasons are simpler and easier to treat such as caffeine or needing rest. On the other hand, your eye twitch may be caused by something more serious such as MS.
If you’re in doubt, see your doctor.