Cannabis Science

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Close?

woman smoking weed with eyes closed

Besides making your eyes red, weed can affect your eyes in other ways. For example, many stoners claim when they’re high, their eyes close. You’re not alone if you’re finding it hard to keep your eyes open while smoking weed. So, why does weed make your eyes close? Here’s what we know.

Photo: Unsplash

Does Weed Make Your Eyes Close?

Yes, it can!

There are many reports of eyes closing due to weed on Reddit.

One Reddit user said, “I’d get super high and close my eyes and then I start to feel that feeling inside my chest welling up that feels like I’m riding a roller coaster.”

If like that Reddit user you notice that after hitting your bong or blunt your eyes close, you’re probably experiencing drooping eyelids of ptosis or eye tremors.

According to a 2019 study, called, Association Between Cannabis and the Eyelids,

 “Ptosis (or blepharoptosis) is a condition where the upper eyelid is drooping or displaced causing a reversible vision loss.”

While Bangkok Hospital describes eye tremors as, “a repetitive, involuntary spasm of the orbicularis oculi muscle, an eyelid muscle which is responsible for eyelid closures. A twitch usually occurs in the upper lid, but it can affect both the upper and lower eyelids.”

However, the 2019 study defines eyelid tremors simply as “involuntary and intermittent spasms of the eyelid muscles.”

The 2019 study states that ptosis is also seen as a secondary effect of cannabis use in animal studies while eye tremors are a common physical symptom that is visible after cannabis consumption.

Now that we’ve examined scientific and anecdotal evidence that proves weed can make your eyes close, the next question is how weed makes your eyes close. 

How Weed Makes Your Eyes Close 

Well, there are a number of reasons why weed might make your eyes close. 

According to the 2019 study, ptosis seems to be a side effect of the endogenous cannabinoid anandamide. 

Let’s chat a bit about anandamide.

So, anandamide is not found in cannabis, it’s naturally found in your body. 

A 2018 study notes that this endogenous cannabinoid is a lipid mediator that acts as an endogenous ligand of CB1 receptors. CB1 receptors are the primary target for cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Anandamide is usually involved with memory, appetite, sleep, and pain relief. However, since it is being linked to ptosis, the 2019 study states, these findings, “further validates one of the hypothesises about the endocannabinoid pathway, which suggests that anandamide regulates the cell signaling of various cortical transmitter systems”

Besides anandamide, the 2019 study says other studies show ptosis have been a cannabis withdrawal syndrome. The reason behind this is a CB1 antagonist (SR 141716A) triggered ptosis.

The study also mentioned that more research has to be conducted to fully understand how cannabis causes ptosis and to confirm cannabinoids as ptosis inductors. 

In addition, the researchers found ptosis as a side effect of cannabis use in animal models, not humans. 

Besides ptosis, cannabis could trigger eyelid tremors.

According to the 2019 study, eyelid tremors after cannabis consumption may be linked to activation of the TRPA1 receptor triggering dry eye symptoms.

However, they still concluded that the link between eyelid tremors and cannabinoids isn’t clear.

Treatment Options

We weren’t able to find any specific treatment for cannabis-induced ptosis, eyelid tremors, or any other reason your eyes may close while smoking weed.

Your doctor will be better able to guide you with treatment especially if you’re having these symptoms while sober. 

If you suspect dry eye symptoms are causing your eyes to close, we recommend using eye drops.

You can also note if there are any specific strains that cause eyelid tremors and either limit or stop using them. 

Don’t operate machinery if you experience these side effects as you may end up hurting yourself or someone else. 

Other Ways Weed Affects Your Eyes

There are so many ways weed can affect your eyes. We’ll discuss a few of them.

First of all, your eyes may look red while you’re stoned. The classic red-eye look can be attributed to THC and not necessarily the smoke. That’s why you’ll notice your eyes being red even after eating an edible. 

As Pop Magazine puts it, “The THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) present in the plant lowers blood pressure, triggering a dilatation of blood vessels and an increase in blood circulation.”

If you’re not digging the red eyes, you can opt for eye drops.

Pop Magazine also highlighted other ways that cannabis can affect your eyes such as:

  • Eye fatigue
  • Spatial perception issues
  • Dazzlements and imbalances of near and far visions 
  • Ocular dryness and Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Lowering of ocular pressure 

Weed is also being researched for the treatment of certain eye conditions such as glaucoma and blepharospasm.


So, why does weed make your eyes close? Scientists aren’t exactly sure why or how. Researchers found that in animal models, cannabis use resulted in ptosis. In addition, eyelid tremors were linked to marijuana consumption. However, the exact mechanism is not known. They suspect the eyelid tremors have to do with the activation of the TRPA1 receptor. If these symptoms are affecting your life negatively, have a chat with your doctor. We’re looking forward to more research. 


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].