Red eyes are caused by, dilation of blood vessels after THC intoxication, or contact between CBD and sensitive parts of the eye. Herein we discuss the components of CBD edibles and their potential risk to the eyes.
CBD derivatives have many benefits ranging from health, therapeutic and recreational. Users obtain these benefits through different methods of consumption. For instance, cannabis derivatives can be ingested, applied topically, smoked, or taken through sublingual methods. The potential effects of the products depend on the spectrums used. Similarly, the effects depend on the method of consumption. Hence the mode of consumption and the chemical components impact the redness of the users differently.
What are CBD edibles?
CBD edibles are any food or drink infused with CBD. The edibles are sometimes mistaken for ordinary food or drinks. Marinotti & Sarill (2020) noted that
contain CBD and traces of THC depending on the spectrum used to make them; CBD is the non-psychoactive derivative of the hemp plant, while THC is psychoactive and can make its users ‘high’. Hence, CBD edibles also cannot make you high as they do not contain THC. As aforementioned, CBD edibles come in three spectrums; full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolates. Broad-spectrum edibles contain cannabinoids like terpenes. In contrast, the full spectrum contains all cannabinoids and traces of THC. In comparison, the isolate contains no THC. The most common CBD edibles are gummies, cookies, cakes, CBD tea, and CBD coffee. (Evans et al., 2020)
Can edibles make your eyes red?
The edibles are made of CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabis derivative. Hence, the CDB products cannot make the users’ eyes turn red if used correctly. However, the products could result to redness of the eyes depending on the levels of THC or the physical contact with the eyes. (Spindle et al., 2020)
Who is the culprit behind red eyes?
THC is the culprit behind red eyes. As aforementioned, THC is psychoactive, and its consumption leads to several health challenges. First, this compound causes the blood vessels around the eyes to widen. The dilation makes more blood flow into the eye. Therefore, if you take any CBD edible and notice eye redness without rubbing them, the edible has THC.
The intoxication of THC explains why THC is a strictly regulated substance. When buying CBD edibles, buy them from a reputable dealer to ensure they are not intoxicated with high levels of THC. Buy goods with third-party testing to objectively determine the level of THC in your edibles. Also, analyze the certificate of analysis to obtain the effects of ingredients used to make your edibles. Third-party labs also show the product contains contaminants like heavy metals or bacteria. Notably, redness can be caused by sensitivity in the eyes. When one touches the CBD and rubs their eyes, the capillaries in the eyes easily break, forming red eyes. The sensitivity does not often last longer, although it can irritate.
Should you be worried if your eyes are red after taking CBD edibles?
The redness in the eyes is generally harmless especially if caused by sensitivity. The redness cannot last longer than 4 hours. In contrast, THC-initiated redness can last longer.
How can you treat red eyes after taking CBD edibles?
Red eyes are always associated with smoking THC. This might make you stigmatized. You may need a quick solution to make your eyes back to their normal color. Water may reduce irritation, dryness, and redness in your eyes.
Eye drops can also reduce the redness. There are some eye drops designed to minimize dryness and redness. You can use them twice a day. Soaking the eyes in a wet cloth can also reduce the redness and puffiness.
How can I get pure CBD edibles?
Pure CBD edibles will reduce the tendency to have red eyes. Good quality edibles have lower THC levels, reducing the dilation of blood vessels attached to the eyes. Therefore, when buying CBD edibles, buy a broad spectrum or isolated edibles; full-spectrum CBD contains traces of THC, irritating sensitive eyes. Do not go for cheap CBD edibles. CBD products are generally expensive. Therefore, cheap edibles may indicate low quality. Buy goods with third-party testing results. Ideally, high-quality products have a certificate of analysis. The certificate indicates the presence of heavy metals and the potential contaminants in the edibles.
Side effects of CBD edibles
Even though CBD edibles are not associated with red eyes, they might cause other mild side effects. Ingesting high doses of CBD can dizziness, fatigue, and changes in appetite; some people experienced hunger after ingesting CBD while others lost their appetite. (Wheeler et al., 2020) CBD can also interact with some pharmaceutical drugs. Therefore, if you are under medication; seek medical advice before taking the edibles. CBD might not be good for infants and unborn babies. Pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid ingesting these edibles.
CBD edibles cannot make your eyes red if used correctly. The main cause of red eyes is THC which is not found in CBD products; if present, it is in negligible amounts. Ensure your CBD edibles are from a reputable seller to avoid THC intoxication. If your eyes are red, you can treat them using over-the-counter eye drops, wash your eyes using cold water, or wear sunglasses to reduce eye irritation. CBD edibles may have side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, and changes in appetite.
Evans, J. (2020). The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol. Fair Winds Press.
Marinotti, O., & Sarill, M. (2020). Differentiating Full-Spectrum Hemp Extracts From CBD Isolates: Implications For Policy, Safety And Science. Journal Of Dietary Supplements, 17(5), 517-526
Spindle, T. R., Cone, E. J., Goffi, E., Weerts, E. M., Mitchell, J. M., Winecker, R. E., ... & Vandrey, R. (2020). Pharmacodynamic effects of vaporized and oral cannabidiol (CBD) and vaporized CBD-dominant cannabis in infrequent cannabis users. Drug and alcohol dependence, 211, 107937.
Wheeler, M., Merten, J. W., Gordon, B. T., & Hamadi, H. (2020). CBD (cannabidiol) product attitudes, knowledge, and use among young adults. Substance use & misuse, 55(7), 1138-1145.
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