This holiday season when you're smoking like a chimney, your eyes are as red as Rudolph's red nose, and you've got the giggles and start to sound like Santa Claus-ho ho ho- then you know you've got some good bud. Every smoker at one time or another has had a toking experience where they end up with bloodshot eyes and cheeks that hurt from laughing so much. This is no coincidence but tell-tale signs that you've got THC in your system. There is a perfectly good and scientific explanation as to why smoking weed does this to you.
Besides red eyes selling you out that you just had a smoking session, it's not all a bad thing to have red eyes. It doesn't necessarily mean your eyes are irritated. Sure there are some people that are allergic to smoke and that causes red eyes and discomfort, but it doesn't explain why you can eat a space cake and end up with red eyes. Some people are just generally more prone to getting red eyes and strains will cause them to become redder than others.
The main reason that causes the reddening of eyes after smoking is also the main reason why cannabis is known as a treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes deteriorating vision with time. The cause of glaucoma is related to increased pressure in the eye, or intraocular pressure (IOP). When you consume THC it lowers blood pressure, thus causing blood vessels and capillaries to dilate. The ocular capillaries dilate so it increases the flow of blood to the eyes and reduces intraocular pressure. This is how THC helps glaucoma patients. However, it is this increased blood flow to the eyes is that causes the redness.
Edibles can have the same effect
This reaction is how you know that you are truly baked with a high THC strain. So, if you smoke or ingest a strain low in THC then you may not experience very much redness. This also explains why you can get red eyes without taking a single puff. Because it is the cannabinoids in the cannabis that causes this reaction; edibles can have the same effect on your eyes as smoking a strain high in THC.
Even though red eyes are not harmful to you it's understandable that you may not want to leave the house with "stoner" written on your eyes. Besides smoking a low THC strain there are other things you can do to alleviate red eyes. You should drink plenty of water throughout the day as it can help with the increased dryness you can experience in your eyes after smoking. Another thing you can use are specific eye drops made for reducing red eyes. This eye drops work by constricting the blood vessels carrying blood to the eye. Contact lens wearers may need specific eye drops that don't affect the lenses. If you need a quick fix try placing an ice pack or cold compress on your eyes for a couple of minutes. This reduces the amount of blood flow to your eyes.
Increase blood flow to specific areas
The other tell-tale sign that you've been smoking cannabis is that uncontrollable giggle that starts at the pit of your stomach and doesn't ease up until you let it out. Everything seems too funny when you're high and it's not a coincidence. Cannabis has been shown to increase blood flow to specific areas of the brain. One of these areas is the right frontal lobe that has also been linked to humor appreciation. So, when that part of the brain gets activated from smoking you are more likely to laugh at things when you normally wouldn't find them particularly funny.
Another reason why you get giggles when smoking is that cannabis stimulates the production and release of additional dopamine and endorphins. Dopamine is correlated to feelings of satisfaction and happiness when we have a rewarding experience like eating nice food, exercising, or playing with puppies. All these extra feelings of happiness simply put a smile on our faces.
Impossible to keep a straight face
Laughter is contagious which is another reason why we can't stop laughing when we're high. When the above factors are combined along with your buddies laughing then it's impossible to keep a straight face. Fatuous laughter, which means laughing for no reason, is often present in the smoke room. Nothing may be funny, yet everyone is laughing for no other apparent reason.
This holiday season embraces the joyous side effects of smoking cannabis. Don't fret that red eyes are bad for you and keep up the giggles as they are contagious and will get everyone laughing.