Updated on November 27, 2023
5 min read

Stoned Eyes (Causes, Symptoms & How to Fix)

Key Takeaways

What are Stoned Eyes?

"Stoned eyes" or "weed eyes" refer to eye changes caused by drug use. These changes occur due to certain drugs, such as opioids or stimulants.

If you use cannabis, regardless if it's recreational or medical marijuana, it's important to understand its ocular impact. Common signs of stoned eyes include:8

  • Dilated pupils (enlarged pupils)
  • Pinpoint pupils (smaller pupils)
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Watering eyes
  • Rapid, uncontrollable eye movement.

Many of these changes are typical among marijuana users. Long-term substance abuse can also increase the risk of certain eye conditions like glaucoma and vision damage.


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Why Does Weed Give You Stoned Eyes?

Stoned eyes are primarily caused by how tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects blood pressure. THC reduces blood pressure which causes tiny blood vessels called capillaries to dilate.5

As these blood vessels begin to dilate, it boosts blood flow into the eyes while reducing intraocular pressure. The increased blood flow produces redness, so you can get red eyes despite not smoking weed.

People who eat edibles can still experience red eyes. However, there are other ways marijuana can cause red eyes, including:

  • An allergic reaction
  • Irritation to cannabis
  • Smoke in the eyes

What Other Drugs Can Cause Stoned Eyes?

Aside from marijuana, other drugs can affect your eyes. These drugs include:8

  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax, Ativan)
  • Cocaine
  • Crystal methamphetamine (meth)
  • Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)
  • Ecstasy
  • GHB
  • LSD
  • Psilocybin
  • Bath salts
  • Heroin
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin)
  • Fentanyl
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)

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How Does Marijuana Affect The Brain?

Aside from causing red eyes, marijuana can affect your body in other ways. THC moves quickly from the lungs into the bloodstream and eventually the brain.

THC works on specific brain cell receptors that affect normal brain development and function. This can impair thinking, memory, and learning functions.

Marijuana can also lead to long-lasting or permanent brain damage.7 This is because of how THC alters the hippocampus.

Other Side Effects of Marijuana Use

Marijuana delivers a wide range of effects, both physical and mental. Other side effects include:

  • Altered senses, such as seeing brighter colors
  • Altered sense of time
  • Adjustments in mood
  • Impaired body movement
  • Difficulty thinking and problem-solving
  • Impaired memory
  • Breathing issues
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Problems with child development during and after pregnancy
  • Hallucinations (when taken in high doses)
  • Delusions (when taken in high doses)
  • Psychosis (risk is highest with consistent use of high-potency cannabis)

Regular, long-term cannabis use can result in some people developing cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. This causes some people to experience cycles of severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration, which may require emergency medical help.

Marijuana also increases the heart rate for up to three hours following smoking. As your blood pressure begins to rise, it can increase the risk of a heart attack and other cardiovascular issues.

How Marijuana Affects Your Lungs

Marijuana smoke aggravates the lungs. People who smoke cannabis often can have the same breathing issues as those who smoke tobacco. 

These issues include:

  • Daily cough and phlegm
  • More frequent lung illness
  • Higher risk of lung infections

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Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

Marijuana is an addictive substance that can result in the development of a substance use disorder (SUD). Thirty percent of people who use marijuana may develop some marijuana use disorder. People who start using cannabis before 18 are four to seven times more likely than adults to have a marijuana use disorder.2

Treatment Options for Marijuana Misuse

There are not any medications currently available to treat marijuana use disorder. However, there are various treatment options to help you recover from marijuana addiction and maintain sobriety.

Treatment options for marijuana misuse include:

  • Inpatient rehab: Involves checking yourself into a rehab facility for 24-hour medical supervision
  • Outpatient rehab: A treatment program where you are freely allowed to leave the rehab facility
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): A short-term therapy technique that explores the link between thought patterns and addiction
  • Support groups: Provide a much-needed community to help maintain sobriety after treatment
  • Sober living: These homes are safe environments that can help you transition from treatment back to regular life

Continuing research may result in new medications being developed to help ease withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of cannabis, and prevent relapse.

How to Get Rid of Stoned Eyes From Cannabis

High eyes from marijuana are relatively harmless and typically go away after some time. However, you can take a few steps to minimize or reduce the redness during or after smoking.

Here are some home remedies that can help get rid of red eyes:

  • Fish oil supplements: Taking fish oil supplements can reduce dry eyes and redness because of fatty acids called Omega-3s
  • Marijuana with low or no THC: Using strains with low or no THC can reduce eye redness; strains with high cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN) can be better alternatives for those sensitive to THC
  • Eye drops: Redness-reducing eye drops can constrict the eye’s blood vessels so they don’t appear enlarged and swollen with blood; artificial tears can be very effective for keeping your eyes moisturized
  • Hydration: Staying hydrated increases fluid intake and may help with any dryness
  • Cold compress: Cold compresses or cold water can decrease blood flow to your eyes and reduce redness


If you consume cannabis, you may begin to experience eye redness or "stoned eyes". This is because of how THC affects blood vessels and capillaries.

Stoned eyes are typically harmless and go away after a while, but there are ways to get rid of stoned eyes. However, long-term abuse can lead to glaucoma or permanent vision damage.

Aside from eye redness, marijuana has other side effects that can lead to long-term health problems. If you're struggling with marijuana addiction, consider seeking medical attention.

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Updated on November 27, 2023

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