Smoking weed when sick: Does weed help with colds and flu?

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There have been wide-ranging claims made about the health benefits of cannabis, ranging from helping PTSD sufferers to being an effective form of pain relief. In this post, we take a look at another health claim made about cannabis and discuss the relationship between cannabis, the common cold, and the flu.
We will explore what causes a cold, the effects of smoking weed with a cold, and which ways to consume it are suitable, to try and shed some light on whether smoking weed when sick is a good or bad idea.

What causes a cold?

Despite the fact that the cold is such a frequent affliction it is more often referred to as the ‘common cold’, little is known about where this illness came from. However, we do know that it is a highly contagious viral infection that comes with more than 200 virus strains. Almost half of all colds are also known to be caused by the ‘rhinovirus’ (related to the word’s Greek roots rather than the endangered animal).
Other causes of the common cold include the virus known as ‘influenza’, coronaviruses, acute coryza, and the adenovirus, amongst others. Although different in some ways, each of these viruses tends to first have an impact on our body’s mucous membranes which are found in the mouth, nose, and throat. It then moves onwards to our lungs after a few days of suffering where it meets our body’s defense system, our immune system, which will begin to try and stave off the virus in all the areas it has reached.
As the immune system works against the virus, the body begins to overproduce mucous to carry out dead and infected cells from our bodies and infected areas tend to become inflamed. This causes us to have a runny nose, a sore throat, to cough and sneeze. Together, these symptoms indicate to us that we have caught the pesky common cold, or if we are suffering from a fever it could be even worse and we likely have the flu.

Does weed help with colds?

Given the fact that more and more research is highlighting the benefits of cannabis in a whole range of areas, it is reasonable to ask whether smoking weed while sick could be beneficial. Whilst research has shown the strongest benefits in relation to specific forms of epilepsy and helping patients suffering from chronic and debilitating diseases, it is also important to know whether it has benefits for smaller ailments.
One area where there does seem to be a potential benefit that could be gleaned from cannabis consumption in relation to the cold and flu is due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that a number of the major cannabinoids, including CBD, THC, CBC, and CBG, all have anti-inflammatory properties across our entire body. There are also anti-inflammatory terpenes found in cannabis too, such as linalool and eucalyptol.
As previously mentioned, when our body fights the cold or flu it naturally leads to inflammation in the areas the virus has reached, particularly the nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. Since cannabis contains such a range of cannabinoids and terpenes that have anti-inflammatory properties, when it is used in the right way, it could potentially see symptoms reduce.
Interestingly studies into the benefits of Echinacea have hinted at some of the other potential benefits cannabis might be having in relation to fighting a cold or flu. Studies have found that Echinacea concentrates boost the immune system in addition to reducing symptoms. One of the ways Echinacea engages with the body is through interactions with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Given that the main way cannabis interacts with the body is through our ECS, the point that Echinacea seems to use this system to help our body fight a cold indicates cannabis may also be able to have a positive effect on reducing cold and flu-like symptoms.

How does cannabis affect the immune system?

Whilst we know for sure that cannabis has an effect on the immune system, we don’t yet know exactly how it does this. However, more studies are underway to try and better understand this relationship.
One study found that certain cannabinoids found in cannabis can suppress our immune system. The effect of this is the anti-inflammatory properties already mentioned. Whilst anti-inflammatory properties are good in the fight against a cold or the flu, inflammation is also a natural bodily process that shows our immune system is battling against viruses in our system so it is not necessarily beneficial to prevent this taking place.
Other studies have also found cannabis can have a boosting effect on the immune system when needed. For example, some studies have found that cannabis has helped people with HIV/AIDS strengthen their immune system by boosting the T cells their body produces. These different findings indicate more research needs to be done to understand which cannabinoids in cannabis boost and suppress our immune systems and how we can get the best of both these properties.

Should I smoke weed with a cold?

The simple answer is no. Despite some of the potential benefits cannabis has in terms of fighting a cold that have been outlined above, smoking weed will likely not be beneficial due to the nature of the cold and flu virus. However, this just means that if you want to see if cannabis can help you shake off a cold you might need to be a bit more inventive in terms of how you choose to consume it.
The main reason smoking cannabis will not be a good idea is because whether you toke a spliff, puff on a pipe, take a hit of a bong, each of these actions irritates both your throat and lungs which are the very areas the flu and cold virus love to attack. As such, you are likely to make your symptoms worse by smoking and have the undesired effect of extending the time it takes to stave off the virus. So, what are some other ways that don’t require smoking?

Method #1: Cannabis and CBD teas and coffees

You don’t have to be that creative to come up with solutions that enable you to consume cannabis without smoking it. If you grow your own green, then you can make your cannabis into a sweet accompaniment to be added to your tea. Remember that cannabinoids are not water soluble though, so simply bunging a bud into water will not help you in any way. You’ll first need to make an infused oil or honey which can be added to your tea.
To make an infused oil or honey you will need to decarboxylate your cannabis buds first – this just means grinding some buds and plant matter and heating it at no more than 230 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, stirring it once. Then all you need to do is add this to a sterilized jar with oil, such as coconut oil, and to boil this in water for around 2 hours. Strain out the plant matter and add this infused oil to honey to be added into a true specialty tea.

Method #2: Cannabis oils and CBD topicals

If growing your own weed and making this into your own tincture and honey mixture sounds too much like hard work, then don’t despair! In many states, CBD products are now legal to buy online as they contain little to 0 THC which is the intoxicating part of cannabis but is an effective pain reliever, immune system booster, and anti-inflammatory. You can buy CBD concentrate in oils or even ready infused in coffee and tea.
You can also find a range of CBD topicals which are great at targeting specific areas of the body that are inflamed. So if you are the sort of person that suffers from an incredibly painful sore throat every time you get a cold or flu, then why not try attacking the pain from outside and in by rubbing a topical CBD cream on to the afflicted area and adding CBD oil into your diet?

Method #3: Cannabis edibles

If you like cannabis, then you’ve probably tried eating it before. Well, if you can’t smoke it but want to get the benefits why not fall back on this option. Just be careful about dosing as eating weed takes a lot longer to take effect and lasts a hell of a lot longer too. You can also use cannabis oils in your cooking if you don’t fancy taking oils sublingually and want to use CBD for a sore throat.

Top 5 Best Strain for sore throat 2021

#1 Best cannabis strain for oils: Big Blue Cheese Feminized

Buy from MSNL (Netherlands)

If you love getting high and don’t think you want to be without cannabis when you’re suffering from a cold or flu, then you’ll love these seeds which produce a high THC plant perfect for making into cannabis oils. The buds that form on this plant are incredibly resinous and the THC glistens vibrantly to make your mouth water as you watch them form. You can bring this out when you need to when made into an oil.
Other major pros about these seeds are that: they can be grown indoors and out; they produce incredible yields; they produce a mental high and a body stone that will help you get through a troublesome cold, and; they are ready to harvest in pretty fast time at between 8-10 weeks. The downside of these seeds is that they grow huge outdoors (up to 2.5 meters) and are not that high in CBD which is perhaps the more beneficial cannabinoid when suffering from a cold.
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#2 Best cannabis strain for CBD: Auto lemon Skunk

Buy from True North Seed Bank(Canada)

If you’re looking for a cannabis strain that is high in CBD and doesn’t shirk on the THC front, then you’ll like these seeds which grow into the perfect plant to use in edibles and oils. These seeds are also auto-flowering which means they are a good choice for beginners as you don’t need to know a great deal about growing weed to see impressive results from these seeds.
Other benefits of these cannabis seeds are that: they flower pretty quickly and are ready in as little as 9-10 weeks; the citrusy flavors of this cannabis are a great addition to the cannabis honey recipe above; they produce impressive yields for an auto-flowering strain, and; the high you’ll get is nice an uplifting, just what you need when you’re suffering from a dreary cold! The downside of these seeds is that they are not that strong in THC, if that is what you are after.
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#3 Best cannabis strain with low THC: Crop King Seeds’ CBDiesel Seeds

Buy from Crop King Seeds (Canada)

If you want to give growing your own cannabis a try and want a strain that is high in CBD and low in THC, then you’ll love these seeds. With up to 20% CBD content and negligible THC levels, you are unlikely to feel a high from this weed making it a good choice when you’re not feeling well and you just want to tap into the potential health benefits associated with cannabis.
Other pluses in relation to these seeds are that: the high CBD content makes these plants perfect for making into oils and tinctures; CBD has anti-anxiety properties and helps to boost the immune system; it is a strong pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, and; they produce big yields and are easy to grow. The downside is you will get absolutely no high from this as there is under 1% THC.
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Top 5 Best CBD for sore throat 2021

#1 Best CBD topical for a cold: Inflammation Recovery Topical

Buy from cbdmd.com

If you’re looking for a topical that can be used to help with a sore throat and other inflammation caused by a cold or flu from the outside, then this is the topical for you. These guys use some of the most impressive extraction methods to bring you the best of the cannabis plant with a minimum of THC so you will be pleased with the anti-inflammatory properties of this topical CBD.
Other pros about this CBD topical oil are that: it works quickly to target areas causing you pain; it also contains arnica which can help to reduce inflammation; it is made with organic hemp that is grown in the USA and is both gluten-free and vegan, and; it is the best value CBD per mg out there. The downside of this topical is that it is not edible and for fighting a cold you may prefer to use it in conjunction with CBD oil.
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#2 Best CBD for the flu: Full Spectrum Water Soluble Rapid Delivery CBD Oil

www.ambarygardens.com/product/water-soluble-hemp-tincture/

Since CBD is not water soluble, most CBD comes in oils. CBD oils are great when taken regularly, but if you are looking to use CBD just at specific times when it might benefit you, then you may want to check out this water-soluble CBD product since it takes effect far quicker than its oil counterparts. Because it is dissolved in water, your body can absorb this CBD much quicker so you should see quick effects.
Other great things about this CBD oil are that: it can reduce inflammation brought on by a cold or flu quicker than oils; it is full-spectrum meaning it also contains beneficial terpenes from the cannabis plant as well as other beneficial cannabinoids other than THC; it can be added to tea or coffee, and; it is great value. The downside of this CBD product is that it won’t stay in your system for as long as CBD oils so is less effective in the longer term.
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#3 Best CBD oil for sore throats: Heal Organic CBD Oil

https://katsnaturals.com/product/heal/

This incredible oil from Kat’s Naturals is designed to help people maintain a healthy body and mind and is made using organic hemp. It is also a particularly high potency CBD oil and guarantees no THC thanks to its use of high-tech CO2 extraction methods. You’ll get the most out of this CBD oil when taken twice daily as it can take a while for CBD oil to be broken down by the system.
Other major positives about this CBD oil are that: it can help you prevent against getting a virus rather than just fighting it when it arrives; it can provide a boost to your mental wellbeing; it can boost your immune system, and; it can be a particularly effective anti-inflammatory that could relieve symptoms of a cold and sore throat. The downside of this oil is that it doesn’t come cheap.
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#4 Best CBD Edible for the flu: Medterra’s CBD Gel Capsules

https://medterracbd.com/product-cbd-gel-capsules.asp

If you hate the sensation of using CBD oil sublingually but have found it to be effective in preventing or fighting off a cold or fly, then you should definitely give these CBD capsules a try. They make it easy to take a specific dose each day and up your dose as and when required and are also enriched with MCT oil which makes them particularly quick to absorb as far as CBD oils go.
You’ll also love these CBD capsules because: they are 100% THC free; they are non-GMO and USA made; they are flavorless, and; they can help you prevent against the onset of the flu as well as battle it if it does attack. The downside of these capsules is that they are pretty pricey as far as CBD gummies/edibles go, although they are very convenient to use.
#CBD #CB_Edibles #CBD_Gummies #Flu #Common_Cold

Conclusion

Smoking cannabis when you have a cold may not be bad for you if you are a regular smoker, however, there is a good chance it will make your symptoms of a cough and sore throat far worse. Therefore it is a better idea not to smoke cannabis when you do have a cold or the flu.
Nevertheless, if you want to see if the health benefits associated with cannabinoids and terpenes in terms of their effects on the ECS, then you can always consume your cannabis in more creative ways, whether that be in a nice cup of tea, using oils and topicals or eating it.