Winter is officially most people Least favorite season, and is likely to be the start of the common cold and flu factor. While colds tend to be milder and come on gradually, a bout of the flu is usually quite sudden, leading to Headache, body aches, and extreme lethargy. With stuffiness at night, a swollen and runny nose, and troublesome mouth breathing, common respiratory ailments can leave you feeling miserable for a week or more.
We each have our own arsenal of remedies when feeling ill, whether it’s hot babies or steamed bowls of soup. And for some cannabis lovers, the herb can relieve discomfort associated with colds and flu, and help pass the time.
But how does cannabis affect the body that fights off a cold or the flu? Is it safe to smoke cannabis if you are wheezing and coughing? Can weed help relieve cold or flu symptoms, or is this just wishful thinking?
Let’s explore whether weed can be beneficial or harmful when you have a cold or a case of the flu.
How can cannabis affect the respiratory system?
there Strong evidence To point out that smoking cannabis regularly, even when not sick, can lead to unwanted respiratory symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, wheezing, shortness of breath, sore throat and asthma symptoms worse if you suffer from this condition.
These negative effects arise from the irritation caused by the heat of the smoke, which can damage delicate respiratory tissues in the lungs and airways. More serious damages may arise among those who Smoking cannabis frequently (Like several times a day.)
Smoking weed intermittently may trigger respiratory symptoms such as a temporary cough or burning throat, but it is unlikely to cause long-term damage to the lungs.
When it comes to vaping, research shows that it reduces the risk of developing chronic respiratory symptoms compared to smoking. in one studyVaporizer users were 40% less likely to report coughing, sputum, and chest tightness than those who smoked cannabis. in Another study12 of 20 people switched from smoking to vaping for 30 days and found that their respiratory symptoms and lung function improved.
In other words, smoking cannabis regularly can have harmful effects on your throat, lungs, and airways, even when you’re not sick with a cold or flu, while vaping seems to have fewer negative effects on the respiratory system.
Lighting up when you’re super congested and coughing like a seal probably isn’t the best idea.
Can cannabis make you feel worse when you have a cold or flu?
Colds and flu are infections that affect the respiratory system, including the nose, throat, mouth, airways, and lungs. Some of the telltale symptoms mirror those of chronic cannabis smokers – sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and excess phlegm.
It stands to reason that if your throat and lungs are already irritated, smoking may exacerbate the unpleasant symptoms you’re already experiencing. There seems to be a general consensus among experts and consumers alike that it’s best to give your respiratory system a break when you’re fighting an infection and opt instead for foods, tinctures, or topicals.
Dr. Jordan Chiller, President and CEO, Inc inhale and head Cannabis Professionals AssociationIt is highly recommended not to inhale cannabis if you have a cold or the flu. The heat, particles, and toxins inhaled while smoking can cause wheezing, cause difficulty breathing, and can reduce your body’s natural defenses against viruses.
“In general, I would advise avoiding smoking while sick — and, frankly, at other times,” Tishler said. “Other forms of inhalation, such as vaporizing the flower, are also likely to make you feel worse, so I also recommend against using them.”
Tishler also said that many patients in his clinic who have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease find that inhaling cannabis makes their condition worse — and that’s not even when they have a cold or the flu.
“It’s probably only worse when the person is infected,” he said.
“Overall, I would say that using cannabis by non-inhaled means during a respiratory illness is safe, but it may not be positive,” Dr. Tishler said. “There is no research on this yet. I’m sure some people would say they feel better overall if they were drunk while sick, but others might find it unpleasant.”
Other effects of the herb may be undesirable when you’re feeling under the weather. The flu, in particular, can make you feel weak and dizzy, and some strains of weed can cause dizziness. Combine the two and your situation could get worse. It goes without saying that experimenting with high doses of the weed is unwise when you’re battling the flu.
Can cannabis relieve cold and flu symptoms?
While there is little research that specifically explores the effects of cannabis on colds and flu, there is plenty of research to support the idea that cannabis can help. Relieves aches and painhelp with Insomnia and restlessnessAnd Increased appetiteAnd Relieves headacheAll common cold and flu symptoms.
Interestingly, research also shows that smoking cannabis frequently may help with this Temporarily open the airways For 15-60 minutes, a phenomenon known as bronchiectasis. This research suggests that infrequent smokers may be able to breathe deeply for a brief period after smoking, which in turn can provide temporary relief from shortness of breath or wheezing, although it may be mild and short-lived.
Cannabis can also act as an expectorant, helping to remove phlegm from the lungs and throat. However, Solak cautions against inhaling cannabis if you are experiencing any negative respiratory symptoms.
Anecdotes of cannabis use to relieve cold and flu symptoms
We asked some cannabis consumers for their thoughts on using weed when they have a cold or flu. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive, and many people have shared anecdotes about how cannabis can help with sleep, aches, appetite, and even pass the time.
“Some people swear by a nighttime cold drink, but it just keeps me going for a long time. I love the fact that the THC in marijuana… doesn’t last as long as cold medicine so I avoid waking up very groggy,”
Cannabis can help lift you above the misery of feeling sick. “In my opinion, if you have to feel like shit, you might as well be high like shit,” he said. “Use foods, tinctures, or topicals, and give your body a chance to deal with the infection and heal itself. Avoid any unnecessary coughing if possible—your throat will thank you.”