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Does Smoking Weed Help A Cold?

Ah, the dreaded cold and flu season. You know the drill: scratchy throat, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, exhaustion, and if you're really unlucky, fever and nausea. While washing your hands frequently can help prevent getting sick, what can you do once the virus has taken hold? 

Unfortunately, there isn't a magic cure for the annoying virus that causes the common cold. However, you can try traditional remedies like cough drops, soups, teas, and over-the-counter meds to ease symptoms. Alternatively, you could give immune-boosting homeopathic treatments a go, such as chomping on garlic cloves or using oregano oil. Or you could add a little cannabis to your arsenal. But before you do that, let's take a closer look at what you need to know.

Does Smoking Weed Help A Cold?

While there is a growing interest in whether smoking weed can help alleviate the symptoms of a common cold, the science behind its effectiveness remains limited. However, cannabis, with its anti-inflammatory properties, may offer some relief from the discomfort associated with a cold.

There are different ways to consume cannabis, such as through tinctures, edibles, topical CBD, and teas, which may provide alternative options for those looking for relief when they're under the weather. Tinctures and edibles offer a longer-lasting effect, while topical CBD products can be applied directly to affected areas for targeted relief. Cannabis-infused teas may also provide soothing properties while helping to hydrate the body.

It is important to note that smoking weed may pose risks, especially when you have a cold. The inhalation of smoke can further irritate the respiratory system and potentially worsen congestion or coughing. Hence, it is wise to consider alternative methods of consumption when experiencing cold symptoms.

The Science Behind Weed and Colds

Cannabis has many compounds, but the ones that matter the most are THC and CBD. THC is the one that makes you feel high, while CBD has anti-anxiety and anti-psychoactive properties. The effects of using cannabis depend on how much THC and CBD are in it. 

The body has two types of receptors for cannabis: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is in the brain and spinal cord, while CB2 is in the immune system. THC affects both receptors and changes how the body feels pain. CBD affects CB1 and other receptors, but doesn't make you feel high.

Research on the science behind the effects of cannabis on colds is limited, but there is growing interest in whether smoking weed can help alleviate the symptoms. Cannabis, with its anti-inflammatory properties, may offer some relief from the discomfort you feel when sick. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to infection and bacterial causing symptoms such as fever, congestion, and coughing. The compounds in cannabis, such as CBD, have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could potentially help reduce these symptoms.

How Does Smoking Weed Help a Cold?

When you catch a cold or flu, your body gets inflamed, causing a lot of discomfort. Cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties that can potentially ease some of these symptoms. However, more research is required to uncover the exact advantages.

Risks of Smoking Weed When you Have a Cold

One of the main concerns is the potential for increased inflammation. While cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, the act of smoking can actually irritate the respiratory system and exacerbate congestion and coughing. Inhaling smoke can further inflame already compromised airways, making it harder for you to breathe and potentially prolonging your cold symptoms.

Additionally, the inhalation of smoke from smoking weed can also lead to further irritation of the throat and lungs. This can worsen sore throat symptoms and increase the risk of developing bronchitis or other respiratory infections.

Different ways to use Weed When you Have a Cold

In the quest for relief from cold symptoms, there are various methods of using weed that may offer potential benefits. 

Canna Tea

Try adding cannabis to your tea! You can buy pre-made cannabis tea or make your own for more control over the dosage. Some people prefer to infuse honey or milk with cannabis instead of adding it directly to the tea. 

While THC doesn't break down when boiled in water, it can separate from the tea. A study found that only 17% of pure THC was recovered after 15 minutes of boiling. THCA, another cannabinoid, had a higher recovery rate at 63%. There isn't enough research on other acidic cannabinoids to know how well they work in tea. 

One option is tinctures, which are concentrated cannabis extracts that can be taken orally. Tinctures provide a longer-lasting effect and are an excellent choice for those who prefer not to smoke. 

Another alternative is cannabis-infused edibles, such as gummies or baked goods. These edibles offer a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis while providing relief from cold-related discomfort. 

For targeted relief, topical CBD products can be applied directly to affected areas. These topicals can offer localized relief from congestion or sore throat symptoms. 

Lastly, cannabis-infused teas can help soothe the body and provide hydration while potentially offering relief from cold symptoms. It's important to explore these different methods to find the one that suits your needs and preferences. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating cannabis into your cold relief routine.

To Sum It All Up...

When it comes to the question of whether smoking weed helps a cold, the science seems to suggest mixed results.

While cannabis does have anti-inflammatory properties that may help with symptoms such as congestion and sore throat, smoking it can also irritate the respiratory system and worsen inflammation.

However, there are alternative ways to use weed when you have a cold, such as using tinctures, consuming edibles, or trying topical CBD products.

These methods may provide some relief without the risks associated with smoking.

Ultimately, it's important to consider the potential risks and benefits and consult a healthcare professional before using weed as a remedy for a cold.


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Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333. https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93

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