Passing around a joint amongst friends is a fun but quick way to spread germs, so be careful who you light up with.
The medical community agrees non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen or Tylenol) are good at treating aches and pains, but that’s about it. Even popular home remedies don’t cut it in the science world: randomized controlled trials of echinacea, vitamin C, and even garlic found these cold and flu go-tos were no better than placebos for reducing symptoms. And Mom’s chicken soup? A 2000 study found it had mild anti-inflammatory benefits to help alleviate symptoms, but not by much.
It comes on like a freight train: sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, and malaise. And that’s just the common cold. The flu ups the ante with all those symptoms plus fever, severe headache, and extreme exhaustion—in some adult cases vomiting and diarrhea, although those are more common in kids.
But before you light up that bong…
If eating cannabis appeals to you on your sick day(s), we caught up with Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook. She says when she’s feeling under the weather she turns to:
After about five to seven days (of eternity), most healthy adults will bounce back from both colds and the flu. But what can you do in the meantime?
We tried speaking with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, but they declined to comment, saying there is not sufficient research to confirm the impact of cannabis on colds and the flu.
And before you pop a canna-lemon drop, he points out the immune-suppressing properties mentioned earlier could potentially prolong a viral infection. “That being said, the research has been primarily in vitro or in rats; there hasn’t been any studies on humans to date,” he says.
Once the virus enters a cell, it will either use that cell’s resources to replicate itself, eventually breaking the cell in search of a new cell, or, incorporating itself into the DNA of your cell. This allows the virus to be passed down through natural genetic duplication (mitosis) and cellular division (cytokinesis).
To understand how a cold affects our body, it’s important to understand that colds and flus are the outcomes of viruses in our body. These viruses are microscopic particles of genetic material, each coated with a thin layer of protein. Unlike the natural cells in your body, these viruses are not able to reproduce on their own, but instead, use the machinery and metabolism of your cells to produce multiple copies of themselves.
How Do These Viruses Affect Our Body?
Sure, you can go down the standard route, get a flu vaccine, that is laden with toxic chemicals, or you can shove conventional medicine down your throat once you’re sick. Another option is to let it run its course and protect your system using CBD.
As colds and the flu are both caused by viruses, antibiotics are, in most cases, not required. They may make you feel better because they have a mild anti-inflammatory effect, but this is far outweighed by the negative impact that they have on the friendly bacteria throughout your digestive tract. If you really require help with pain management during a cold or flu, CBD oil could work as an effective treatment.
“Cannabidiol (CBD), may offer control of the immune system and in turn, protect from viral infections. Cannabis has already been seen to inhibit fungus and bacteria and can be considered a new class of antimicrobial because of the different mechanism of action from other antimicrobials.”
Colds viruses, right off the bat, cause upper respiratory infections. When viral particles first enter the airways, your immune system rises to the occasion.
You’ll experience many physical symptoms during this microscopic war. These usually include:
CAN CANNABIS HELP RELIEVE COMMON COLD SYMPTOMS?
Previous research published in 2015  found CBD to improve lung function and inflammation in mice. Additional research published in Immunopharmacology  examined the effects of THC and CBD on cytokine production in human immune cells. Cytokines are signalling molecules used to drive inflammatory responses. Fortunately, both THC and CBD were observed to strongly inhibit cytokine production.
Most people recover before anything else happens. It doesn’t fade as easily for everyone, though. Symptoms of an advanced cold include:
The common cold often causes fatigue and aching muscles. It just so happens that topical CBD can potentially help stave off these issues. Since you’re applying it directly to the skin as a gel, lotion, or balm, it’s able to more directly target the source of the issue.