Colds suck. The sniffles, the sneezes, the coughing, and general inflammation can seem almost unbearable at times. Hardly a cold goes by where you don’t wonder, “How can I make this end sooner?”
Enter marijuana. While cannabis does not have the power to cure your cold, it can help ease some general symptoms and make your downtime a little less unpleasant.
The Common Cold
It is estimated that American adults suffer two to four colds each year. Colds are easily transmitted by surface contact, sharing of fluids, or even by way of droplets in the air. All these factors are exacerbated by time spent indoors during the winter, hence why they call it the “cold and flu” season.
Symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and sometimes fever can wear a person down. Typically, the best cure for a cold is rest and more rest. Marijuana can help encourage your body to rest and recover in a few different ways.
Sleep, Sleep, and More Sleep
There’s a reason we feel tired when we’re sick: our body is telling us that it needs the energy to fight whatever virus or bacteria is wreaking havoc on our system.
Cannabis can be an excellent sleep aid. A 2004 study showed that a moderate amount of THC can help put the body into a deep, restorative sleep. However, it also warns that too much can disrupt your sleep cycle, so be aware of moderation in this application.
Using Cannabis to Reduce Inflammation
When you’re coming down with a cold, you start to feel it throughout your whole body. Not only do your nasal passages feel like they’re filled with rocks and mud, but your joints might begin to ache, and your head might hurt.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main compounds in marijuana and is known to have anti-inflammatory effects. Finding a strain high in CBD might help your daytime aches and pains. Keep in mind that some folks might find CBD a bit stimulating. If that’s the case for you, we recommend avoiding nighttime use to not disrupt your sleep cycle.
How to Use Weed When You’re Sick
While we can see that weed can help reduce cold symptoms, you have to consider the situation. If your throat is sore or you’re hacking up a lung, smoking will not help.
Fortunately, there are many ways to consume marijuana that don’t include inhalation. While vaping is technically better than smoking, tinctures or oils are safer for your respiratory system. Edibles might work well, but keep in mind that sugar inhibits your immune system and may prolong your healing time.
Possibly the best and most gentle way to consume cannabis when you’re ailing is to make cannabis tea. While this recipe uses dairy milk, non-dairy is better when you’re congested. Or you can always add cannabis-infused honey to your favorite tea.
And as with any edibles/oils/tinctures, start low and go slow! When your body is already feeling down and out, the last thing you need to do is put your mind in turmoil as well.
Cannabis for Colds
While marijuana certainly won’t cure your cold, it can help you find some comfort during your illness. Avoiding smoking is good for your health, so using edibles or extracts is best. By helping with sleep and inflammation, cannabis might make your cold pass by just a little bit faster.