Throughout human history, plants have been providing natural remedies for various ailments. For example, digoxin, a medication used today to treat heart failure and an irregular heartbeat, was first isolated from the foxglove plant.
Another plant known for its many health benefits is cannabis. The famous cannabis flower has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and has some well-documented effects. This popular herb is claimed to treat health disorders like arthritis, anxiety, and asthma. However, can weed treat the common cold?
Unfortunately, there is limited evidence regarding cannabis and its effects on the common cold due to restrictions on research. Nevertheless, cannabis’s therapeutic properties may be beneficial for colds. Below, we’ll discuss how cannabis can help you feel better during a cold or flu.
Cannabis’s Therapeutic Role: Cannabis, particularly its components THC and CBD, may have therapeutic properties beneficial for colds and flu, though research is limited.
Health Benefits during Illness: Cannabis can potentially reduce pain and inflammation, aid in sleep regulation, ease breathing, and relieve nausea and stress during sickness.
Natural Alternative: Cannabis offers a natural remedy for colds and flu symptoms with minimal side effects compared to conventional medications.
How Does Cannabis Work?
According to research, there are hundreds of different molecules in cannabis that give it its famed properties. Although not all have been studied, we know that weed’s main effects are exerted by the binding of two major molecules, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), to cannabinoid receptors spread out through the brain and the rest of the body.
Various strains of weed can have varying levels of different molecules, resulting in surprisingly different effects across breeds. Nonetheless, the effects may be desirable for many different reasons. Below, we have put together some of the most common reasons why it may be worth a try to use cannabis for colds.
Related Article: 5 Possible Health Benefits of THC
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Probably one of the most renowned effects of cannabis is pain relief. While weed is not a conventional treatment for the common cold, it has been used to treat pain in several medical conditions, including fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and even cancer. When cannabinoids bind to their receptors, they change the way our brain interprets pain signals.
Another major contributor to pain during sickness is inflammation. When our bodies are infected with a virus or bacteria, they sound the alarm and release molecules locally and systemically to create inflammation. Inflammation helps recruit white blood cells to the site to ward off foreign invaders and repair the damage. Unfortunately, this is also what causes your aches and pains.
This is where cannabis can be effective for colds. Cannabis’s pain-alleviating abilities may also be due to its anti-inflammatory effects. THC and CBD influence the signals sent by your body’s immune system, turning that blaring fire alarm into an urgent phone call. This works similarly to the effects of ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). There are even topical CBD balms for this reason.
Helps You Sleep
Weed may be useful in common colds to regulate sleep, the period when most of your body’s repair processes take place. The best thing to do during a cold or flu is to hydrate and hunker down in bed. While sleep is absolutely vital for a healthy, functioning immune system, it can be severely impaired in times of illness.
Cannabis has been proposed as a therapy for insomnia and other sleep-related disorders for many years. If cannabis is used for colds, it may give our brains a nudge in the right direction to hit the hay. A CBD tincture can help you get a full night’s rest when you feel miserable.
Related Article: The Best Cannabis Strains for Sleep and Insomnia
When administered on its own, THC has been shown in research to dilate airways in the lungs. This aspect of THC could help get more air into your deep lung tissues and alleviate some of those feelings of shortness of breath.
It is important to reiterate that these bronchodilating effects are seen only when THC is ingested as an isolated compound. Smoking or vaping may not be the best idea if you are already coughing up a lung. Weed may help in common colds, but try to stick to the edibles on this one.
Relieves Nausea and Vomiting
Some well-known symptoms of the cold and flu include nausea and vomiting. Yet again, this is another area where cannabis shows promise for colds. Medical cannabis may have some benefit in treating nausea and vomiting that does not respond to other treatments. For example, it has been trialed as a treatment for chemotherapy-induced nausea.
Cannabis has also been frequently used to stimulate appetite. Although, we don’t need to tell you that one! Nonetheless, proper nutrition is vital to a speedy recovery during sickness as your body is rapidly churning out new cells.
Soothes the Mind
Stress can drastically affect almost every aspect of your health, including your immune system. This can be a vicious cycle: stress can weaken your immune system, and being sick can lead to significant stress.
Many find comfort in cannabis as it helps alleviate their feelings of anxiety and gives them a sense of euphoria to combat their depression. This calming effect of THC may be another benefit of using cannabis for colds.
Headaches are also common symptoms of the cold and flu and are sometimes caused by blood vessel constriction. Cannabis may act as a vasodilator, opening up those blood vessels in your head and throughout the rest of your body.
Feel Better with CanEx
There are plenty of potential benefits to using weed for common colds. Cannabis can relieve pain, help you sleep better, and open up your lungs, all of which can be helpful when you have a cold or flu. And best of all, it’s a natural remedy. Unlike conventional cold and flu medications, cannabis products do not produce any serious adverse side effects.
If you’re sick and live in SoCal, let CanEx help you feel better. We offer cannabis drinks, tinctures, topicals, edibles, prerolls, vape cartridges, and so much more from some of your favorite brands. Lay back on your bed, and order online in just a few clicks. CanEx will deliver your weed to your door in a flash! Shop now to receive your order today.