Cannabis and the Common Cold: Does It Help or Hurt?

The potential medical applications of cannabis seem boundless—there are an array of terminal and debilitating illnesses that may, in time, be successfully remedied with the plant. However, for those cannabis users who aren’t treating life-threatening diseases and disorders, how does medical marijuana fit into a normal health regimen? More specifically, what sort of role, if any, does cannabis play when it comes to dealing with the common cold and flu?


As the fall season begins fading into the winter months, an influx in cool weather is a sure harbinger for cold and flu season. Therefore, the marijuana-using population should be conscious of how their consumption should be regulated during this time.

Regular Marijuana Use While Sick

For many marijuana advocates and aficionados, “regular cannabis use” can range from several times a day to a few times a week. How regular marijuana consumption will affect one’s health while sick depends largely on how the herb is consumed and in what volume. For example, if a heavy cannabis smoker is exacerbated with a sore throat and respiratory funk, it’s not a good idea to continue with their standard smoking regimen. Moreover, smoking cannabis while experiencing the on-comings of a sore throat can very well turn a minor physical impediment into a full-fledged affliction. In a similar vein, regular edibles consumption should be curbed while experiencing stomach issues, both minor and major.

With the aforementioned notions in mind, during cold and flu season people should structure their cannabis intake around personal thresholds and physical markers. Also, remember that the passing of a pipe or joint around a large group of people is a great way to spread, or contract, a viral infection.

Potential Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis

While a majority of media attention surrounding medical marijuana has to do with terminal epidemics like cancer and aids, cannabis actually has an array of applications for less severe illnesses. To this end, research into potential medical applications of cannabis concerning common sicknesses presented some promising findings. Here are some ways in which medical marijuana can be utilized during cold and flu season:

  • The pain nullifying properties of THC can be beneficial for those suffering from the “aches” of the common cold—aiding in both sleep in relaxation during these tough times.
  • CBD has some serious anti-viral applications; some doctor’s feel that regular CBD consumption can actually help fight-off the common cold and flu.
  • An individual’s endocannabinoid system can easily become depleted while sick—this occurs as one’s body consistently defends itself against a virus. Marijuana consumption, including both THC and CBD rich strains, can help replenish these endogenous cannabinoids that are depleted during sickness. By refreshing the endocannabinoid system, people can potentially heal from sickness more efficiently.
  • Marijuana can act as an “anti-inflammatory,” helping to open up air ways and passages in the human body otherwise inhibited by being sick.

Judging by these rather astonishing findings, people may be well-advised to add cannabis to their health routine during cold and flu season—in a balanced, logical, and responsible fashion. Look out chicken soup, weed is here to stay.

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