Smoking Weed While Sick: How Does Weed Mix With The Common Cold Or The Flu?

Last updated: 27 October 2020

How does weed help with the flu

As the days get shorter and colder, cannabis needs to be grown indoors until next spring. With autumn and the indoor season right around the corner, common colds and flus will be making the rounds. It’s no fun getting sick, but does that mean you have to sacrifice getting stoned? As part of our series of topics related to the indoor growing season, let’s look into how weed interacts with the body when you’re sick and if it’s right for you.

Does Weed Help With The Flu Or Common Cold Symptoms?

One of the worst things about the common cold is that there’s no cure – you’re sick until your immune system wipes out the virus. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t manage the symptoms with over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal remedies. That’s where cannabis comes in. Does weed help with the flu or common cold? Read on to find out.

Inflammation: Sore Throat And Runny Nose

When the body detects a virus, white blood cell production increases. The white blood cells need to get to the parts of the body infected with the virus, so the body initiates an inflammatory response. This inflammation, which acts as passageways for the white blood cells, is responsible for the symptoms of the common cold such as a sore throat and runny nose.

Why Cannabis For Inflammation?

So what can marijuana do to help with the inflammatory response the body goes through when sick? Several scientific studies have been published on the subject of cannabis and inflammation. CBD has been observed to decrease symptoms of inflammation and stimulate healing. Other research has shown that THC and CBD can inhibit the production of cytokines, molecules associated with inflammatory response. In other words, the two cannabinoids can tackle your inflammatory symptoms so you can take a break from the sickness.

Headaches And Other Bodily Pains

When you think of getting sick, the symptoms that usually come to mind are the sniffles, a sore throat, and a fever. However, that’s not all that can ail you when you’re under the weather: headaches and bodily pains often come along with those seasonal illnesses. Cannabis could be the answer for when you ache all over.

Marijuana Strains For Pain ReliefVIEW ALL

Why Cannabis For Pain?

Weed when sick

Multiple studies have shown that the cannabinoids CBD and THC can be used to treat inflammatory pain such as headaches and muscle aches. The effects of CBD are already praised by cannabis users with chronic pain, and it can even enhance THC’s own pain-reducing properties. When taken together, the two cannabinoids can be incredibly effective in reducing inflammation and pain related to a cold or flu. Ingesting cannabis orally or applying it topically can do wonders when you hurt all over, giving you some much-needed relief.

High THC strain


Poor-Quality Sleep

Cannabis for sleep

Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to quickly overcome a cold, but it can be hard to catch those Z’s when plagued by a cough and clogged sinuses. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is a good way to avoid getting sick altogether, but if you’re already feeling lousy, weed could be your first-class ticket to dreamland.

Strains For SleepVIEW ALL

Why Cannabis For Sleep?

To top off the ways weed can benefit you when you’re sick, it can also help you get that beauty sleep! THC is thought to be helpful in reducing the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep, although long-term use is thought to reduce REM sleep and thus decrease overall sleep quality. CBD, on the other hand, is beneficial because it may not only help people fall asleep, but also stay asleep. Cannabinoids aren’t the only stars of the show; the terpene myrcene is also thought to help with sleep because of its effects on muscle relaxation and sleep time in a study with mice.

Weed When Sick: What Consumption Method To Choose?

Smoking weed with a cold probably isn’t going to do your body any favors, but there are many ways to consume cannabis and still get baked while you’re recovering. You can get high without inhaling hot smoke and irritating your lungs – it’s just up to you which consumption method to choose.

Smoking Weed While Sick

It’s generally a good idea to avoid smoking weed while sick with a sore throat or coughing. When the respiratory system is already weakened, breathing in the smoke from a joint can irritate the airways and make the symptoms worse. It’s not necessarily going to make you sicker, but smoking regularly can make a cold last longer. It’s no fun to take a break from smoking, but your throat and lungs will appreciate it if you find a different way to get that marijuana fix until you’re healthy again.

Smoking weed while sick

Weed Tea When Sick

A cup of tea with honey is probably your go-to beverage when you’re sick anyway, so why not add some weed to it? Cannabis tea can help ease your symptoms with its intense, edible-like effects, and is easier on the respiratory system since you’re not smoking. Start saving your stems now, and use our cannabis stem tea recipe the next time you feel under the weather. Add some ginger, lemon, and honey for a potent potion that will soothe both your throat and soul.

CBD oil for colds

Weed Topicals When Sick

The cold and flu can come with symptoms that make you hurt all over with muscle aches and fatigue. Topical CBD products can come in handy for those times. They are fast-acting and come in gel, lotion, and balm form to directly alleviate pain in the affected area. A CBD balm will help take away those aches and pains, and can be effective against headaches as well. 

high cbd cannabisVIEW ALL

Weed Edibles When Sick

Treats infused with cannabis come in all forms: brownies, pre-dosed capsules, cannabutter, even CBD throat lozenges! Regardless of whether you’re interested in CBD for a sore throat, THC to take the edge off, or both, edibles are a reliable and effective way to get high without smoking. They take longer to kick in, but if you’re home sick, you’ve got time, right? They also tend to have much more pronounced effects per dose and last much longer compared to smoking a joint.

weed and a cold

Vaping Weed When Sick

If smoking weed when sick with flu is a no-go, what about vaping? Vaping is different from smoking because there is no burning involved. The temperature of a vape allows the cannabinoids to be vaporized without combustion. In other words, it’s less harsh on the throat because there’s no smoke involved, but you still get totally baked. If the ritual of smoking is something you don’t want to take a break from, vaping weed when sick is the best option.

CBD Oil For Colds

As discussed above, both THC and CBD can be helpful in managing and alleviating cold symptoms. It follows that CBD oil for colds isn’t such a bad idea. Now, there isn’t any hard evidence that it will help ‘cure’ a cold, but cannabinoids and terpenes do good work when it comes to symptom relief. And considering that there isn’t a cure for the common cold anyway, managing how you feel is the best you can do!

Weed And Antibiotics: How Do They Mix?

All this sick talk might have you wondering, “What if I’m on antibiotics – can I still get high then?” Research shows that there are very few medications that interact with cannabis, and antibiotics specifically don’t make the list of meds with proven harmful interactions. Research is actually in the works to determine whether marijuana and antibiotics could have favorable interactions, but the jury’s still out on that. Studies have shown that CBD may have antibiotic properties, but there’s no hard evidence yet. At the very least, indulging in some weed won’t cause any issues, aside from the slight possibility of increased side-effects from your medications.

Sick As A Dog But High As A Kite!

Bottom line, it’s up to you to decide if weed and a cold make for a good combination. Depending on your symptoms and individual characteristics, it could make you more comfortable and give you a break from some of your symptoms. You know your body best and when it needs a break to heal itself!

Herbies Head Shop expressly refuses to support the use, production, or supply of illegal substances. For more details read our Legal Disclaimer.

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