BY ANDREW NGUYEN
Photo courtesy of iStock
You’re all too familiar with tell-tale signs: sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, body aches, fatigue, and in the worst cases, fever and nausea. Welcome to cold and flu season. Yes, you probably should be washing your hands more often as a pre-emptive measure but now that you’re not feeling well, how can you get through it? The common cold is caused by a virus, so there’s no magic pill that’ll get you back to normal. You can turn to traditional treatments like over-the-counter medications, soups, teas, and cough drops to alleviate symptoms or try immune-boosting homeopathic remedies like whole cloves of garlic or oil of oregano. But maybe it’s time to add cannabis to the mix. Before you do that, here’s everything you need to know.
The Science Behind THC and Cold and Flu Season
There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done on the impact of cannabis on the common cold and flu but recent evidence suggests that your symptoms can be managed if you use it responsibly. Studies have shown that THC and CBD have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, fever-reducing, and sleep-inducing properties. How does this apply to your cold? Well, it could be the best way to relieve your body aches and get you a good night’s rest — all important things in the healing process. And when it comes to inflammation, that’s the cause behind your sore throat, swollen nasal passageways aka stuffy nose, and fevers so anything to reduce that will also help you feel better, faster.
While experts are still studying the benefits of THC and CBD, they’re definitive on one piece of advice: don’t smoke. It will irritate your nose, throat, and lungs and you’ll feel worse in the long run. Plus, in some cases consuming could make you more lightheaded and weak. Instead, look to other methods that target and relieve specific symptoms.
7 Tips for Getting Through Cold and Flu Season
Dose Your Hot Beverage: Add cannabis-infused honey like Potli or Kikoko to your tea or hot water. Honey, which can act like a cough suppressant, will coat your throat while the warm drink will loosen up phlegm. If you’d rather try an infused tea and regular honey, Kikoko makes a chamomile one that’s meant for rest and relaxation.
Try an Infused Bone Broth: If you’re going to drink soup, make sure it’s one packed with benefits by using your slow cooker to simmer a nutritious bone broth with the addition of flower. The heat will activate the cannabinoids and infuse your meal with its beneficial properties. Here’s a good recipe for a beef based one that sounds delicious even if you’re not sick but feel free to swap out with the protein (or veggies) of your choice.
Make an Amped Up Smoothie: Can’t swallow anything substantial but tired of soup? Try drinking a fruit-filled smoothie and add tincture to mix. Here’s a protein-packed recipe to try.
Take a THC-Infused Bath: A soothing hot soak will ease your body aches and loosen up congestion. Add a scoop of THC-rich bath salt like this one by Papa and Barkley to maximize those properties.
Rub a CBD Balm: Headache? Massage a Papa and Barkley’s CBD rich balm on your temples. It also doubles as a muscle salve so apply it to your lower back or anywhere else you’re feeling achy.
Consider a Sleep Aid: If you can’t fall asleep or you’re waking up multiple times through the night, you’re not going to get better. Depending on your preference, try a tincture, capsule, or sublingual strip to help you rest. Kin Slips Shut Eye, dissolves under your tongue and you’ll be ready for bed within 10 minutes. Should you prefer a capsule, AbsoluteXtracts’ Sleepy Time soft gels will go down easily. And if you’re more of a tincture person, Humboldt Apothecary, PRANA, Papa and Barkley, and AbsoluteXtracts all make ones that are great for bedtime.