Medical science and research has grown leaps and bounds over the years. It has practically found solutions for almost all illnesses, offering answers on what causes them while at the same time enlisting steps to get rid of them. However, one mild but a common illness that still evades that is the common flu and cold. Being a viral infection, it can only be managed and there is no specific cure for it yet.
You can manage a cold and avoid contracting it with precautions, but once you’ve got it, it takes its due time to get out of the system. There are various ways to do that. Steam to clear your respiratory tract, herbal medicines to boost your immune system and allopathic medicines to manage the symptoms. However, you’ll be surprised to know that there’s a certain set of people that have an entirely different approach to managing their cold. Smoking up weed. So how does smoking up weed actually affect your cold?
Research on cannabis is anyway not widely available and most of it is restricted to its effectiveness in dealing with diseases like cancer. While there’s no specific research that states clearly the affect smoking weed has on us if we’ve contracted a cold, there are certain theories both for and against the practice.
Smoking Weed Actually Helps If You’ve Caught A Cold
An article published in 2018 in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research delved into the possible effects smoking up could have on your cold. According to it, Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids and terpenoids. These compounds are said to have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. As a result, in theory, they should help alleviate some of the inflammatory symptoms of a cold such as inflamed sinuses, pressure headaches, puffy eyes. swollen nasal passageways etc.
Another argument in favour of the practice states that since smoking up weed actually puts you in a state of high, it mentally reduces the pain your body is going through when you have a cold, thus giving you a belief that smoking up helps your cold. “I’ve smoked up while I’ve been ill. I don’t know if it helps you specifically during a cold or not but like it generally uplifts your mood and gives you a high. It kind of makes you forget the little things that annoy you during a cold, such as your blocked nose or the body ache” said Raashi.
A 2017 review even concluded that weed is an effective treatment for chronic pain among adults. Therefore it’s possible that smoking weed could help relieve pain associated with short-term illnesses such as a cold or the flu.
Smoking Weed Has No Effect In Managing Your Cold
While there’s no scientific evidence that suggests that smoking up could increase the longevity of your cold or make it worse, there are several arguments that suggest that could be the case as well.
Smoking, in general, has been linked to respiratory issues, such as coughing, wheezing, and mucus production. Add a cold during all of that and smoking up does not really look like a good option. It has also been argued that the heat and smoke can actually make the symptoms during a cold worse. With both heat and smoke being potential irritants, smoking weed results in inhaling hot smoke into one's lungs. This may actually end up cancelling any anti-inflammatory benefits that the cannabinoids and terpenoids provide. Smoke can also irritate the throat and lungs, resulting in increased phlegm production. Excess phlegm can worsen a cough and aggravate an itchy throat.
Another deterrent for smoking up weed during a cold is that it may react negatively with your medication as well. Most of us don’t go to a doctor and resort to over-the-counter cold medications to treat the illnesses. This practice runs a threat as well as these medications may cause side effects similar to that caused by weed and may even aggravate them such as having a dry mouth, feeling dizzy, drowsiness etc.
As of now, there is no scientific research or evidence to prove conclusively the effect that smoking weed has on a person who has contracted a cold. Therefore it is not possible to say with surety whether smoking up would have a positive or negative effect on the illness. As a result, till the theory is scientifically confirmed, we’d suggest you go the traditional route of proven medication if you ever encounter a cold!