From a naturopathic perspective, we did reach Dr. Shawn Meirovici, a Toronto-based ND who specializes in pain management. He reiterates there is no direct link between cannabis use and treating colds and the flu. However, he said there is new evidence suggesting symptoms can be managed if cannabis is used responsibly.
As for flu symptoms, he says cannabis may also have “antipyretic or fever-reducing properties, due to its ability to suppress the immune system.”
What the experts say
Plus, if you’re one of those ounce-of-prevention types, he says some research suggests CBD has anti-viral properties.
If eating cannabis appeals to you on your sick day(s), we caught up with Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook. She says when she’s feeling under the weather she turns to:
We tried speaking with the College of Family Physicians of Canada, but they declined to comment, saying there is not sufficient research to confirm the impact of cannabis on colds and the flu.
So far, we’ve been making a good case for cannabinoids. The act of smoking, however, is another issue.
Colds viruses, right off the bat, cause upper respiratory infections. When viral particles first enter the airways, your immune system rises to the occasion.
Of course, letting carcinogenic compounds into your airways when you have a respiratory illness won’t do your body any favours. No evidence suggests that doing so will make your condition worse, but it makes sense to avoid it. Harsh smoke might exacerbate an already sore and dry throat, ultimately making those symptoms worse.
White blood cells will first differentiate between foreign pathogens and the body’s own cells. Once they identify the enemy, these white blood cells—including leukocytes and natural killer cells—being to wage war.
THC may also help to decrease the amount of time  it takes to fall asleep. However, heavy and long-term use appears to actually decrease sleep quality  by reducing REM sleep.
Previous research published in 2015  found CBD to improve lung function and inflammation in mice. Additional research published in Immunopharmacology  examined the effects of THC and CBD on cytokine production in human immune cells. Cytokines are signalling molecules used to drive inflammatory responses. Fortunately, both THC and CBD were observed to strongly inhibit cytokine production.
All of the symptoms of the common cold stem from inflammation  . Your immune system—not the pathogen—underpins symptoms such as a sore throat and runny nose. The body instigates an inflammatory response for a key reason: to allow white blood cells easier passage through the tissues to reach the site of infection.
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