CBD Oil for the Flu
Posted on September 9th, 2020
If you have done your homework on CBD, also known as cannabidiol, then you know it has numerous potential benefits. However, what about its effectiveness against influenza or the flu? While CBD should not take the place of medical care, it may be able to help to manage the flu and its symptoms. If you are among the people having a hard time during the flu season, you may be wondering if CBD can help you get some relief and hasten the healing process.
CBD for Wellness
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, one of the numerous active compounds in the hemp and cannabis plants. When consumed, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors that controls an array of functions such as appetite, metabolism, body weight regulation, inflammation, etc. This interaction may affect these functions in a positive manner, and thus the numerous potential therapeutic effects. This is exactly what might make CBD oil effective when it comes to addressing the flu and its symptoms.
The Flu, Just What Is It?
Often addressed as influenza in the scientific domain, the flu is an extremely contagious respiratory condition that’s caused by viruses that take a toll on the nose, throat, and sometimes, the lungs. Most patients recover in less than two weeks, but some develop complications that prompt hospitalization and, in worst cases, death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of influenza cases in the United States per year since 2010 has ranged from 9 million to 45 million, and deaths range in the tens of thousands .
As opposed to colds, which come about gradually, the flu comes suddenly, accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Body and muscle aches
- Fever or feeling chills
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Diarrhea and vomiting (more common in kids)
The chances of contracting the flu reduce as people age. However, seniors are at a greater risk of life-threatening complications.
Influenza is not a single virus, but an array of viruses that share particular characteristics. This array is why, even with a vaccine, many people may still contract influenza. In fact, the vaccine is based on predictions made by doctors about which strains will be more common in a given year. When exposed to a different strain, the vaccine has reduced efficacy and might not work at all.
Ways to Prevent the Flu
It is imperative to protect you and your loved ones from the virus due to the possibility of complications. Since influenza can be transmitted from one person to another, ensure you wash your hands on a regular basis or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid touching your mouth and nose with your hands.
The influenza virus can survive on hard surfaces for 2 to 8 hours , and so, you’ll want to spray or wipe the most commonly touched places in your home or workplace with a disinfectant. If you are looking after an individual with the disease, wear a face mask to protect yourself. Covering your sneezes and coughs also helps hamper the spread of the flu.
In addition, you may consider getting a yearly flu vaccination. It helps protect against the common strains of the virus, and it’s recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months. The vaccine is not 100% effective, but according to the CDC, it reduces the risk of contracting the flu by 40 to 60 percent .
Keep in mind that influenza or to be more specific, viruses, cannot be treated by antibacterial remedies or antibiotics. Once you are exposed, managing the symptoms is the only thing you can do. Even medication prescribed by a practitioner won’t cure the flu. It is just meant to help manage the symptoms. So can CBD help manage flu symptoms and how does CBD affect the flu?
CBD for Influenza
Before we get into how CBD oil may help address the flu, it is imperative to know what CBD will not do. Cannabidiol isn’t a medicine, and so, it will not help you diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure the flu. Using CBD oil doesn’t take the place of ideal medical care, although you may decide to use it in addition to your treatment. Thanks to the many potential benefits that come with consuming CBD, more and more people are considering it to help alleviate flu symptoms that cause the most discomfort when infected.
How CBD Oil May Help Symptoms of the Flu
Research on the efficacy of CBD oil when it comes to addressing the flu is still in its infant stages. Years of research on treatment as a controlled substance in addition to its psychoactive cousin, THC, the evidence is limited to smaller research programs, preliminary results from well-funded studies since its legalization, and anecdotal experiences. This evidence, so far, has pointed to the efficacy of cannabidiol in managing flu-like symptoms. The following are areas that CBD may address when it comes to the flu:
One of the worst things about having the flu is the headaches that accompany it. Headaches usually occur for an array of reasons. Inflamed sinuses result in throbbing pain in the front of the head, which makes it difficult to focus. The stress experienced during the illness can lead to stress-induced headaches that settle in the base of the skull and behind the eyes. Thanks to several studies, CBD is suggested to have an analgesic effect, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate headaches, in addition to better stress management.
Achiness that’s usually associated with influenza can be caused by the inflammation that comes with the immune system trying to get rid of the virus. Some studies show that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce this inflammation and thus could help reduce pain and discomfort when battling the flu.
Lack of Sleep
Given the pain and sniffling that comes with the flu, it is hard to get a good night’s sleep. Well, consuming CBD when battling influenza may help you sleep better. The mental calmness that CBD brings may help you relax. Sleeping is important and it has numerous health benefits, and it is especially needed when you’re not feeling well.
It is not uncommon to have an upset stomach when you have a cold or flu. You may not have an appetite, and the thought of eating might make you sick. However, your body needs the energy to fight the culprit. Battling nausea with cannabidiol has been a tactic used by numerous CBD enthusiasts, especially those fighting nausea experienced during chemotherapy.
How a severe illness makes you feel both emotionally and mentally is one of the most challenging influenza symptoms to quantify. Using cannabidiol may be a great way to support a healthy and positive outlook as you recover. CBD users report the product giving them a sense of calmness and wellbeing. Positive thoughts may not cure the condition, but they could lead to better healing outcomes.
A Wide Array of CBD Products to Pick From
Nowadays, there is a wide array of CBD consumption mechanisms including edibles, pills, oils as well as topical creams that can be applied for pain and inflammation. You will even come across bath bombs or salts, that allow you to take a therapeutic and relaxing steam bath while getting a healthy dose of CBD. You can also try CBD teas or honey, two relatively new forms of CBD in the market.
Go for High-Quality CBD Products
There are many different types of CBD products ranging from CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. As such, you may have to experiment with several CBD products to find the right one for your needs. The problem is that it is hard to know whether the product you are getting has the actual CBD amount mentioned on the label. According to research by the University of Pennsylvania, where they looked at 84 CBD products from 31 different manufacturers, most products contain more or less of the indicated CBD percentage. Also, some products may contain substantial amounts of THC that can intoxicate the user. Because of this, be sure to look for a reputable manufacturer that provides a certificate of analysis from third-party testing. A certificate of analysis will show what is in the product and how much.
CBD oil might be ideal for symptoms of the flu, but THC can suppress the immune system and so, you may want to avoid it until you feel better. You’ll also want to avoid smoking when you’re sick with a cold, as the respiratory system is already compromised by the illness. And, you don’t want to spread the flu by passing a vape pen or joint.
A cold makes you feel miserable, but the symptoms tend to pass in less than 2 weeks. So, get adequate sleep and consider trying a few supplements to see if there is something that makes you feel better.
When you decide that cannabidiol is right for you, ensure you get the highest quality possible. Here at Tanasi, we offer high-quality hemp-derived full-spectrum products. Whether you are looking to use it against symptoms of influenza or other reasons, you can find an array of CBD products on our online store.
If you among the people having a hard time during the flu season, you may be wondering if CBD oil can help you get relief and hasten the healing process.
Cannabis For Cold & Flu: Can Weed Help Fight The Common Cold?
As research has started to show, cannabis produces a variety of cannabinoids and other compounds with therapeutic potential. But are they able to help alleviate cold and flu symptoms? We can’t say for certain, but the current studies out there look promising.
The common cold and flu can spread through an office or campus like wildfire. Sit next to the wrong person, and you could find yourself coming down with something the next day. Sure, minor colds might give you a stuffy nose for a few days. At the same time, if you get a bad case of the flu, it can knock you down for a couple of weeks.
Now, most people reach for acetaminophen and copious amounts of tea when feeling under the weather. Those are all great, but there might be other (read: more fun) options to help take the edge off. What’s better, those options come in the form of delightful cannabis buds.
WHAT CAUSES THE COMMON COLD?
Over 200 different viruses can cause symptoms of the common cold. Sure, old wives tales blame chilly weather as the culprit, but the condition could actually be underpinned by hundreds of different microbes.
People come down with symptoms of the common cold after breathing in viral particles. These pathogens usually enter your lungs after you’ve been near someone coughing, sneezing, or simply breathing. You’re also vulnerable if you touch a contaminated surface and wipe your mouth/pick your nose without washing your hands.
The common cold can strike at any time, but infection rates increase dramatically during autumn and winter. The lack of humidity during these months causes the nasal passages to become dry, contributing to infection. The start of the academic year also means there are more people in close proximity, which helps cold viruses spread.
Several risk factors also increase a person’s chances of catching a cold. These include:
• Being young or old: The youngest and oldest people are most at-risk for serious cases
• Having a compromised immune system
• Being a frequent smoker
HOW COMMON COLDS AFFECT THE BODY
Colds viruses, right off the bat, cause upper respiratory infections. When viral particles first enter the airways, your immune system rises to the occasion.
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.
Soon after, the adaptive immune system kicks in. White blood cells manufacture antibodies specifically designed to combat the new pathogen. These proteins mean the body can defend itself against future infections by the same pathogen.
You’ll experience many physical symptoms during this microscopic war. These usually include:
• Stuffy nose
• Low-grade fever
Most people recover before anything else happens. It doesn’t fade as easily for everyone, though. Symptoms of an advanced cold include:
• Ear infection
• Strep throat
• Chest infection
CAN CANNABIS HELP RELIEVE COMMON COLD SYMPTOMS?
No cure exists for the cold. You simply need to endure it until the body defeats the pathogen. However, conventional approaches like painkillers and decongestants are designed to reduce symptoms. Alternative treatments such as zinc, vitamin C, and other herbal remedies also appear to help.
Cannabis, as it turns out, might belong in the latter category. Humans have used the herb to address many different ailments for thousands of years. Sceptical of ancient practices, though? Modern scientific analysis has also shown that many of the phytochemicals in cannabis possess therapeutic potential.
That being said, little to no evidence exists that cannabis can alleviate the common cold. No human trials have demonstrated if the herb helps or hurts the body as it works to kill the virus. However, certain chemicals within the plant show the potential to help tackle some of the symptoms.
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.
Although inflammation serves a purpose, it can lead to uncomfortable sensations. Hence, anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs are often advised to reduce cold symptoms. As it happens, cannabis also produces molecules with anti-inflammatory potential.
Research published in the European Journal of Pharmacology  in 2019 tested the effects of CBD on airway inflammation in mice with asthma. After administering CBD, they found the cannabinoid to not only decrease inflammation symptoms, but to improve their airway remodelling processes. CBD was believed to exert these immunomodulatory effects via signalling of CB1 and CB2 receptors.
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.
Along with inflammation, CBD may help to reduce cold and flu-related pain. For example, a 2007 study  found CBD to act as an orally effective therapeutic agent for chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in mice.
However, it might work better for pain when taken alongside THC. Researchers found that CBD enhanced  and prolonged THC’s pain-reducing effects when the two cannabinoids were given to mice in combination.
Neither of these studies say anything about how these treatments will work for humans. Considering that, though, they’re promising starting points for future research.
Lack of sleep seriously disturbs immune function. In fact, people who are sleep deprived are more likely to get sick  after being exposed to a common cold virus. In turn, getting a good amount of sleep while sick can also change how fast your body recovers.
Adding another potential benefit to the checklist, studies suggest that CBD may help people fall asleep  and stay asleep. Researchers believe these effects are partly caused by a reduction in anxiety that otherwise keeps people awake.
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.
Many cannabis strains also produce high levels of the terpene myrcene. The molecule displays soporific effects, with research  showing it to enhance muscle relaxation and increase sleep time in mice.
DOES SMOKING CANNABIS MAKE A COLD OR FLU WORSE?
So far, we’ve been making a good case for cannabinoids. The act of smoking, however, is another issue.
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.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO USE CANNABIS FOR THE COMMON COLD?
Thankfully, you can consume cannabis in many different ways. Even better, most of them don’t involve passing hot smoke down your sore, cold-ridden throat.
MAKE YOUR OWN CANNABIS TEA
A warm cup of tea does wonders to lift the spirits when you’re cold-stricken. In turn, adding a touch of cannabis to the mix might be just what you need to ease your symptoms. Cannabis tea allows users to avoid inhaling anything, and it produces more intense effects than smoking. Use our simple recipe to brew up a batch next time you start feeling a cold coming on.
The common cold often causes fatigue and aching muscles. It just so happens that topical CBD can potentially help stave off these issues. Since you’re applying it directly to the skin as a gel, lotion, or balm, it’s able to more directly target the source of the issue.
Edibles allow users to bypass smoking, sending cannabinoids directly through the GI tract and into the bloodstream. Edibles take longer to set in due to their extended metabolic pathway, but the effects are often much more pronounced. You can even make cannabutter at home to infuse your favourite dish with high levels of THC, CBD, or both.
Unlike smoking, vaping’s low temperatures preserve every cannabinoid in the bud or concentrate. By only heating a bit past the decarboxylation point, the cannabinoids and terpenes can be vaporized without burning plant matter. This lack of combustion makes inhaling cannabinoids much less harsh on the throat.
DOES CBD OIL HELP WITH THE COMMON COLD?
Well, we don’t have any evidence that CBD oil will help cure your cold. However, the studies we covered above suggest that the cannabinoid might help relieve some of the symptoms. High-quality, full-spectrum CBD oils also bring lots of synergistic cannabinoids and terpenes in tow, many of which could potentially offer further symptom relief.
SHOULD YOU USE CANNABIS IF YOU HAVE A COLD OR FLU?
The jury is still out. Really, it depends on the individual. The only way to truly know if it works for you is to give it a go. Carefully dose out your cannabinoids as your immune system gets to work, and pay attention to see if your symptoms begin to reduce.
Humans have used cannabis for holistic purposes for thousands of years, but could it possibly help with one of the most common health issues out there?