Can Cannabis Ease Cold and Flu?

Liz Filmer
27 May 2023

Colds and flu affect the respiratory system, comprising the mouth, nose, throat, airways, and lungs. Many symptoms of colds and flu echo those of chronic cannabis smokers, an inflamed throat, coughing, shortness of breath, and excess phlegm. 

If your throat and lungs are irritated, smoking anything, whether it's cannabis or tobacco, may increase the unpleasant symptoms you're already experiencing. Therefore, it is generally considered best to give the respiratory system a break and instead opt for edibles, tinctures, or topicals.

There is little research that explores the effects of cannabis on colds and flu; however, there's a lot of research that supports the idea that weed can ease pain, help with insomnia and sleeplessness, increase appetite, and ease headaches, which are all common symptoms of colds and flu. 

However, research shows that infrequent cannabis smoking may help temporarily open airways for 15-60 minutes. This research suggests that irregular smokers may be able to take deeper breaths for a brief period after smoking, which, in turn, may offer some limited and temporary relief from shortness of breath or wheezing. 

Cannabis may also have unique benefits for those with a cold or flu. For example, weed may help dry out upper respiratory secretions like it dries out the mouth when you smoke.

Cannabis can also help to clear phlegm from the lungs and throat. However, you should refrain from inhaling cannabis if you're experiencing any negative respiratory symptoms. 

Many have shared how cannabis can help with sleeping, aches, pains, fever and appetite.

Cannabis can save you from restlessness and an inability to sleep when you are plagued with body aches or fever. Nighttime cold syrups are tremendous but can knock you out for too long. THC does not last as long as cold medicine, meaning you will wake up without feeling groggy.    

If nothing else, cannabis can put you out of the misery of feeling ill. If you have to feel terrible, then you might as well be high and feel terrible. 
So if you are going to use cannabis whilst you are ill with a cold or flu, it's best to avoid smoking or vaping. Instead, use edibles, tinctures, or topicals to allow your body to deal with the infection and heal itself. 



Liz Filmer