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Cannabis, or weed, is a psychoactive drug that some people use for medical or recreational purposes. Although its use is highly controversial, this is changing as more states and other countries move to legalize and regulate the drug. Some people believe that smoking weed can help alleviate the symptoms of the common cold. If true, this could be due to the anti-inflammatory compounds present in cannabis. Other people believe either that smoking cannabis has no effect on a cold or that it could make symptoms worse.
Indeed, burning cannabis produces heat and smoke, both of which are likely to irritate the sinuses, potentially exacerbating respiratory symptoms. Currently, there is no direct research on the effects that smoking weed has on a cold.
However, research into the general health effects of cannabis use can help shed light on this area. In this article, we outline the existing research relating to smoking weed with a cold and discuss the potential side effects. To date, there has been a lack of scientific research focusing specifically on the effects of smoking weed with a cold. As the authors of a review note, the general health effects of cannabis smoking can be difficult to gauge.
One reason for this is that different strains of cannabis contain varying concentrations of the active compounds deltatetrahydrocannabinol THC and cannabidiol CBD. Despite the lack of direct research into smoking weed with a cold, there are several related questions that research may help answer. We consider some of these below. Proponents of cannabis often promote weed smoking as a cure-all for minor health issues, such as the common cold.
Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids and terpenoids. According to a article in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Researchthese compounds may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These effects may help alleviate some of the inflammatory symptoms of a cold, including:. Smoking weed may also help lessen general aches and pains, which are common symptoms of a cold. As a review states, cannabinoids reduce feelings of pain in many people, even those who experience chronic pain.
Again, there is no evidence relating specifically to cold symptoms. Anyone considering using weed to help with these symptoms may wish to consider scientifically proven options first. However, some research suggests that smoking weed may aggravate certain cold symptoms.
A review found low strength evidence linking weed smoking to respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezingand mucus production. A person who already has these symptoms due to a cold may find that they become worse after smoking weed.
While some people say that smoking helps with inflammatory symptoms, others argue that the heat and smoke can make these symptoms worse. People who want to smoke weed to alleviate a cold should, therefore, consider other methods of cannabis ingestion. For instance, they could try consuming either cannabis infused edibles or the extracted anti-inflammatory compounds, such as CBD oil.
For instance, some over-the-counter OTC cold medications may cause side effects similar to those of weed. Taking both drugs together can exacerbate these side effects. Some common side effects of weed and OTC cold medications include:.
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As smoking weed or taking OTC cold medications can cause drowsiness, people who use either should avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, and doing any other activities that require focus. Some people may find that smoking weed helps alleviate these symptoms, while others may find that it makes the symptoms worse.
One thing that a person should consider when smoking weed is that they are inhaling hot smoke into their lungs. Both heat and smoke are potential irritants. Ingesting irritants in this way may cancel out any anti-inflammatory benefits that the cannabinoids and terpenoids provide.
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Smoke may be particularly irritating for people with nasal symptoms, such as sneezing and congestion. Smoke can also irritate the throat and lungs, resulting in increased phlegm production. Excess phlegm can worsen a cough and aggravate an itchy throat.
Heat can also aggravate throat symptoms. The smoke from a t or handheld vaporizer can be hot, as it does not have much time to cool before entering the throat. This heat can further irritate the throat, making it dry and sore.
How smoking weed could help your cold symptoms
Other methods of cannabis smoking may help cool the smoke slightly. One option is to use a water pipe that contains ice. However, the smoke itself may still be irritating. There is currently no direct scientific research on the effects of smoking weed with a cold. As such, there is insufficient evidence to say whether taking this action has beneficial or detrimental effects. Some people who smoke weed with a cold may find that it alleviates their symptoms. However, others may find that it irritates their nose, lungs, and throat and makes sinus and respiratory symptoms last longer.
These detrimental effects are likely to be due to the smoke and heat that burning cannabis produces. Anyone thinking about smoking weed with a cold may want to consider other methods of cannabis ingestion. These include eating medicated edibles or consuming the extracted anti-inflammatory compounds. Even then, there is no guarantee that the compounds in cannabis will alleviate a cold. Marijuana can act as a depressant, stimulant, and hallucinogen. Learn more about the effects of each type of drug here.
We also cover the risks and…. Marijuana has several potential physical and psychological effects on the body, such as lung irritation and increased appetite. Learn more about the….
After frequently using marijuana, or cannabis, people may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop. Such symptoms include cravings, irritability…. How does smoking weed affect a cold?
Medically reviewed by Kevin Martinez, M. Current research Will it help? Does it ease symptoms? Does it make it worse? Interactions Side effects Summary Cannabis, or weed, is a psychoactive drug that some people use for medical or recreational purposes. Current research into smoking weed with a cold. Share on Pinterest Determining the effects of smoking weed during a cold will require more research.
Will smoking weed cure a cold? Does smoking weed help with cold symptoms? Can smoking weed make a cold worse? Does weed interact with cold medications? Side effects of smoking weed with a cold. Share on Pinterest A person with a cold may experience headaches, sinus pressure, and a stuffy nose. Depression rates in the US more than tripled during the pandemic.
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Let go of outdated mental health perceptions and invest in workplace well-being. Related Coverage. Is marijuana a depressant? What to know. Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, PharmD. How marijuana affects the body. Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph. What to know about marijuana withdrawal.
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