’Tis the cold and flu season, when judgment is never more important...and your brain is never more foggy. Thinking that your immune system is ready to withstand your degenerative ways one day too early can keep that throat sore much longer than necessary, so it's best to play it safe by avoiding the booze and pot-smoking. Still, according to cannabis sales and delivery platform Eaze, 40 percent of cannabis consumers continue to use pot when suffering from cold and flu symptoms, and a majority of them are smoking and vaping.
While smoking and vaping definitely should be avoided when your throat is burning and covered in mucus, combustion isn't the only way to take in the plant. Some medical marijuana products could even help alleviate the aches and pains of sinus pains, muscle aches and sore throats, while others can boost your immune system and prevent another bout of illness.
Here are five ways to use cannabis when suffering from the cold or flu, both for aid in recovery and fun.
CBD shouldn't be smoked or vaped when you're sick, either, but it can be consumed via edibles, drinks and any other way that THC can be ingested. You can also find hemp-derived CBD drinks, tinctures and edibles at head shops, specialty food markets and deluxe grocery stores such as Whole Foods, eliminating the need for a trip to a pot dispensary. CBD can help with pain and inflammation while relaxing the user — all without the psychoactive head high.
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CBD might make you feel better, but studies are showing that cannabigerol (CBG) might be more medically valuable. This little-known, non-psychoactive cannabinoid rarely reaches levels higher than the 1 percent in commercial cannabis strains, but extraction and breeding companies are starting to create high-CBG products for medical and adult-use consumption. Studies have shown CBG to be an effective anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, and it can treat headaches, intestinal pain and bladder dysfunction. It's also been shown to be a strong appetite-inducer, helping calm the stomach without creating the head high of THC.
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Infused hot drinks and soups
Don't discount the medical effects of THC, which can help with pain and eating disorders. It's widely available in drinks and other infused liquids — and some of us just want to get a little stoned when we're stuck at home, sick. Better than chugging cough syrup, isn't it? Most dispensaries in Colorado carry cannabis powders and tinctures that can easily mix with drinks, soups and just about any dish you want, while tea and coffee infused with THC and/or CBD are also available at dispensaries and CBD stores. Cannabis-infused honey and agave syrup is even available for those who want to sweeten up their own drinks.
Cannabis suppositories were originally created for terminally ill patients and those with cancer, and are still mainly used for serious conditions that involve muscle spasms and tumors. However, suppositories (both rectal and vaginal) can also be used to treat menstrual cramps, insomnia, pain and anxiety. Cannabis suppositories are absorbed much faster by the body than edibles, generally aren't psychoactive and can be purchased at dispensaries or made at home.
Juicing raw cannabis
This is more of a preventative than a cure, but immunity boosts can be key to avoiding sickness — and juicing cannabis has shown extremely promising potential. Juicing raw cannabis doesn't get users high, but it can help the body's cell functions. The raw cannabinoid and fatty acids of the plant can boost the immune system and bone metabolism while also providing anti-inflammatory effects, and even protection against cancerous tumors. Cannabis juicing takes advantage of CBDA and THCA, versions of CBD and THC that require heat to be activated. These cannabinoids provide different health benefits than their active counterparts, without the high of THC or potential grogginess of CBD.