This piece first appeared in Cannabis Now
Choose vaping and edibles to help heal.
When the weather begins to change, it’s common for cold symptoms to start to pop up. It usually starts with a bit of congestion and little sneezing before blossoming into a full-blown mess of running or stuffy noses, high fevers, headaches and a sore throat. It can be difficult to avoid catching a cold, especially once it starts going around. It can easily spread through saliva (by sharing a drink or kissing), skin-to-skin contact (handshakes or hugs) and even through the air if someone with the virus coughs or sneezes without properly covering their mouth.
Thankfully, most people can recover from a cold in just a couple weeks with their own at-home or over-the-counter treatments. In the meantime, you can also include cannabis to help with managing symptoms. If you’re heavily congested, dealing with a sore throat or trying to avoid coughing, smoking is probably not the best option for improving your symptoms. In fact, it could exacerbate them and make you feel worse. For people who feel like they need to smoke out of preference or habit, vaping is the way to go. It will be easier on your lungs and will most likely not make you cough if you’re intentional about taking gentle, slows pulls.
You can experiment with different terpenes like pinene which can act as a powerful expectorant and antimicrobial that can improve airflow functioning in the lungs. Just look for strains that have a high pinene content to help ease respiratory issues. Just remember that during this time it is not a good idea to share any paraphernalia with another person, so you’ll need a pipe or vape that is exclusively for your own personal use during this time until your symptoms completely subside.
If necessary, you can skip smoking and vaping altogether and go for pre-packaged edibles or cannabis-infused foods and drinks made at home. Soups and hot drinks are helpful as the weather cools down and there are lots of great recipes like vegetable soup with medicated garlic croutons, kief-infused chicken soup and cannabis-infused bone broth. You can also try making your own cannabis tea made with roots and stems or make canna-honey to add to herbal tea. Tinctures are an easy way to medicate as well by taking a dose underneath your tongue or adding it to tea, soup or something else. Don’t forget that edibles will take longer to feel the effects than smoking or vaping so be patient and don’t over do it in hopes of feeling better faster.
Some people find it unpleasant to feel high when they’re under the weather, so microdosing or CBD strains and products would be a good idea. For aches and pains, a topical or infused bath salts can help you feel better. Detox baths with Epsom salt and essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus can help speed up your recovery and the added benefits of cannabis can reduce discomfort in your body so that you can rest and relax. You can also try rubbing an infused topical into any tense areas for some relief. Some studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce inflammation, which can be helpful if you’re experiencing uncomfortable nasal pressure or throat pain, so with topicals you can still experience some of the benefits without getting any kind of buzz at all.
Keep in mind that cannabis won’t help to make your cold go away but can help you feel a little better while you recover. Whether you decide to treat your cold naturally or with over-the-counter treatments from your local drugstore, remember to pay attention to how you feel, observe your symptoms and visit a doctor if needed.