Everyone dreads the winter cold and flu season, but you can be susceptible to catch an annoying virus at any time of the year. Summer colds and flu can be just as bad as those you get in winter. Whatever time of year you get sick, it's not going to be enjoyable.
Colds are not nearly as bad as the flu because the symptoms aren't usually as severe. A cold will make you feel crappy for a few days to a week, whereas the flu can keep you bed-ridden for a week or more. It's rare to need to see your doctor if you have a common cold, but the flu could easily land you in the doctor's office. This is especially true if you have an underlying medical condition.
There are many over-the-counter medicines for cold and flu symptoms, but there are no real cures. Many people turn to herbal remedies to treat symptoms. Could cannabis be an herb that helps relieve symptoms and gets you well faster?
Is It A Cold Or The Flu?
For most people, it's easy to tell the difference between a simple cold or the flu. A cold can start off with a few sneezes, and by the next day, you'll likely have a stuffy or runny nose. A runny nose might be annoying, but a stuffy nose can make you really uncomfortable. A cold might be accompanied by a mild cough and some headache. Within a few days, the symptoms usually subside, and before you know it, you're all better again. You might not even miss a day of work with a simple cold.
The flu can be monstrous. It may also start with a few sneezes and perhaps a scratchy throat, but by the next day, you can have fever, chills, a deep cough, stuffy nose, bad headache, body aches, and a sore throat. Not all flu symptoms are the same for everyone every time.
When Should You See A Doctor?
If you think you only have a cold and have no underlying medical conditions, then it's not likely you will have to see your doctor. If you do have another medical condition, it could be a good idea to see your doctor just to be on the safe side. A doctor might prescribe you a medication for coughing or other pills that will help and they can monitor your condition to be sure it doesn't lead to any further complications.
A compromised immune system from cancer treatments or other health problems could lead to complications if you have the flu. You could end up with pneumonia and even be hospitalized if you can't recover quickly.
Do Antibiotics Help Cure Colds And Flu?
It's a misconception that antibiotics will cure a cold or the flu. Antibiotics treat bacteria, and when you have a virus, taking antibiotics may do more harm rather than help. Taking antibiotics for a virus may actually increase the risk of getting an infection later. It could lead to resistance to antibiotic treatment when you really need it.
So, other than over-the-counter medicines to treat cold and flu symptoms, what can a doctor do for you? Doctors sometimes think a fever is a good thing. Some doctors believe a fever is helpful because it may eradicate the virus that causes cold and flu. If you have a low-grade fever, less than 100 degrees, it might not be necessary to take a fever reducer. However, above 100 degrees can make your lungs and heart work harder. When you have an underlying condition like lung or heart disease, a fever could help more than hurt.
Could Cannabis Help You Recover?
Ancient cultures have known about the potential healing properties of cannabis for thousands of years. Today, weed is used for a lot more than just getting stoned. Studies involving marijuana have revealed beneficial possibilities. The two most prominent cannabinoids in marijuana are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Both cannabinoids have been shown to be effective in treating certain conditions. CBD has been proven helpful for treating seizures in some types of epilepsy. THC is thought to be beneficial for pain, inflammation, and sleeplessness. CBD may also help with these issues. It appears each cannabinoid on its own can be beneficial to some degree, but when they work together with the terpenes in the plant, the benefits can be amplified. This is called the entourage effect.
Since there is no known cure for colds and flu, it is doubtful that cannabis will cure either. There has been little research done on weed and whether it helps cold and flu. However, weed could help relieve some symptoms like head and body aches.
Alternatives To Smoking Weed During Colds and Flu
The good news is that it is not always necessary to smoke weed. There are many alternatives to smoking weed available today. Many people who don't like smoking weed choose to vape weed instead. Edibles like gummies, weed oil, and weed tinctures might take longer for you to feel the effects, but they can last longer than smoking or vaping.
Some people like to use raw weed in juicing their favorite fruits and vegetables. Raw marijuana won't get you high, but it is thought to be beneficial in boosting the immune system and bone metabolism. It could provide anti-inflammatory effects as well. Even though weed won't cure a cold or flu, using it in any form may help you feel a little better.