If you are here, then you probably love cannabis as much as we do. Between the excitement of picking from thousands of unique strains and the anticipation of the individual high, marijuana can be a wonderful thing – not to mention its medicinal advantages! However, similarly to smoking a cigarette or cigar, smoking marijuana can lead to a sore, irritated throat, which is significantly LESS enjoyable!
There isn’t any evidence that smoking weed while you have a cough, cold, or the flu is inherently unsafe. But does it make sense?
If your throat and lungs are already irritated, smoking may exacerbate your discomfort. Smoking weed has short- and long-term effects on lung and respiratory function.
You may also find that your body responds differently to weed when you’re sick. Both smoking weed and common illnesses such as the flu can cause fatigue, chills, and headaches. You may feel these effects more intensely when you’re sick.
If you already smoke weed on a regular basis, doing so while you’re sick probably won’t have a drastic impact on your symptoms. Still, you should proceed with caution. This probably isn’t the time to experiment with new dosages and strains.
You should also keep in mind that you can spread your illness to others by sharing a joint, bowl, or bong.
Can smoking make any of your symptoms worse?
Remember, there hasn’t been any research on weed use while sick with a cough, cold, or flu. In addition, studies on the use of weed for medicinal purposes are limited.
There’s moderate evidence that smoking weed can lead to the following side effects, but this list may not be complete due to the lack of research.
According to a 2017 review, smoking weed in the long term is associated with a chronic cough and excess phlegm production.
If you’re sick with a cough, cold, or flu, smoking weed could make your respiratory symptoms worse. This is because weed smoke irritates the throat and airways.
Other routes of administration, such as vaping, generally don’t have the same effect on the respiratory system.
Dizziness is a common side effect of both inhaling and ingesting cannabis. Cannabis use can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure that may leave you feeling faint or light-headed.
If you already feel weak or dizzy while sick with a cough, cold, or flu, weed could make it worse.
If you’re a regular user, you may be able to minimize dizziness by decreasing your dosage.
Inhaling or ingesting cannabis activates cannabinoid receptors in the gastrointestinal system. This can cause a variety of effects, including stomach pain and inflammation.
Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a rare condition linked to long-term cannabis use, causes severe stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Weed use could exacerbate stomach symptoms caused by a cold or the flu, especially if you tend to experience stomach pain when you use weed. You may be able to minimize these effects by decreasing your dosage.
Can smoking relieve any of your symptoms?
At this time, there isn’t any available research on smoking weed while sick with the cold or flu. Research exploring the use of weed for medicinal purposes is still extremely limited.
Although there may be benefits to smoking weed while sick, it’s unclear if they outweigh the potential negative effects.
According to a comprehensive 2017 review, there’s evidence that weed smoke has anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation plays a role in a number of cold and flu symptoms, including:
- sore throat
- swollen nasal passageways
Weed’s anti-inflammatory properties might help relieve some of these symptoms, but more research needs to be done to understand the exact benefits.
The same 2017 review concludes that weed is an effective treatment for chronic pain among adults.
Chronic pain is ongoing. It’s different than the acute aches and pains caused by a cold or the flu.
Still, it’s possible that smoking weed could help relieve pain associated with short-term illnesses such as a cold or the flu.
A 2017 review of research on cannabis and sleep indicates that weed’s active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), may help sleep in the short term.
Given this, smoking weed might help you sleep, but when you’re sick with a cold or the flu your sleep cycle might already be altered.
However, long-term weed use is associated with tolerance to the drug’s sleep-inducing effects. In other words, if you’re a regular user, weed might not be as effective in helping you sleep.
Can Marijuana Really Cause a Sore Throat?
The quick answer here is, yes! However, let us explain a little. Although marijuana is often seen as a means of treating various conditions, and rightly so, it still has the ability to do some harm – like most things. If you are enjoying marijuana by smoking it, whether that be in a joint or a bong, or however you prefer – then you are still inhaling substances that can irritate the throat.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIH), marijuana smoke actually contains carcinogenic combustion products, so it is a no brainer that if you are enjoying a lengthy smoking sesh with your pals – you’re bound to feel the effects of hours of toking!
Don’t get us wrong – we are serious advocates for the healthy consumption of cannabis, but there is no point in beating about the bush here. We all know what cottonmouth, or dry mouth, is, and it is famously associated with our favorite bud. The inhalation of hot and dry air results in a dry mouth and throat, which can easily become sore and irritated if you leave it unattended and continue to smoke.
So, now that we have established that yes, smoking weed can and often will lead to a sore throat – we can get onto the reason you are all here!
We realize everyone is different, seasoned cannabis users may have years of experience and certain routines in order to combat or minimize the results of endless smoking. But, if you are lacking inspiration or are brand new to smoking – stick with us for six easy things you can do to help with a sore post-weed throat!
Final Thoughts on Treating Your Sore Throat After Smoking Weed
Okay, so you have made it this far – but what we want to know is have you already tried out any of our methods, or are these new to you? We have been in the game a long time now, and we have seen first-hand that people can succumb to peer pressures when smoking in a group, and it can lead to the pressure of smoking more than you feel you can handle.
We want to provide these options for anybody who is struggling, to know you can still enjoy weed without suffering or struggling – and there is truly an option out there for everybody!