If you have done your homework on CBD, also known as cannabidiol, then you know it has numerous potential benefits. However, what about its effectiveness against influenza or the flu? While CBD should not take the place of medical care, it may be able to help to manage the flu and its symptoms. If you are among the people having a hard time during the flu season, you may be wondering if CBD can help you get some relief and hasten the healing process.
CBD for Wellness
CBD is an acronym for cannabidiol, one of the numerous active compounds in the hemp and cannabis plants. When consumed, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors that controls an array of functions such as appetite, metabolism, body weight regulation, inflammation, etc. This interaction may affect these functions in a positive manner, and thus the numerous potential therapeutic effects. This is exactly what might make CBD oil effective when it comes to addressing the flu and its symptoms.
The Flu, Just What Is It?
Often addressed as influenza in the scientific domain, the flu is an extremely contagious respiratory condition that’s caused by viruses that take a toll on the nose, throat, and sometimes, the lungs. Most patients recover in less than two weeks, but some develop complications that prompt hospitalization and, in worst cases, death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of influenza cases in the United States per year since 2010 has ranged from 9 million to 45 million, and deaths range in the tens of thousands.
As opposed to colds, which come about gradually, the flu comes suddenly, accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Body and muscle aches
- Fever or feeling chills
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Diarrhea and vomiting (more common in kids)
The chances of contracting the flu reduce as people age. However, seniors are at a greater risk of life-threatening complications.
Influenza is not a single virus, but an array of viruses that share particular characteristics. This array is why, even with a vaccine, many people may still contract influenza. In fact, the vaccine is based on predictions made by doctors about which strains will be more common in a given year. When exposed to a different strain, the vaccine has reduced efficacy and might not work at all.
Ways to Prevent the Flu
It is imperative to protect you and your loved ones from the virus due to the possibility of complications. Since influenza can be transmitted from one person to another, ensure you wash your hands on a regular basis or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid touching your mouth and nose with your hands.
The influenza virus can survive on hard surfaces for 2 to 8 hours, and so, you’ll want to spray or wipe the most commonly touched places in your home or workplace with a disinfectant. If you are looking after an individual with the disease, wear a face mask to protect yourself. Covering your sneezes and coughs also helps hamper the spread of the flu.
In addition, you may consider getting a yearly flu vaccination. It helps protect against the common strains of the virus, and it’s recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months. The vaccine is not 100% effective, but according to the CDC, it reduces the risk of contracting the flu by 40 to 60 percent.
Keep in mind that influenza or to be more specific, viruses, cannot be treated by antibacterial remedies or antibiotics. Once you are exposed, managing the symptoms is the only thing you can do. Even medication prescribed by a practitioner won’t cure the flu. It is just meant to help manage the symptoms. So can CBD help manage flu symptoms and how does CBD affect the flu?
CBD for Influenza
Before we get into how CBD oil may help address the flu, it is imperative to know what CBD will not do. Cannabidiol isn’t a medicine, and so, it will not help you diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure the flu. Using CBD oil doesn’t take the place of ideal medical care, although you may decide to use it in addition to your treatment. Thanks to the many potential benefits that come with consuming CBD, more and more people are considering it to help alleviate flu symptoms that cause the most discomfort when infected.
How CBD Oil May Help Symptoms of the Flu
Research on the efficacy of CBD oil when it comes to addressing the flu is still in its infant stages. Years of research on treatment as a controlled substance in addition to its psychoactive cousin, THC, the evidence is limited to smaller research programs, preliminary results from well-funded studies since its legalization, and anecdotal experiences. This evidence, so far, has pointed to the efficacy of cannabidiol in managing flu-like symptoms. The following are areas that CBD may address when it comes to the flu:
One of the worst things about having the flu is the headaches that accompany it. Headaches usually occur for an array of reasons. Inflamed sinuses result in throbbing pain in the front of the head, which makes it difficult to focus. The stress experienced during the illness can lead to stress-induced headaches that settle in the base of the skull and behind the eyes. Thanks to several studies, CBD is suggested to have an analgesic effect, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate headaches, in addition to better stress management.
Achiness that’s usually associated with influenza can be caused by the inflammation that comes with the immune system trying to get rid of the virus. Some studies show that cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce this inflammation and thus could help reduce pain and discomfort when battling the flu.
Lack of Sleep
Given the pain and sniffling that comes with the flu, it is hard to get a good night’s sleep. Well, consuming CBD when battling influenza may help you sleep better. The mental calmness that CBD brings may help you relax. Sleeping is important and it has numerous health benefits, and it is especially needed when you’re not feeling well.
It is not uncommon to have an upset stomach when you have a cold or flu. You may not have an appetite, and the thought of eating might make you sick. However, your body needs the energy to fight the culprit. Battling nausea with cannabidiol has been a tactic used by numerous CBD enthusiasts, especially those fighting nausea experienced during chemotherapy.
How a severe illness makes you feel both emotionally and mentally is one of the most challenging influenza symptoms to quantify. Using cannabidiol may be a great way to support a healthy and positive outlook as you recover. CBD users report the product giving them a sense of calmness and wellbeing. Positive thoughts may not cure the condition, but they could lead to better healing outcomes.
A Wide Array of CBD Products to Pick From
Nowadays, there is a wide array of CBD consumption mechanisms including edibles, pills, oils as well as topical creams that can be applied for pain and inflammation. You will even come across bath bombs or salts, that allow you to take a therapeutic and relaxing steam bath while getting a healthy dose of CBD. You can also try CBD teas or honey, two relatively new forms of CBD in the market.
Go for High-Quality CBD Products
There are many different types of CBD products ranging from CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum. As such, you may have to experiment with several CBD products to find the right one for your needs. The problem is that it is hard to know whether the product you are getting has the actual CBD amount mentioned on the label. According to research by the University of Pennsylvania, where they looked at 84 CBD products from 31 different manufacturers, most products contain more or less of the indicated CBD percentage. Also, some products may contain substantial amounts of THC that can intoxicate the user. Because of this, be sure to look for a reputable manufacturer that provides a certificate of analysis from third-party testing. A certificate of analysis will show what is in the product and how much.
CBD oil might be ideal for symptoms of the flu, but THC can suppress the immune system and so, you may want to avoid it until you feel better. You’ll also want to avoid smoking when you’re sick with a cold, as the respiratory system is already compromised by the illness. And, you don’t want to spread the flu by passing a vape pen or joint.
A cold makes you feel miserable, but the symptoms tend to pass in less than 2 weeks. So, get adequate sleep and consider trying a few supplements to see if there is something that makes you feel better.
When you decide that cannabidiol is right for you, ensure you get the highest quality possible. Here at Tanasi, we offer high-quality hemp-derived full-spectrum products. Whether you are looking to use it against symptoms of influenza or other reasons, you can find an array of CBD products on our online store.