As the flu season approaches, it’s time to look for effective remedies that help you ease through this common viral infection. While over the counter medications for the flu can keep you from suffering from the unpleasant symptoms of the flu, they sometimes come with unwanted side effects, and they taste gross. Cannabis is the natural alternative that can get you quick relief from painful coughs or sore throats. 

Sometimes smoking cannabis can help soothe respiratory discomfort, and reduce the urge to cough, providing a natural and enjoyable way to manage the flu. 

So, if you’re looking for a natural, effective way to manage the flu symptoms, and if you’re curious about the potential benefits of cannabis as an alternative medication, read on!

Recent research on the medicinal properties of cannabis shows promising insights for managing the flu. We’ll delve into studies and expert opinions and explore the therapeutic potential of cannabis (by focusing on two primary methods of use – edibles, and smoking). By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the benefits of each option, and which might be the best option for you.

As you may already know, cannabis contains many cannabinoids, the most famous being THC and CBD.

To learn more about how our bodies are designed to work specifically with cannabis in wonderful ways, read “Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Endocannabinoids.” Image Credit: Knowable Magazine Science Graphics Library via Creative Commons/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED


They interact with our endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating many of our body’s physiological responses, like pain, inflammation, and immune response. Studies show that the interaction between the cannabinoids and our endocannabinoid system can potentially provide relief from some flu symptoms, like pain, inflammation, and nausea (Formukong et al., 1989)(Ubeed et al., 2022).

For example, THC, most known for the ‘high’, has pain relieving properties and anti-inflammatory effects. And while CBD doesn’t give you that ‘high’, it also has the potential to reduce inflammation, and act as an anti-nausea agent.

The mix of these cannabinoids helps make flu symptoms better in many ways.

Edibles are a great option for people looking to manage their flu symptoms. 

The advantage of using either a cannabis-infused food or beverage is that they are discreet, and a good way to consume marijuana. Unlike smoking, which can irritate our respiratory system, you can’t inhale edibles, which, if you’re suffering from awful coughing fits, or a painful sore throat, makes it the preferable option (Levinsohn & Hill, 2020)(Ubeed et al., 2022). And there are so many options – you can eat gummies, chocolates, teas, tinctures, use edible spices to cook food, and more. 

This diversity can help you choose what’s best for you. 

And they’re easy to dose, which can give you a more consistent experience compared to smoking or vaping.

When you consume edibles, the cannabinoids are processed by your liver. And it changes THC into 11-hydroxy-THC, a powerful chemical. It makes the effects take longer to start, but effects last much longer, from 4 to 12 hours. This longer time period can help keep flu symptoms away for a longer time, so you don’t need to take more doses as often.

Smoking cannabis, however, gives you more immediate effects. 

When inhaled, the cannabinoids get absorbed into our bloodstream through your lungs, giving you quick relief from symptoms like nausea and acute pain (Iversen, 2000)(Formukong et al., 1989). And a greater proportion of active compounds enter your bloodstream than when you use edibles. If you’re looking for quick and intense relief, from, for example, severe headaches or nausea, light up.

Photo by cottonbro studio/

Photo by cottonbro studio/

But beware – you risk exacerbating your cough or sore throat since smoking can cause respiratory irritation.

Ultimately, the choice between edibles and smoking for dealing with the flu depends on what you like, the specific symptoms you’re experiencing, the desired onset of the effects, and how long it lasts. 

And as always, talk to a healthcare professional before using weed for any treatment, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

Your health and safety should always come first. 

Joel Darkwah is a marketing writer. He is obsessed with working out, eating right, spirituality, and his little siblings.

This article and the opinions expressed, are for entertainment purposes only. Head Magazine recommends getting approval from your medical practitioner before using any psychotropic substance. Always obey the law in your area.