How CBD Helps With Colds
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural remedy that purportedly has therapeutic and antiviral properties that may alleviate common cold symptoms, including sneezing, sore throat, and stuffy nose.
The common cold occurs when inflammation affects your sinuses and upper respiratory tract. Rhinoviruses are common viral causes of colds(1).
Researchers observed CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, from which cold patients may benefit. Sativex, a mouth spray meant for pain relief, combines CBD with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)(2).
People can become vulnerable to the common cold due to poor sleep habits. A study noted that people with low-quality sleep are more susceptible to illnesses when exposed to a rhinovirus(3).
CBD potentially improves sleep quality among anxiety patients with sleep problems(4).
Our bodies feel CBD’s supposed effects when the compound interacts with the cannabinoid receptors of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a unique system that modulates our body’s biological balance in response to environmental changes(5).
Experts believe that the ECS regulates mood, cognition, and chronic pain perception through its cannabinoid receptors(6).
CBD’s capability to bind with CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors contributes to its ability to suppress inflammatory responses(7).
Researchers of a 2008 study believe that the ECS helps with sleep modulation by inducing sleep through CB1 receptor activation(8).
Meanwhile, a study on respiratory viral infections stated that activating CB2 receptors leads to anti-inflammatory effects in the body(9).
Although the existing studies are promising, there is no direct scientific evidence supporting CBD’s ability to alleviate colds symptoms.
How to Take CBD Oil for Colds
You may take CBD for colds in consumable forms, such as CBD gummies, CBD brownies, and CBD tablets. This method of consuming CBD is more straightforward than other methods.
Sublingual administration is another method, suitable for a more controlled CBD intake. This option involves taking a calibrated dropper included in CBD tincture products and applying a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue.
When you leave the oil under your tongue for about 90 seconds before swallowing, you allow your mucous membranes to absorb the tincture.
Some CBD companies sell CBD topical products, such as lotions, balms, creams, and salves. You may rub such products on your chest to help relieve congestion from colds.
You may prefer to inhale CBD through flavored or unflavored vape juices. Consider this method when you opt for peppermint or fruity flavors over the natural, earthy flavor of pure CBD oil.
Vaping CBD allows the compound to enter your system quickly through your lungs. However, note that CBD vapes may worsen lung disorders(10).
Thus, when using CBD for colds for the first time, be sure to seek medical advice from a licensed physician. It is essential to get advice from a doctor with significant experience in CBD and medical marijuana usage.
How Soon Does It Take to Feel CBD’s Effects for Colds?
How soon you will feel CBD’s purported therapeutic effects for colds may depend on how you administer CBD.
You may find CBD oil’s natural flavor unpleasant through sublingual administration. However, this method allows for the effects of CBD to be felt within 15 to 45 minutes(11).
CBD topicals, such as CBD creams and CBD transdermal patches, work instantly after rubbing the product onto your skin.
You can also apply topical CBD oil alone or combine the product with cream or lotion(12). If you combine CBD topicals with massage therapy, you may feel relief in about 15 minutes(13).
When using a vape pen to inhale CBD vape juices, you will feel its anti-anxiety effects within minutes, which will keep you steady between three to five hours after inhalation(14).
How to Choose the Best CBD for Colds
There has been no approved CBD treatment for colds. Meanwhile, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to support scientifically-based research into the medicinal uses of products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds like CBD(15).
You may still choose among the three CBD forms currently available on the market: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates.
Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of Cannabis sativa plants’ naturally occurring compounds, including terpenes, fatty acids, flavonoids, and cannabinoids.
A high-quality full-spectrum hemp extract has higher cannabidiol levels than the other compounds.
CBD oil that contains all of cannabis’ naturally occurring chemical compounds produce the “entourage effect.” This process involves combining all cannabis plant compounds to have synergistic effects that may benefit common cold patients(16).
To obtain full-spectrum CBD, industrial hemp plants undergo extraction methods, such as CO2 extraction, alcohol extraction, or steam distillation.
Researchers of a 2018 study stated that the FDA recognizes the supercritical CO2 extraction process as safe in pharmaceutical manufacturing(17).
Manufacturers then mix the pure hemp oil with a carrier oil, such as MCT oil or hempseed oil.
While the broad-spectrum CBD variant is THC-free, it still contains almost the same phytocannabinoids as full-spectrum products. Some people prefer this option for its lack of psychoactive THC compounds.
Finally, CBD isolate is the purest type of CBD on the market, which brands typically sell in crystalline or powdered form.
Manufacturers obtain CBD isolate products by removing all other hemp plants’ compounds during the extraction process, leaving only pure CBD.
Despite the different CBD types, consumers must only purchase the best quality products available to maximize the purported health benefits of CBD. Consider our tips when choosing the best CBD oil for colds.
- Look for the CBD product’s third-party lab results or certificate of analysis (COA). This document indicates that an item has undergone thorough lab testing.
CBD products of the highest quality have the exact specifications listed on the product label.
- Ensure that the CBD product you intend to purchase is derived from organic hemp. High-quality CBD products from organic hemp have THC less than 0.3%, which is the federally legal limit.
- Consult your family health care practitioner before using CBD for cold symptoms. We recommend consulting a doctor with significant experience in medical marijuana and CBD usage.
- Choose CBD shops or dispensaries that offer a money-back guarantee for their products to ensure customer satisfaction. Reliable brands also include disclaimers that CBD is not meant to cure any medical conditions.
CBD Dosage for Colds
The FDA has no approved dosing guide for CBD for colds. However, human clinical trials on cannabidiol may provide insight into safe and reliable CBD dosages.
In one study focusing on CBD for anxiety, a daily dose of 25 mg to 175 mg CBD elicited sufficient clinical response(18). The researchers also noted that patients tolerated CBD generally well, with only some reported side effects.
In another study, results showed that human subjects could tolerate high CBD doses reaching up to 1,500mg per day(19).
Benefits of Using CBD for Colds
CBD’s purported therapeutic effects may protect you from the causes of common colds, including inflammation and poor sleep habits.
Researchers observed CBD’s anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, which cold patients may benefit from(20).
Common colds occur when your nose and upper respiratory tracts experience inflammation, particularly from rhinoviruses(21).
CBD may also improve sleep quality among anxiety patients with sleep problems(22).
A study noted that people might become vulnerable to the common cold due to poor sleep habits(23).
Risks of Using CBD for Colds
Despite the promising results from existing studies, there is no direct clinical evidence proving that CBD can effectively treat cold symptoms.
CBD is “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile,” according to The World Health Organization (WHO)(24). Still, the FDA does not approve CBD oil products’ marketing as dietary supplements or medicine for any medical condition(25).
The FDA has only approved Epidiolex as a CBD treatment for rare forms of epilepsy(26).
Using CBD for colds may induce side effects, including appetite changes, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, and drowsiness(27).
CBD also has the risk of interacting with certain supplements or medications that you may already be taking(28).
Legality of CBD
Each state in the USA has varying degrees of regulation for using CBD. There are currently only 47 out of the 50 states where you can use CBD legally on a federal level(29).
You may only travel between states that share similar CBD restrictions if you plan to carry CBD for your colds when traveling.
Usually, you would associate CBD’s legality in the US with the 2018 Farm Bill(30). This law differentiated hemp plants from marijuana plants by redefining hemp as cannabis containing under 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis.
Marijuana plants are cannabis plants with more than the established limit. Cannabis sativa plants may come in hemp and marijuana varieties.
With hemp plants’ declassification as marijuana plants, the 1970 Federal Controlled Substances Act no longer covers them in its Schedule I category(31).
Schedule I drugs consist of potentially abusive or addictive substances without any officially recognized health benefits.
The 2018 Farm Bill also gave the FDA the authority to moderate CBD’s circulation on the market(32). The agency penalizes CBD companies that use CBD’s unproven health benefits to sell CBD products.
The 2018 Farm Bill relaxed the legal restrictions on the production, manufacture, and ownership of hemp-derived CBD products. Local laws may still supersede federal law since state laws are the primary authority in drug-related offenses(33).