Flu season comes with some nasty symptoms: aches and pains, fevers, congestion, headaches, and sore throats, to name just a few. Most of us are intimately acquainted with these debilitating effects — the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that up to 20 percent of Americans catch the flu every year. For years, people have sought relief with the same traditional remedies, whether that’s chicken soup, warm tea, or just a lot of blankets. However, the newfound popularity of CBD oil has led some to wonder if it might be the long-awaited flu remedy that actually works.
It’s a big (and somewhat shaky) claim to make, but the natural properties of CBD do make it useful for relieving painful symptoms and protecting the body while it fights off a viral flu infection. According to the latest research, it does so in a number of ways.
A study carried out by researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute found that CBD has strong analgesic effects. This means that it has the power to significantly reduce pain. In fact, CBD topicals have already become a common treatment for chronic pain conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, because they can provide localized relief from aching muscles and joints.
Aches and pains are among the most common side effects of the flu, so using a CBD topical on the affected areas could provide similar relief. Few clinical trials have studied this effect on humans though, so the evidence is primarily anecdotal.
CBD is also thought to provide a boost to the immune system, even under stressful conditions. HIV patients, for example, have used cannabis products like CBD oil for years, and research has shown that cannabinoids like CBD have “subtle yet complex effects on immune cell function,” though more research is needed to determine how they can be used for different types of therapy.
Finally, CBD could help flu patients get a (much-needed) good night’s sleep. Medical cannabis has been used to promote sleep for years, and today many medical cannabis companies are producing a growing range of CBD sleep products which promise to deliver a easier, deeper sleep.
But although CBD oil isn’t going to cure your flu, it does seem to have the potential to ease some of the flu’s more unpleasant symptoms.