You'll know when it's coming; that scratchy dryness in the back of your throat is the tell-tale sign that your next few days are going to be rough. Then, your nose begins to run non-stop, the violent sneezing and coughing fits kick in, and pressure builds up in your sinuses like a car's airbag just inflated inside your head.
Soon, you're shivering under a blanket on your couch, halfway through your second box of Kleenex and your third bowl of canned chicken noodle soup, and you're binge-watching whatever Netflix's first recommendation for you was, because you just don't even care anymore.
Is that the time to grab whatever you last picked up from Harvest in order to get yourself back on track?
That depends on what your goals are.
If you want to recover as quickly as possible so you can get back to your job or your daily routine, then it might be best to simply keep medicating as you usually do. If you're already comfortable with regular routine of medicating for another condition, your body's state of homeostasis is likely pretty stable with your usual dose of cannabinoids. So, there's not really any need to stop using medical cannabis for your the condition you were certified for while you're down with a cold. However, it might not be beneficial to increase your dose, either.
Whether from our New Patient Orientation with Dr. Troutt, talking with our Patient Advisors, or from your own experience, you probably know by now that medical cannabis holds powerful anti-inflammatory properties. While this can be beneficial during your day-to-day life for managing painful inflammatory conditions, inflammation is one of the key ways in which our immune system springs into action. In the case of a cold, inflammation can be your friend, because your body is sending a rush of blood full of immune mediators to combat the virus where it's most active.
Yes, we know that putting up with the inflammation during a cold sucks. And many of us decide not to put up with it; we take pain relievers, cough suppressants, and decongestants like DayQuil to slow those inflammatory symptoms so that we can get on with our lives with a little less misery while we fight off the cold. So, while we're not actively fighting that cold to our full potential, at least we can feel a little bit better in the mean time. If you want to keep those cold symptoms at bay, then perhaps increasing your regular dose of cannabis can help you, especially if you do try a CBD product.
If you do decide to medicate a little more to make the symptoms more bearable, make sure you're mindful of your dose, and keep track of how much more cannabis you've consumed than usual. Because a cold can dull your senses of taste and smell, judging your increased dose by taste or smell could inadvertently lead you to take far more than you need. We always advise keeping a dosing journal throughout your time with medical cannabis.
Now is as good a time as any to remind you to keep all of your medicine sealed away safely, and to keep all of your medicating equipment clean. Avoid sharing smoking or vaping gear in order to prevent cross-contamination, especially if someone is sick.
Don't be afraid to see a doctor if you think you need to! If you're able, make sure to get your flu shot, and be vigilant for any signs of an illness that indicate something more serious than a common cold.