Is it dangerous to smoke weed when you have flu?

Is it dangerous to smoke weed when you have flu?

Some people claim that weed can help cure flu. How true is this? We find out...

Marijuana joint
Marijuana joint /iStock

In winter, people are more susceptible to flu. 

According to Harvard University, flu is popular in winter because: 

1) During the winter, people spend more time indoors with the windows sealed, so they are more likely to breathe the same air as someone who has the flu and thus contract the virus. 

2) Days are shorter during the winter, and lack of sunlight leads to  low levels of vitamin D and melatonin, both of which require sunlight for their generation. This compromises our immune systems, which in turn decreases ability to fight the virus. 

3) The influenza virus may survive better in colder, drier climates, and therefore be able to infect more people. 

READ: Ways to keep your child healthy in winter

There are several things that people do to treat flu. One of the plants that people use is cannabis aka marijuana - the most frequently used drug in the world, with over 188-million users

 But how safe is it to use this popular plant to treat flu and colds? 

According to Medical News Today, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that smoking weed will cure a cold or flu.

Another report by Healthline states, 'if you already smoke weed on a regular basis, doing so while you’re sick probably won’t have a drastic impact on your symptoms'.

However, the site warns that while your throat and lungs are already irritated, smoking may exacerbate your discomfort.

READ: Doctor explains the benefits of getting the flu vaccine

What a herbalist has to say....

Renowned herbalist, Sandy Roberst, the daughter of the famous Margaret Roberts, says she does not recommend cannabis for the treatment of colds and flu. 

She says "cannabis is like the buzz word" because people "use it for everything". 

However, the herbalist says this is not a plant that she has ever advised anyone to use.  

"I personally don't recommend it. I think there are other herbs for flu that work better.

"For me, for what we have done in herbalism, I've been working here for 40 years, we have never used it ever for flu.

"There are amazing herbs that you can use," says Roberts. 

She recommends the following: "lengana (artemisia afra), eucalyptus, mint, thyme, sage, and rosemary." 

The herbalist says these herbs are far "better" treatment for flu as opposed to using marijuana.

READ: Cannabis academy bets on Joburg pot revolution

Disclaimer: Health-related information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor on any health-related issues.

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