Smoking Weed with a Cold: Is it Advisable?

When it comes to smoking weed with a cold, the general consensus among the medical community is clear – it is not recommended. Combining cannabis consumption with cold medicine can potentially lead to unwanted reactions, especially when you are already feeling under the weather. In addition, smoke inhalation can aggravate and prolong symptoms such as sore throat and coughing. Therefore, if you choose to use cannabis to alleviate cold symptoms such as fever-related discomfort, it is best to avoid combining it with cold medicine.

There are certain practices that may aid in faster recovery from cold symptoms, such as rest and over-the-counter medicine. Conversely, there are factors that may extend the recovery time, such as alcohol consumption and insufficient hydration. This leaves cannabis users with a dilemma – can they smoke weed and take cold medicine simultaneously? In this article, we will explore existing all we know about consuming cannabis when sick, cannabis and cold medication, potential effects, and whether it is safe to combine them.

Potential Interactions

The active ingredients in many cold medicines include acetaminophen (also known as the main ingredient in Tylenol), dextromethorphan, guaifenesin, doxylamine, and phenylephrine. These ingredients can cause various side effects including drowsiness, dizziness, nervousness, nausea, or vomiting. Interestingly, cannabis also has similar adverse effects. When combined, the severity or duration of these unpleasant symptoms may increase. Thus, use caution if you choose to consume cannabis while taking cold medication.

Specifically, the combination of the cold medicine NyQuil and marijuana is not known to be dangerous. However, using the two together can enhance the effects of both substances. Further research is necessary to fully understand the potential risks and benefits of this combination.

Effect of Cannabis on Cold Symptoms

While cannabis has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, its impact on cold symptoms remains unclear. Some individuals claim that cannabis can alleviate cold symptoms such as congestion, sore throat, and headaches. This might be due to the potential anti-inflammatory effects of specific cannabinoids in cannabis. For example, if you have a sore throat or swollen nasal passageway cannabis may help. However, these effects may vary from person to person. More research is necessary to establish a definitive link between cannabis and relief from cold symptoms. Moreover, given the sedative effects of cannabis, it could negatively affect overall energy levels and possibly slow down the body’s natural healing process.

Can Cannabis Worsen Cold Symptoms?

There is also a possibility that smoking weed can worsen cold symptoms. Cannabis smoke contains various irritants, toxins, and carcinogens that can cause respiratory inflammation. This can lead to a more substantial build-up of mucus and exacerbating congestion. Moreover, smoking cannabis can compromise the immune system, making it less effective in fighting off infections, including cold viruses. Additionally, cannabis smoke can irritate the throat, potentially aggravating soreness or scratchiness. Considering these factors, smoking weed during a cold might hinder the body’s ability to recover promptly and effectively.

Coughing & Phlegm

A 2017 review found that long-term marijuana use is linked to persistent coughing and increased production of phlegm.

If you have a cough, cold, or flu, using marijuana could exacerbate your respiratory symptoms. This is because the smoke from marijuana irritates the throat and air passages.

Alternative methods of delivery, such as vaping, typically do not exert a equivalent impact on the respiratory system.


Feeling lightheaded or faint is a frequent occurrence when using cannabis through inhalation or ingestion, as it can lead to a sudden decrease in blood pressure.

If you are already experiencing weakness or dizziness while being sick with a cough, cold, or flu, the use of marijuana could exacerbate these symptoms.

If you use it frequently, you might be able to reduce dizziness by lowering the amount you take.

Stomach Pain

When cannabis is inhaled or taken orally, it stimulates the cannabinoid receptors in the digestive system, leading to different outcomes such as discomfort and swelling in the stomach.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, an uncommon disorder associated with prolonged marijuana usage, results in intense abdominal discomfort, queasiness, and throwing up.

Using marijuana could worsen stomach symptoms brought on by a cold or the flu, particularly if you typically feel stomach discomfort when using marijuana. You might be able to lessen these effects by reducing the amount you consume.


While there isn’t any evidence to suggest that smoking weed while suffering from a cough, cold, or flu is inherently unsafe, it is important to remember that everyone’s body reacts differently. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice that considers your specific health condition, medication, and potential interactions. They can provide guidance on the potential risks and benefits, taking into account your individual circumstances.

In conclusion, based on the available research, it is generally not recommended to combine smoking weed with cold medicine. The potential for unwanted reactions and the exacerbation of symptoms should be a consideration. If you do choose to consume cannabis while taking cold medicine, it is crucial to do so with caution. However, seeking advice from a healthcare professional is always the best approach to ensure your safety and well-being. [1]

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