Surviving the Cold and Flu Season: What About Cannabis?

Being sidelined by the flu

Every year it seems like an intense case of either a bad cold or flu comes around and so many people pick it up around the same time. For me, I had caught a full-blown flu over the course of 24 hours during our crazy Seattle “Snowmageddon,” and it kept me inside for 4 days because of the severity of the symptoms. The first two days, I had experienced a pounding headache, body aches, chills, a dry cough accompanied by chest pains, 103 degree fever, and a complete loss of appetite. It was extremely difficult to get comfortable enough to sleep because of how severe the body aches were, I just felt as if I couldn’t sit still. I hadn’t eaten more than 2 bowls of soup during this week and after 3 different bottles of traditional cold/flu medicine I decided to seek an alternative remedy using cannabis instead. 

My method of intake: F.E.C.O Oil (Fully Extracted Cannabis Oil)

Most people might assume I went out and bought cannabis flower to smoke, but this was not the case for me since I had a painful sore throat from coughing. I knew I needed to find something to ingest orally that would work throughout my immune system and provide long-lasting effects. I set out to the nearest dispensary to find a fully extracted cannabis oil (commonly known as R.S.O. or F.E.C.O.) with terpenes that were more relaxing and calming to allow my body to rest. This was a very concentrated high-THC cannabis oil that was best taken in small rice grain sized doses in order to not overdo it and become uncomfortable. Although a high CBD strain may work as well, THC was my personal preference. Once I had consumed the oil, I waited an hour and a half and was able to get up and make myself some real food. It stimulated my appetite, reduced the body aches, took my headache away completely; I was finally able to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Unlike the over-the-counter medicine that made my body feel gross and only masked my symptoms for what felt like 45 minutes (not to mention it was horrible on my liver), the cannabis oil proved to be a much more effective alternative for me while my body fought the flu. 

Alternative Recommendations: 

Sore Throat/Cough

There are several different options when choosing specific products for cold/flu symptoms. If you’re experiencing a sore throat or cough, try using a cannabis tea with infused honey. Another option could be some hard candies that are high in CBD to help reduce throat irritation and inflammation. 


When it’s too uncomfortable to get a good night’s rest, it may be beneficial to use capsules or tinctures that contain the cannabinoid CBN because it seems to be very sedating and sleep inducing. 

Body Aches

One of my favorite cannabis products are infused bath bombs or Epsom bath salts. During a time when your body aches and is overcome with goosebumps and chills, nothing beats a soothing warm bath and cannabis infused bath products make it a rejuvenating experience. 


Any time you’re hit with a splitting headache, it makes it difficult to accomplish any task. I highly recommend using a cannabis-infused lotion or balm (I prefer ones with peppermint essential oil added) to rub and massage into your temples, base of the skull, and forehead. You can also try adding a 5:1 CBD-THC tincture or capsule to this regimen for maximized relief. 

In my experience with this year’s flu, I found out for myself that cannabis can be an effective alternative and does not have the side effects traditional medicine. Whether you choose oils, teas, lotions, or even bath products, it’s important to take care of your body and allow it to rest as much as possible. 

By Keiana Stiell