Reading time – 11 minutes
There is no greater inconvenience than catching a cold. For a number of days, you are bereft of the ability to breathe, your head feels as if it has swelled to nine times its regular size, and kleenex becomes a crutch you can't leave the house without. A sneeze or a public blowing of your nose earns you daggers from every corner, and you become ensnared in a vicious cycle of nose-blowing and exacerbating your sorely uncomfortable, Rudolph-esque red nose.
The common cold has no cure, so you're bound to your stuffy nose for days on end, sometimes more. Nevertheless, over time we have managed to perfect the art of weathering the common cold. Some of the age-old members of the sinus-relieving toolbox include chicken soup, vapour rub, extra soft tissues - the usual suspects. However, we here at Amphora are proposing another item for the kit: CBD mints. If you are someone who is frequently victim to colds, you will want to keep reading about this novel, all-natural way to fight the sniffs.
Trust us, CBD mints are nothing to sneeze at.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a "cannabinoid" derived from a plant species, cannabis Sativa.
Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemical compounds native within cannabis Sativa, and there are over 100 of them in this plant species. Within the Sativa strain, there are two plant varieties: hemp and marijuana. Both of these plants play host to numerous cannabinoids, including CBD, THC, CBC, CBN and CBG, among others. The hemp and marijuana plants differ in a number of ways, though; for a start, hemp contains much more CBD and much less THC.
THC is the most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis. It is also the cannabinoid responsible for intoxicating those who use cannabis recreationally. For recreational use, users opt for the marijuana plant due to its larger quantities of THC. On the other hand, CBD is non-intoxicating and will not produce any psychotropic effects. Because the hemp plant is more abundant in terms of CBD content, CBD-infused products on the market today are largely derived from hemp. In addition, numerous countries have stringent laws on marijuana usage, possession, cultivation and marketing, while the laws on hemp are comparatively much more relaxed.
Cannabinoids are not all that can be found in cannabis Sativa; there are many other chemical entities in both hemp and marijuana, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.
How can CBD help with colds?
CBD has been cited in a number of clinical studies over the years, all investigating different areas of wellness and how CBD may be used to manage various symptoms. What is generally agreed upon again and again is that CBD likely interacts with a system we all have in our bodies: the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Cannabidiol is believed to give the ECS a boost, supplementing its essential work in keeping our bodies balanced and in a state of homeostasis. Since the ECS has input when it comes to several functions, such as our cognitive performance, our sleep cycles, pain responses, responses to pathogens, and many others, it's no surprise that CBD may have a potentially positive impact on us when we're dealing with a cold.
Before delving into the research concerning CBD and its potential ability to manage the symptoms of a cold, we should highlight that research is still in its infancy, and that much more information must be collected before we can definitely claim that CBD can treat colds. Still, here's what we know so far:
CBD for cold-related lack of sleep
If there's one thing that becomes impossible when afflicted with a cold - if only it werejust one thing - it's sleeping. The cruel paradox is that, in order to maximise recovery from a cold, sleep and rest are highly necessary. Enter CBD.
CBD has been found in numerous studies to potentially assist us with sleep, and is thus a leading reason why people take this cannabis-constituent as a supplement. Studies indicate that CBD may help people fall asleep and stay asleep. Furthermore, CBD-induced improvements in sleep have been anecdotally noticed by people with anxietyand other ailments. How? CBD is purportedly able to work with neurochemicals and hormones that have a hand in our sleep, such as cortisol and adenosine.
What's more, many cannabis strains have been found to produce high levels of the terpene, myrcene. The molecule seems to have soporific effects (inducing sleepiness or drowsiness), and research conducted on rodents suggests that it may enhance muscle relaxation and increase sleep time.
CBD for cold-related inflammation
Cold symptoms typically stem from inflammation. It is not the pathogen that causes this inflammation, though; instead, it is your body's immune system trying to protect you. Your immune system activates those horrible characteristic symptoms of a cold, such as the blocked nose and the feeling of swallowing glass, so that your white blood cells can get through the tissues to reach the site of infection.
Fortunately, CBD has been discussed as having potential anti-inflammatory properties through years of research. One study investigated the possible impact of CBD on mice with asthma. After the administration of CBD, the mice's inflammatory responses were reduced, and the processes involved in their airway remodelling were improved.
What we didn't mention about the ECS is that it consists of two types of important receptors: CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors are of particular importance in the discussion of inflammation, as they are mainly concentrated throughout the immune system, meaning they play a key role in modulating immune responses to pathogens. CBD is purported to have the potential to exert immunomodulatory effects via CB2 receptors, so taking some CBD may just help impact the stuffiness of your cold.
CBD for nausea
On top of the blocked nose, constantly streaming eyes and the heavy head, colds can sometimes come with a side helping of nausea symptoms. Thankfully, research seems to corroborate that CBD may have antiemetic potential, helping to suppress nausea and vomiting via its reputed signalling of our cannabinoid receptors.
In summary, CBD could be the supplement for your colds that you never knew you needed!
How might mint help with colds?
In the herbal world, peppermint essential oil and other variants of mint have had numerous therapeutic applications, one of which is its usefulness in managing the symptoms of the common cold. Peppermint, and its main active ingredient, menthol, have the potential to improve your ability to breathe during those intense bouts of blockage. Why else do you think mint is such a common ingredient in numerous vapour rubs and cough medicines?
While mint doesn't actually eliminate congestion, the menthol it contains may stimulate the nerve receptors in your nasal passages, making you feel like more air is passing through. In the airways, there are quite a few different populations of receptors. It is a particular group of temperature receptors that are responsible for the feeling that mint decongests the nasal passage. These receptors are activated by both cooling and menthol and are situated in the upper airways. When you inhale, the receptors are exposed to the colder (below body temperature) air, and your body uses this information to understand that you've inhaled.
When you have a blocked nose, the feedback from these receptors is blocked, which is one of the reasons your breathing is affected. Mints and menthol are purported to stimulate these receptors. As a result, you may feel the sensation of airflow, which may make you think that your nasal congestion has actually cleared up, when in reality, it is just a sensation. There's little evidence that menthol actually clears up nasal congestion.
Mint and sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis occurs for longer than eight weeks and involves the swelling of your sinuses (the small spaces behind your cheekbones).
Menthol has been cited by numerous studies in conjunction with managing the symptoms of sinusitis and relieving "upper airway congestion". One study even asserts that "Chewing [menthol] gum reduced the severity of nasal symptoms in those with a cold".
Many over-the-counter products for sinusitis contain menthol, and it is generally recognised as fit for this purpose. Usually, menthol is combined with benzoin or eucalyptus oil for sinusitis, which are also essential oils recommended for aromatherapy.
It is not hard to see, then, that mint and sinusitis are a match for the ages.
Mint and nausea
For hundreds of years, peppermint has been used in conjunction with managing nausea. Whilst it won't stop you from vomiting on its own, peppermint essential oil is purportedly a treasure when it comes to suppressing nausea.
Peppermint has also been recognised for its possible antispasmodic effects, alleviating symptoms of colonic spasms, which can make you feel nauseous. In one study conducted in 2016, mint brought on visible antiemetic effects among patients with postoperative nausea after undergoing cardiac surgery.
If your cold has kindly brought you a side-helping of nausea, mint could just be the perfect thing to try.
CBD & mint: a fantastic combination
So, we've learnt of all the ways CBD and mint may respectively relieve the effects of a cold. Together, cannabidiol and mint could make a potentially powerful difference to your cold.
These two ingredients could potentially:
- Open up your airways and help you to breathe better;
- Reduce the inflammation causing you discomfort;
- Reduce the mucus in your throat;
- Help you sleep better;
- Relieve any nausea you are feeling;
- Give you a general feeling of freshness
That being said, you'll need to help CBD work its magic by following the below list of do's and don'ts when you have caught the lurgy.
The do's and don'ts of having a cold
Drink plenty of fluids -Hot herbal teas, chicken soup, Lemsips (though the number of Lemsips per day should be limited), water - whatever it is, make sure you drink plenty of fluids when you have a cold. Fluids also help to loosen the mucus in your nose and alleviate congestion. Staying hydrated ensures that the body can function as best as it can, and can defend itself more effectively against the cold or flu's effects.
Get as much rest as possible –You shouldn’t be concerned if you sleep an unusual amount when you have a cold. This just means your body needs the rest, and it helps your body build up its immune system and fight off your illness. And if you need to, take some time off work. Self-care is key!
Keep warm!Need we expand? When you've ever had a cold, you likely realise how they got their name- chills, shivers, and aches are part and parcel of having a cold, so combat these any way you can: keeping under your favourite blanket, or cuddling up to a hot water bottle.
Gargle salt water for a sore throat -1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a warm glass of water can temporarily soothe a sore, scratchy throat. Just be careful not to swallow it - this could make you feel worse!
Consider taking an over-the-counter remedy or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) if you're in great discomfort.Decongestants, pain relievers and antihistamines might offer some relief from some cold or flu-like symptoms.
Blow your nose plenty!If you wish, try a nasal spray or drops to relieve the nasal passage of blockage.
Drink caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary drinks -Yes, taking in a lot of fluids is crucial for fighting colds. But that excludes certain fluids, which can do more harm than good when it comes to combating colds. Caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks all have dehydrating effects, which is the opposite of what you need. If you must, lightly caffeinated tea is better than coffee for a cold.
Take antibiotics - A cold is a virus; antibiotics are designed to treat bacterial infections, not viruses.
Smoke with a cold- If you're a heavy smoker, find a way to pause your intake for the duration of your cold. Smoking could irritate your nose, throat and lungs and exacerbate your symptoms.
Catching a cold truly is a headache, all by itself.Puns aside, they really are highly unpleasant. With this in mind, we here at Amphora have combined the two natural wonders that are mint and cannabidiol to make our zingy and fresh CBD mints. These mints are fit for any occasion, so don't just reserve them for when you're feeling under-the-weather!
We believe in doing things the organic, natural way, so whether it is a stuffy nose you are fighting or simply a bad taste in your mouth, one of our plant-based, nature-derived mints are sure to have you feeling renewed and refreshed in no time.
Written by| Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate andengage consumersonthe growing evidence of CBD benefits andtheextensivehealth and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors |Angus Taylor+ Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation ofeffects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora“Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.