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Should I Take CBD When Sick?

Should You Take CBD When Sick?

Whether a person should take CBD when sick is a good question, whether contemplating taking it yourself or giving it to someone as a home remedy during a period of illness. Bear in mind, the FDA has not approved the use of CBD for any illnesses other than two forms of epilepsy for which it is prescribed – so please do not take this discussion as medical advice and see your doctor if you are sick 🙂

First of all, it’s well known that CBD can help to reduce both inflammation and stress and anxiety, indirectly boosting your immune system. Therefore, CBD could potentially help with speedier recovery for certain illnesses.

CBD has been known to help with headaches and migraines (see our YouTube channel for more details on that topic).

There is also some evidence that CBD has some very beneficial properties when it comes to certain ailments, but also may have some potential downsides that you need to be aware of as well.

Could CBD Have Antibacterial Properties?

Should I Take CBD When Sick?

According to a 2019 article that appeared in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, CBD appears to have some antibacterial properties (for certain types of bacteria).

Part of how bacteria work is by communicating and interacting with other cells (both those in your body, and other bacterial cells) via membrane vesicles. Part of how antibiotics work (at least one of their mechanisms) is by inhibiting membrane vesicle function.

What the study found was that CBD had an inhibitory effect on Gram-negative bacteria, which have two outer membranes on the bacterial cells. Gram-negative bacteria are notoriously resistant to antibiotics such as penicillin, as most of the drug-resistant strains of bacteria that are so problematic are Gram-negative.

According to WebMD, more research is currently ongoing as to whether CBD is a potential antibacterial agent in dealing with drug-resistant bacterial infections.

What this could potentially mean is that CBD could actually be beneficial in fighting off a bacterial infection. Granted, of course, these few initial studies do not mean it’s FDA approved – but it’s a promising start that will lead to further research.

CBD Has Known Side Effects in Very Small Percentage of Users

With that said, this should be tempered by being aware of some of the known side effects of CBD, which has been documented fairly thoroughly in the medical literature.

Common side effects include gastric distress, which may result in diarrhea, as well as elevated liver enzymes, meaning the liver is having to work harder to clear CBD and other compounds out of the blood stream.

In fact, liver problems including jaundice are known adverse side effects to use of Epidiolex, the FDA-approved CBD oil that’s used to treat Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two insidiously bad forms of childhood epilepsy.

Why is this important?

First, gastric distress is often dehydrating, and it’s important to stay as hydrated as possible while sick. Furthermore, many common over-the-counter medications for common seasonal illnesses include the drug acetaminophen, which is also known to elevate liver enzymes.

So depending on the type of illness, it may or may not be the best idea to take CBD while sick. Again – this isn’t medical advice, but rather a discussion involving some well-documented information. Make sure to talk to your doctor about taking CBD while sick.

Our team at TribeTokes would also like to add that what type of sickness you have should influence what type of CBD product you take! For example, if you have a respiratory infection or cough, you should not vape – choose gummies instead. However, if you have nausea or are throwing up, your stomach may not be able to tolerate much and a CBD vape is much more effective (and fast acting – fast relief is important when you’re nauseous).

CBD can help your overall wellness routine and therefore could help prevent you from getting sick in the first place.


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