Does CBD Help Improve the Immune System?
CBD is researched day and night in order to reveal its hidden qualities. Besides being famous for dealing with mental, heart and other diseases, it also has a very positive impact on the human immune system. Since the immune system is responsible in order to detect any diseases and help to fight and provide protection against diseases. Immune system detects the upcoming dangers to the health of a person and makes the body ready to defend itself. The immune system should be able to maintain a balance of self-defence without causing self-harm, when the immune system does not perform up to the mark then the immune response is weakened which leads to autoimmunity. Autoimmunity causes an attack on healthy tissues which results in numerous autoimmune diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, allergies and various inflammation diseases.
An Introduction to the Immune System
Throughout our lives we are constantly exposed to a never-ending stream of diseases, viruses, infections and bacteria, all of which have the capacity to be lethal if it were not for our immune system. The immune system is a network of cells, organs and tissues that work together to destroy foreign particles or cells. This keeps the body healthy and most importantly, alive. The most integral enforcer of the immune system are white blood cells.
There are 2 variations of white blood cells, phagocytes and lymphocytes.
Lymphocytes are commonly known as T-cells & B-cells. Their job is to destroy antigens or any other foreign substances. They also enable the body to store information on these foreign substances so that the immune system can respond effectively and hastily if another invasion is detected.
Phagocytes absorb and then neutralise the foreign substances, preventing them from spreading within the body and causing further damage.
The immune system and cannabinoids
As cannabinoids are available in various systems of the body, the immune system also tends to work optimally by the functions performed by endocannabinoids. Though additional research is required in order to study the relation of the immune system with the endocannabinoid system, it is still concluded that targeted cannabinoids like CBD help in reducing autoimmune responses and inflammatory responses which are the main reason for sclerosis, cancer and HIV.
How CBD, your Endocannabinoid System and Immune System Interact
The endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoids and receptors that works to regulate the majority of human bodily functions. One of the most crucial functions is the endocannabinoid’s role as an immune-cannabinoid modulator. This means that communicative molecules in the endocannabinoid system can work as a signalling mechanism to give instruction to facilitate the functional machinery involved in the immune response. These signals and instructions provide information for the body’s immune system that informs it when to engage it’s methods of defence, where the defence is required and how strong a response is required.
Studies reveal that CBD possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which can be helpful in suppressing the immune system by reducing inflammation. As most of the autoimmune diseases are caused by inflammation, CBD tends to be very effective in strengthening the immune system. CBD is an immune suppressor, so it has positive effects when the immune system becomes hyperactive or weakened. A hyperactive immune system causes overreaction when met with allergens or diseases and can even self-harm the body. As the case of multiple sclerosis, in which the immune system becomes hyperactive and damages the central nervous system by destroying nerve fibres and scar tissues. Recently, CBD has been proven to be effective in reducing the pain in patients of multiple sclerosis by improving mobility.
CBD and inflammation
Inflammation, besides its negative aspects, is vital for the immune system to inhibit infections. Inflammation is the immune response required to stop the diseases from spreading by isolating the damaged and infected cells. Therefore, inflammation is needed to fight certain diseases in the body and preventing it can weaken the immune system. However, CBD can also be used to maintain a balance between the functions of the immune system.
CBD and cancer
A weakened immune system leads to cancer, and CBD is also able to fight cancer by strengthening the immune system. One of the functions of the immune system is to tell the unhealthy and aged cells about their time to self-destruct. As with cancer, the damaged cells forget their ability to self-regulate and the disease spread quickly in the body due to the proliferation of the cells. Animal and laboratory studies show that CBD help in the self-destruction of the damaged cells, which lead to apoptosis, and eventually a reduction of the tumour growth. Metastasis was also a result of the mice study that reduced the spreading of cancerous cells. Thus, the immune system is strengthened and it also reduces nausea, vomiting and various conditions caused by chemotherapy in the cancer patients.
CBD and HIV/AIDS
The dysfunction of the immune system and it not performing optimally is one of the causes of HIV/AIDS. HIV compromises the immune system, due to which the body leaves its ability to fight the virus. As CBD has the ability to make the immune system perform better, it tends to be a good option in relieving HIV symptoms. A study conducted in 2015 found that the patients who consumed CBD had less viral loads and a more CD4 immune cell which fights against HIV as compared to regular patients. Another previous study of 2003 revealed that the through the use of CBD the T-cell count can be increased, t-cells are used to destroy harmful pathogens and are integral need of the immune system. Moreover, recent studies show that CBD may also be helpful in inhibiting the progression of HIV into AIDS by inhibiting the function of plasmacytoid dendritic cells.
CBD and neuroinflammatory conditions
The immune system also has a major role in neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative conditions like strokes, head injuries and cerebral ischemia which is a condition in which there is an insufficient flow of blood to the brain. CBD has been used to provide both neurogenesis as well as neurodegeneration which leads to the promotion of new and degeneration of nervous tissues of the brain. The research that concluded these findings was however conducted on animals, more evidence is needed in order to prove the significant effects.
Can CBD improve the immune system?
Well, as various effects of CBD has been described on the functions of the immune system. It is still unclear and no power can claim that CBD will affect the immune system with the same conclusive results. The results can vary as much about the functions of the immune system and immune responses are still unknown. Though, one thing that is clear enough is that CBD has some sort of effect on the immune responses of the body but to which extent CBD should be used in order to achieve the maximum benefits are still to be researched.
The immune system has two ways in which it fights against diseases, the cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity. Maintaining the right balance between the immunities is required in order to keep the immune system’s functions optimal. The endocannabinoid system is said to control and regulate the proper balance between humoral and cell-mediated responses. Therefore, the stimulation of ECS through active cannabinoids like CBD helps in enhancing the health, balance, responsivity and functions of the immune’s system. The CBD and ECS are extremely involved in maintaining the optimal functioning immune system.
The consumption of CBD for maintaining immune system should always be advised by the professionals. One must regularly monitor himself in order to achieve the desired outcomes after the consumption of CBD.
How much more is there to learn about CBD’s interaction with the immune system?
There is such a vast amount of information regarding the functioning of the immune system and the body’s immune response that remains unknown. There are even more unknowns when discussing the endocannabinoid system. This is one of the factors that means that even the world’s elite medical cannabis experts cannot make definitive claims about CBD and the immune system. While it is apparent that cannabinoids influence the immune system, it remains unclear how treatments can be manipulated and then administered to have the most beneficial results. CBD’s capability to balance the two major arms of the immune system will be subject to a great deal of research and how this could be best used for medical and therapeutic purposes.
Final thoughts on CBD and the Immune System
While there is some evidence and data supporting the use of CBD for the immune system and there is scientific theory behind it. However, there needs to be more investigative research into the effects CBD has on a healthy immune system. It is important to note that if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, have a poor diet, do not exercise and do not get enough sleep, it is probable that you will have a weakened immune system.