How Does CBD Affect the Immune System?
Imune deficiency & CBD
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD is a chemical compound found to have health effects on the human body without being psychoactive, and is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Our body even produces endocannabinoids like anandamide.
The lack of a ‘high’ allows people to use the products we offer for various health reasons without the usual psychoactive properties of THC from cannabis.
How Does CBD Affect the Immune System?
Overall, cannabinoids act as immune suppressors, because they minimize inflammation. However, for those suffering from autoimmune diseases, diseases brought on by inflammation, cancer, or HIV/AIDs, cannabinoids may be able to help.
Auto immune Diseases
Because CBD is a potent immune suppressor, it works particularly well in cases where a hyperactive immune system is to blame for negative health. A hyperactive immune system tends to overreact when exposed to common allergens or food, and can even begin to attack the body in response.
For example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, lupus, and arthritis are a few autoimmune diseases where cannabinoids are showing promising results.
With multiple sclerosis, the immune system is hyperactive and targets the body’s central nervous system as if it were a dangerous antigen. This causes the immune system to attack the protective coating around nerve fibers, generating a buildup of scar tissue. This buildup interrupts the ability of nerve cells to react and release signals, causing a loss of motor function and eventually paralysis.
Until recently, there was no treatment or cure for multiple sclerosis. But, research has found that CBD use can improve mobility and help reduce pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Although inflammation is often seen in a negative light, it’s a vital immune response to infection. Inflammation helps isolate infected or damaged parts of the body, preventing the problem from spreading. Therefore, preventing inflammation when it is actually needed can lower immune function and make people more susceptible to disease. CBD and other cannabinoids may be able to help balance that function in the body.
Chronic inflammation is attributed to many modern diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, allergies, asthma, arthritis, acne, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and more. Because CBD reduces inflammation, it can help reduce the symptoms of these illnesses.
For patients recovering from a stroke, where inflammation is high, CBD products can also help by reducing inflammation in the central nervous system and speeding up recovery.
Those with cancer have a weakened immune system, and although CBD is an immune suppressor, preclinical research has found it can be used to fight cancer cells.
Normally, unhealthy or aged cells have a command system that tells the cell when it is time to self-destruct.
Cancer cells are able to proliferate and expand quickly because they have lost their ability to self-regulate, never telling the cells when it is time to self-destruct.
In both laboratory and rodent clinical trials, cannabis compounds stimulated cancer cells to commit suicide through apoptosis. This action reduces tumor growth.
In mice, cannabinoids were found to reduce tumor growth and metastasis (the spreading of cancer cells).
In addition to actually destroying cancer cells, cannabis products have been used to prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, especially due to chemotherapy. Cannabis has also been used to help stimulate an appetite in cancer patients and reduce pain.
More than 1.1 million sindividuals are living with HIV. HIV, the virus causes immune suppression, which makes it more likely for individuals to succumb to infection and eventually premature death.
However, a study on cannabis use in those with HIV found that cannabis may actually boost the immune system, as those who used the herb had lower viral loads and greater numbers of T-cells, which are essential to immunity. T-cells work by discovering pathogens and destroying them.
Recent studies have also discovered that cannabinoid use may help prevent HIV from developing into AIDs. Prolonged Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) activity in the body has been linked with the progression of HIV into AIDS. Cannabinoid use may help prevent this progression by suppressing pDC function.
Is CBD Oil Right for Me?
Those who use CBD oil for immunity can benefit if they suffer from autoimmune diseases, diseases caused by excessive inflammation, cancer, and HIV/AIDs. The use of cannabinoids for helping with these issues is supported scientifically, but further research is certainly required before coming to a consensus.
Beyond the ailments listed above, users turn to CBD oils for pain, insomnia, depression, and anxiety. In one survey of over 2 400 CBD users, 80% found CBD to be very or extremely effective.