How CBD Can Help Your Immune System
You’ve likely heard about CBD and the great benefits it can provide. Today, we’re going to focus on CBD’s impact on your immune system.
First, let’s answer a couple of simple questions you might have been wondering.
What is CBD?
You’ve likely heard of CBD by now, but if you haven’t, let’s dive in a bit.
Cannabidiol (CBD), a compound extract, comes from the cannabis plant. CBD has been making news as a wonderful recovery aid.
Though it comes from the cannabis plant, using a CBD product will not give you a high feeling, as it does NOT contain enough THC (some products are 0% THC) which is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that gives the high sensation.
How does CBD work?
There are over eighty different chemical cannabinoid compounds found in the trichomes (small hairs) of cannabis. These cannabinoids all produce certain effects in the body by attaching themselves to certain receptors.
Our bodies also produce cannabinoids of our own, as well as producing two receptors for cannabinoids called CB1 and CB2. These receptors are located in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is one of our body’s best neurotransmitters.
CB1 is mostly present in the brain but also can be found throughout the body. These receptors in the brain deal with coordination, movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, and more. THC attaches to CB1.
CB2 receptors are often found in your immune system and primarily impact pain and inflammation.
It was once thought that CBD attached directly to the CB2 receptors, but it is believed now that CBS doesn’t attach to either receptor directly. Instead, CBD directs the body to use more of its own cannabinoids and impacts these receptors indirectly.
Now that we’ve got the simple questions out of the way, let’s get more into detail about how CBD works with your immune system.
How does CBD affect your immune system?
As previously mentioned, the CB2 reception in the ECS is often found in your immune system. CB1 receptors can also be found in your immune system, although there are generally 10 to 100 times more CB2 receptors than CB1 receptors in your immune system.
It’s important to note that there are many studies around CBD and its impact on our bodies.
Another important thing to note is that CBD has been found to work as an immunosuppressant and an immunomodulator.
Immunosuppressants are agents that can suppress or prevent the immune response. They can treat autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. Some treatments for cancer act as immunosuppressants.
Simply put, immunomodulators are agents used to help regulate or normalize the immune system.
One of the great benefits of CBD is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. These properties can reduce the inflammatory response of the immune system.
CBD can suppress the function and secretion of cytokines, which are large protein groups. Specific cells in your immune system secrete cytokines. The function of these proteins is to communicate with molecules that regulate the body’s immunity, white blood cell production, and inflammation.
CBD can suppress chemokine production. A chemokine is a group of cytokines that act as a chemoattractant, a chemical agent that induces an organism or a cell to migrate toward it. Chemokines can lead immune cells to an infected area so that white blood cells can attack and destroy microbes that are invading the infected area.
CBD can suppress T-Cell function and production, which is helping suppress the immune system’s ability to remember outside invaders.
The evidence above proves that CBD has a positive impact on your immune system and in a big way. Now, all there’s left to do is to find a tasty source of CBD.
Is there a CBD drink for when I’m not feeling my best?
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FDA AND LEGAL DISCLOSURE:
You've likely heard about CBD and the great benefits it can provide. Today, we're going to focus on CBD's impact on your immune system. First, let's answer a couple of simple questions you might have been wondering. What is CBD? You've likely heard of CBD by now, but if you haven't, let's dive in a bit. Cannabidiol
How Does CBD Affect the Immune System and Autoimmune Disease?
By Roland Sebestyén
While more countries around the world continue to acknowledge the potential of CBD, the full biological effects of the cannabinoid are yet to be fully understood. However, some research demonstrates that CBD has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties.
But what does this mean for those that use CBD products, and who could potentially benefit from it?
CBD is one of the most common chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is classed as a cannabinoid, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabinol (CBN), and over a hundred other compounds in the plant. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals that have become known for their medicinal and wellness potential.
It is also clear that, in some cases, CBD might be used to treat particular diseases for which other available treatments have failed to be effective. Although we know that it produces effects in the central nervous system, in contrast to THC, which is psychoactive, CBD doesn’t create the so-called ‘high’ feeling.
Everything you should know about our immune system
In a nutshell, the immune system is the main defense our bodies have against diseases and other potentially damaging threats. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies and attacks intruders, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites – distinguishing them from our body’s healthy tissue.
Lymphocytes, or B cells and T cells, fight against antigens and they help the body to remember the once-beaten substances so that the next time the immune system can act quickly and effectively.
Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and the Immune System
Despite the existence of the Endocannabinoid System only being confirmed by researchers in the 1990s, we already know that this system can play an important role in many bodily functions, including brain functions. Endocannabinoid receptors are expressed throughout the central nervous system, as well as in the human immune system.
Interactions between endocannabinoids and receptors are thought to influence mood, emotions, appetite, pain-sensation and memory, among other important physiological and cognitive processes. Phytocannabinoids (the most well-known are CBD and THC) interact with this system in similar ways to endocannabinoids.
So, what are the effects of CBD on our immune system?
According to research by James M. Nichols and Barbara L.F. Kaplan, it would appear that “considering all the studies conducted on immune responses and inflammation, the data overwhelmingly demonstrate that CBD is immune suppressive and anti-inflammatory.”
While the definition of something being anti-inflammatory should be clear, CBD functioning as an immunosuppressant might require clarification.
As a potential immunosuppressant, CBD may reduce the immune system’s inflammatory responses, promote apoptosis (cellular death), and prevent rapid cellular growth. In certain cases, these features may have a negative effect on a healthy human’s immune system.
In addition, CBD exposure may also suppress the functions of cytokines, chemokines, and T cells – all of which play an important role in immunodefense.
Using Immunosuppressants as a Treatment
It has been suggested that CBD may have potential as an adjunct treatment for some autoimmune diseases.
An autoimmune disease is when the immune system begins to attack healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This can occur basically anywhere in the body, and it can result in particular body functions weakening and, in some cases, life-threatening conditions. The most common autoimmune diseases include Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Psoriasis.
Inflammation plays an important role in autoimmune diseases. As an anti-inflammatory, CBD might help the body to tackle the disease. In addition, CBD’s immunosuppressive nature might be able to help it to deal with hyperactive immune systems that attack themselves.
Research has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties but how can it affect the immune system and autoimmune diseases?