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September 27, 2022 5 min read
A strong immunity helps one fight infections and diseases. There are various ways to strengthen our immune system, including using CBD. Read through this article to find out how CBD strengthens the immune system.
The immune system is responsible for maintaining a healthy body and fighting against viruses and diseases. The coronavirus period acted as a reminder for people to strengthen their immunity. People had different ways to help the body fight the virus. Furthermore, the rise of CBD products in the market and research on its benefits increased its exposure. CBD products have been marketed and used for therapeutic benefits and as an alternative treatment for some conditions. This article discusses the benefits of CBD, its effects on the immune system, and the specific properties that make it beneficial to immunity.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychotropic compound derived from the cannabis plant. It is used for recreational purposes, such as improving skin health. Furthermore, CBD is used for its benefits in pain management, sleep, anxiety, neurodegenerative conditions, stress-related issues, and autoimmune diseases. All these depend on how CBD interacts with the body.
CBD mainly interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the body. The endocannabinoid system comprises receptors, enzymes, and cannabinoids. These are responsible for maintaining balance, normal interaction between body organs, pain management, and immune responses. The ECS works with neurotransmitters and enzymes to maintain normal functioning. Furthermore, CBD works in the body like natural cannabinoids. It can influence the production of these cannabinoids or affect the action of receptors and enzymes. CBD action in the body has been attributed to the main endocannabinoids, CB1 and CB2. It mainly works to ensure that the cannabinoids in the body are not broken down. Furthermore, the interaction leads to the transmission of impulses that help reduce muscle inflammation and joint pains.
Nichols & Kaplan (2020) explained that body immunity is controlled by different cells working together to protect against foreign substances. Furthermore, the body's immunity destroys dead cells and fights harmful pathogens. Communication between these cells is vital for their functioning. Proteins such as cytokines and chemokines are specifically secreted to mediate communication. Low production of these proteins or overproduction can affect the operation of the immune system. Low immunity can weaken the body and make it prone to infections. A hyperactive immune system can also cause the cells to destroy other cells and organs that are not harmful. CBD works as an immunomodulator to ensure the body's balanced production and functioning of cells, proteins, and hormones.
An immunomodulator is something that affects the functioning of the immune system. It can either suppress or stimulate the functioning of the immune system and help fight against diseases and infections. Some pharmaceutical medications can cause unwanted reactions and make immunity prone to other infections. Zgair et al. (2017)explained that CBD as an immunomodulator affects specific parts of the system without psychotropic effects. CBD has been studied to act as an immunomodulator in the following ways:
An immunosuppressive works to slow down an overactive immune system and prevent it from attacking healthy cells and tissues. This may be caused by autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Peyravian et al. (2020) pointed out that CBD works as an immunosuppressive by inhibiting the production and release of pro-inflammation cytokines and chemokines.
Inflammation is the body's reaction to tissue damage. Inflammation prevents the spread of pathogens to other areas of the body. Atalay et al. (2020) explained that CBD helps regulate the inflammation and production of white blood cells that fight infections. CBD's inflammatory properties have helped manage pain, broken bones, headaches, and chronic pain from cancer and arthritis.
Campos et al. (2017) stated that CBD helps treat neurodegenerative diseases. It works to prevent neurons from dying, which helps increase cognitive function. It works by reducing the toxicity of glutamate. This has made it helpful in conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. It also helps reduce oxidative stress.
The body's immune system sometimes becomes weaker due to diseases such as cancer. Seltzer et al. (2020)showed that patients with cancer could fight the disease better with CBD. It is effective in reducing tumor growth. The study expounds that CBD prompts cells in the body to kill cancer cells through apoptosis. This process is a healthy immune response to get rid of infected cells. Viruses like HIV affect the immune system's ability to fight diseases. Kozela et al. (2016) showed that CBD helps increase T cells that destroy harmful pathogens. Maggirwar & Khalsa (2021) explained that CBD is better at relieving HIV symptoms and improving immunity.
The discussed CBD properties make it helpful for maintaining the normal functioning of the immune system. It can work as a supplement to give the needed push and prevent excessive and harmful hyperactivity of immune cells. If under other prescription medication, one is advised to seek advice from their health provider on using CBD. They can also offer advice on the use and dosage of CBD for their condition.
There is a wide range of CBD products one can choose from. CBD is available in edibles such as gummies, lotions, creams, balms, vapes, and oils. Moreover, it can be taken sublingually, topically, or added to food and drinks. The choice of CBD product depends on one's preference and the effects needed. Studies report few mild side effects from the use of CBD. These can include fatigue, dry mouth, and changes in appetite.
One can do various things to keep the immune system strong and healthy. Living and eating healthy ensures that the cells in the body are functioning properly. Studies show that CBD can act as an immunomodulator to increase or suppress the functions of the immune system. It has anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and immunosuppressive properties that work with specific cells to maintain a balanced immune system. Additionally, CBD is a supplement to ensure the body's normal functioning. When taking prescriptions for specific conditions, one is advised to seek medical advice before taking CBD. Furthermore, ensure you read the product label and confirm the hep source.
Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21.
Campos, A. C., Fogaça, M. V., Scarante, F. F., Joca, S. R., Sales, A. J., Gomes, F. V., ... & Guimarães, F. S. (2017). Plastic and neuroprotective mechanisms are involved in the therapeutic effects of cannabidiol in psychiatric disorders. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 269.
Kozela, E., Juknat, A., Gao, F., Kaushansky, N., Coppola, G., & Vogel, Z. (2016). Pathways and gene networks mediating the regulatory effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, in autoimmune T cells. Journal of neuroinflammation, 13(1), 1-19.
Maggirwar, S. B., & Khalsa, J. H. (2021). The link between cannabis use, immune system, and viral infections. Viruses, 13(6), 1099.
Nichols, J. M., & Kaplan, B. L. (2020). Immune responses regulated by cannabidiol. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 5(1), 12-31.
Peyravian, N., Deo, S., Daunert, S., & Jimenez, J. J. (2020). Cannabidiol as a novel therapeutic for immune modulation. ImmunoTargets and therapy, 9, 131.
Seltzer, E. S., Watters, A. K., MacKenzie Jr, D., Granat, L. M., & Zhang, D. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) as a promising anti-cancer drug. Cancers, 12(11), 3203.
Zgair, A., Lee, J. B., Wong, J., Taha, D. A., Aram, J., Di Virgilio, D., ... & Gershkovich, P. (2017). Oral administration of cannabis with lipids leads to high levels of cannabinoids in the intestinal lymphatic system and prominent immunomodulation. Scientific reports, 7(1), 1-12.
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