More and more, we want to take charge of our own health and prevent problems before they start, and one of the best approaches is to foster the health of your immune system. Your immune system locates and destroys harmful elements before they can attack – like viruses, bacteria and germs. It also flushes away dead or dying cells. The immune system isn’t located in just one spot. There are components throughout your body that work together to provide this vital defense.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an option that more people are turning to in order to activate the immune system. Research on CBD has shown that it can play a role in several body systems, such as helping to protect lung function, maintaining a healthy gut, and helping to calm everyday stress.
Because cannabis is helpful in so many areas of the body, it is likely we will discover even more ways that CBD can develop and maintain a robust immune system and help to prevent illness and disease.
The Endocannabinoid System – Breakthrough for Health
The endocannabinoid system is a fairly new discovery, and scientists are still learning how it works. The endocannabinoid system – or ECS – is composed of a network of signals throughout your body that helps keep internal processes stable. Most of the cells in the body are influenced by the endocannabinoid system, including cells that are part of the immune system.
So named because it was discovered while scientists were trying to figure out how and why cannabis helps so many different areas of the body, the endocannabinoid system plays a prominent role in building immunities. ECS works to maintain a healthy balance and keep your immune system running perfectly. By avoiding overcorrections, the ECS can help prevent autoimmune disorders.
The ECS is a homeostatic regulator. This network of signals works across your body to keep internal processes stable and balanced. In addition, the ECS plays a crucial role in resolving inflammation. Researchers discovered receptors called CB1 and CB2 in white blood cells. It is through these receptors that the ECS seems to play a role as an immunosuppressant.
CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are cannabinoids, which affect the endocannabinoid system – researchers are still trying to understand this interaction. CBD and THC are the two main components of cannabis that can affect our bodies. THC has psychoactive effects (the “high” from marijuana), while CBD does not.
The most common usage of CBD currently is CBD oil made from hemp. Doctors now can’t prescribe CBD as a treatment, but they can recommend it.
How Can CBD Help?
Because the endocannabinoid system is spread throughout the body, CBD has so much potential to make a difference with many health problems.
Studies of CBD have found that it supports a healthy inflammatory response in the lungs. This could potentially assist with respiratory function when the lungs have been exposed to irritants.
A large part of the immune system is in the gastrointestinal tract (AKA the gut). Therefore, inflammation in the gut can lead to a lot of issues, including a weakened immune system. The ECS can counteract gut inflammation, and CBD has been found to support healthy intestinal inflammatory responses.
The most common use of CBD currently is probably to help with stress. We know that an increase in stress can lower your immunities. CBD can help, by providing a calming effect and in spurring a healthy stress response to protect the immune system.
Research indicates that CBD helps modulate blood flow in regions of the brain that deal with anxiety, including the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus and cingulate cortex.
How CBD Affects the Immune System
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and supports a healthy inflammatory response. In addition, CBD helps to maintain healthy gut microbiota and has a calming effect on everyday stress. All of these factors show that CBD can help keep your immune system healthy.
Research has shown promise in other areas for CBD. It’s been found that CBD can promote cellular death and prevent rapid cellular growth. By repressing the function of some proteins in your immune system and reducing the production of chemo attractants that lead white blood cells to infections, CBD can also assist with preventing the immune system from overreacting. Thus, CBD could prove to be helpful to people with autoimmune disorders.
Gaining Knowledge for the Future
More research is needed to find ways that CBD can benefit our health and well-being and how CBD works with the endocannabinoid system. The good news is that many states and even the federal government are considering decriminalization or legalization of marijuana. This will change everyday lives and enable researchers and scientists to find how CBD can help protect our immune systems and prevent dangerous diseases.
It will help doctors to know they have more tools in their arsenals for treatment and pain relief. Once it can be prescribed, everyone will have some needed guidance for recommended dosages.
And it will help people to have a greater understanding of their bodies' systems and how CBD can work to help their bodies to thrive.