During the development of modern medicine, there have been many claims in regards to boosting immune function. And it makes sense because it is your body’s defense against microscopic invaders.
Recently though CBD has begun to become a topic of discussion in this realm of the health industry. Some of the research is still new but there are some papers that claim to have pinpointed what kind of effect CBD will have on your immune system.
Today we will be taking a look at some of the findings that have come to light regarding CBD and your immune system in general.
Your Immune System
You probably know that you have an immune system, something that fights off diseases from wreaking havoc on your body.
Every single day you encounter literally millions of things that would kill you if it wasn’t for your immune system. Things like viruses, infections, and parasites. Even though you still get sick sometimes, the immune system catches more than it doesn’t.
Your immune system is incredibly complex with a lot of different moving parts. There have been hundreds of scientific research papers published about your immune system alone.
The white blood cell is one of the main workhorses in your immune system. There are two types: lymphocytes and phagocytes.
Lymphocytes are what you are probably familiar with. They are usually referred to as B-cells and T-cells. It is their responsibility to kill the invaders that want to do your body damage.
Phagocytes instead absorb the enemy cells in order to stop them from growing and multiplying.
Not only does your immune system protect against outside dangers but internal ones as well. It helps to destroy cells that are not working correctly anymore. This helps to prevent tumors from growing.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System?
Looking at the word Endocannabinoid it would appear that it is something that comes from cannabis. But actually this is a system that everyone has in their body even if they don’t use cannabis products.
During the 1990s scientists made the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System while researching the effects of THC on the body. Even though its identification happened nearly 30 years ago we are still trying to understand everything that it does.
As it stands now we know that it has a large effect on things like sleep, mood, appetite, and memory.
There are things called endocannabinoid receptors that are found all around your body. Endocannabinoids, that your body produces naturally, will bind with them which tells your ECS that it needs to do something.
There are two different types of endocannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is found in your central nervous system or CNS. CB2, on the other hand, is found in the peripheral nervous system. Especially in immune cells.
These serve a ton of different purposes. For instance, if the endocannabinoids bind to a CB1 receptor on your spinal cord then it signals the ECS that there is pain that it needs to begin relieving.
Some of the CB2 receptors are responsible for telling your body that it is experiencing inflammation. Something that is common when you get an injury, get sick or have an underlying disease.
The ECS has a list of impacts on your body a mile long and the research is still ongoing.
How CBD Affects Your Body’s Systems
CBD has different effects on your immune system and the research that has been done on it is not complete. It also affects the ECS and your immune system separately but both have an impact on your overall health. We’ll take a brief look at both of these here.
CBD’s Affect On The ECS
THC has an effect on the endocannabinoid receptors in your body by binding to them the same way that endocannabinoids in your body already do. This will signal the system to perform some sort of action.
CBD on the flip side of this requires a little bit more of an in-depth explanation and a lot of researchers can’t quite agree on what it actually does.
Scientists can agree that CBD does not bind to the receptors the same way that THC does.
A function that CBD will serve though is that it can help prevent the endocannabinoids from breaking down. The longer they are around in your body the more of an effect they will have on the receptors.
This may be the reason that CBD has been linked to so many of the same things as the endocannabinoids have an effect on, like pain relief and your mood.
A different perspective on this is that CBD binds to a different receptor that has not yet been discovered. This is a possibility because of the massive complexity of our bodies. If this is the case then it means taking CBD is like your body producing more endocannabinoids naturally.
Additionally, a high quality CBD oil is necessary if you decide to use one as a daily supplement. We personally prefer Elan CBD due to their high quality and transparency around their products.
They use a broad-spectrum formulation so you are receiving a wide range of natural cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids straight from the hemp plant.
CBD’s Affect On The Immune System
The effects of CBD on your actual immune system are up for dispute. But there have been some advances in this field recently.
CBD basically has two main impacts on your immune system. It can act as an immunosuppressant or it can have an immunomodulating adaptive effect.
If it is an immunosuppressant then it is making your body produce less of the chemicals your immune system will use and lessen the impact of T-cells. This can sound like a bad thing but it is a double-edged sword.
Suppressing this function can be extremely helpful for things like autoimmune diseases, something we will talk about more later. CBD also has properties that reduce inflammation which is something that happens naturally but can cause a slew of problems.
The other aspect of CBD is an adaptive immunomodulating effect. This is really, really complicated. But basically it is a theory that CBD goes with the flow of what your body is already doing. What the immune system’s needs are is how the CBD will perform.
The research is nowhere near complete on this part of CBD’s effects and there is a lot more to it than what we just covered. It is also unclear quite how the CBD knows where it should be going.
Regardless, scientists can agree that CBD has more of an effect on your immune system than just stemming pain and could have a variety of different benefits that they have not yet discovered.
CBD And Specific Diseases
As we stated above CBD can have a variety of different impacts depending on what the body needs. It will also serve different functions if you have certain diseases as well. Here we will go over a few that CBD has been known to impact.
An autoimmune disease causes your body to begin attacking itself. There are a lot of different types of autoimmune diseases out there and they can happen all over your body. If left untreated they can begin to kill off organs and some lead to death.
Like we already discussed CBD can work as an immunosuppressant and it can help to reduce inflammation. Using CBD if you have an autoimmune disease means that your body won’t be hurting itself quite as much.
It also means that the inflammation caused by the disease won’t be able to stir up even more trouble for the already failing immune system as well.
Unfortunately, we cannot tout that CBD is able to kill cancer cells. But what it can do is bolster your immune system and increase your body’s effectiveness at fighting them.
This doesn’t mean that taking CBD will help you fight off cancer without medical treatment. But it does mean that used in conjunction with modern medicine it can have a serious impact.
One study found that when using CBD with radiotherapy for brain tumors it meant that the tumor shrank dramatically in size and there was little to no immune system suppression. Leading to a healthier overall patient.
This makes it a lot more likely that CBD acts in a more adaptive capacity with the ECS and immune systems.
While it is unclear what impact CBD will actually have on minor illnesses like the common cold. But with this new research that CBD has an adaptive immunomodulating effect instead of only suppression, it might shine a ray of light there as well.
What it can do is make your recovery from an illness a little better by reducing some of the pain and decreasing inflammation. This is something that can definitely help you get over something like the cold or flu a bit more comfortably and maybe even faster.
CBD definitely has a pretty profound effect on your body’s internal systems.
It can definitely help you if you have an autoimmune disease by suppressing your immune system in order to stop your body from hurting itself.
It can also reduce inflammation which can be the cause of several conditions, some of which can even be life-threatening.
The research on CBD boosting your immune system is still ongoing. But what we do know is that it can lengthen the lifetime of endocannabinoids found naturally in your body.
The adaptive effects of CBD on the immune system definitely make it a contender for being a great immune supplement, and there is some evidence that might indicate a brand new receptor that CBD binds to that would help your body in a variety of ways.
All in all, while we can’t say whether CBD is going to help you fight off diseases or get rid of the common cold it definitely has a lot of promise in assisting your body in the fight against autoimmune diseases and things like cancer.
Lastly, if you are interested in trying CBD for yourself, we highly recommend Elan CBD for premium quality broad-spectrum CBD products.