CBD is currently one of the biggest health supplement raves in the media. It has numerous health benefits ranging from anxiety relief, pain relief, and treating acne, arthritis, and epilepsy seizures in children.
CBD is also used in treating patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV, but how does it work? In this article, attention is on how CBD works with the immune system and the different ways CBD can help boost it.
The Immune System And How CBD Interacts With It
The human immune system is designed as a complex network of body cells, tissues, and organs that are all connected and in sync to tackle and destroy any foreign particle, cell, or organism that is harmful to the body system. It is also in charge of getting rid of dead cells in the body for optimal functioning.
The primary tool that the immune system uses to fight any foreign body is the white blood cells, which can be classified into two. There are the lymphocytes whose sole purpose is to destroy antigens and keep a record of each antigen to prevent further immune system attacks. There are also the phagocytes that neutralize and absorb any invading harmful substances to prevent it from spreading.
The immune system is also responsible for detecting malfunctioning cells and ensures they don’t grow into tumors through the process of cell death, also known as apoptosis. Apoptosis is a vital part of a healthy immune system; it maintains that sensitive balance between cell death and growth. Too little cell death can create an enabling environment for cancer growth, and too much can cause an outbreak of autoimmune diseases.
Knowing how your immune system works and keeping it at an optimal functioning level is key to your body working at its optimal function. Some scientific research is beginning to identify the role of CBD in boosting the functionality of the immune system.
The Endocannabinoid System or the ECS is responsible for maintaining the biological balance in the body, including the inflammation and immune functions. The ECS consists of nerve receptors (CB1 and CB2) located all over the body, and you can also find these receptors in the immune cells, although there are more CB2 than CB1.
This system of receptors responds in a way to ingested cannabinoids (CBD or THC), as well as naturally produced cannabinoids found in the body. Significantly, CB2 receptors trigger the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD, thereby acting as an immune regulator and a therapeutic agent for autoimmune conditions.
Two Ways CBD Helps To Boost Your Immune System
CBD boosts the immune system in two significant ways, by acting as an immunosuppressant and an immunomodulator
- Acting As Immunosuppressant to Relieve Symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases: The inflammatory properties of CBD is one of the significant health benefits of this health supplement. Research shows that this function also extends to autoimmune diseases since an attribute of most of these diseases is inflammation; hence, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD helps to reduce their symptoms.
Immunosuppressants are substances that inhibit or reduce the response of the immune system. They are often necessary for organ or graft transplants; they prevent the immune system from rejecting the foreign addition and also help the body to adapt to it.
Significantly, in cases of people suffering from autoimmune conditions, the T cells lose their ability to recognize the cells of the body and therefore launch an attack on the immune system causing autoimmune disease and widespread inflammation in the body.
CBD can help treat the inflammation and reduce the effects of autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia, multiple sclerosis caused by a hyperactive immune system attacking itself or abnormal immune responses. By suppressing the ability of the immune system to react, CBD stops the immune system from attacking its tissue.
However, inhibiting immune responses can also create an enabling environment for cancer growth and other infections; this is because, at this point, the immune system is unable to defend itself against attacks. Therefore, the use of CBD for autoimmune conditions should be monitored by a physician.
- Acting as Immunomodulator: CBD also works as an immunomodulator by regulating the immune system and keeping it in check. It boosts your immune system by adding additional defense to what your body already has.
A hyperactive or underactive immune system can have adverse effects on the body. For instance, a weakened immune system can lead to cancer growth, and HIV and a hyperactive immune system can cause multiple sclerosis and arthritis. CBD may help strengthen a weakened immune system, and for people with a hyperactive system, CBD helps regulate immune responses.
Although scientific research is still ongoing on how CBD regulates or boosts the immune system, some of the results so far show a lot of potentials. As one of the newest sensations for optimal health, CBD can help boost the immune system by acting as an immunosuppressant and an immune response regulator. However, it is important to note that nothing beats living a healthy lifestyle, so it is advisable to use CBD in combination with healthy diets and exercise when seeking to improve the body’s immune system.