THC and CBD- Detriment to the Immune System? 04 Nov THC and CBD- Detriment to the Immune System? As we discussed in our last article, marijuana effects healthy and compromised immune systems 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
THC and CBD- Detriment to the Immune System?
04 Nov THC and CBD- Detriment to the Immune System?
As we discussed in our last article, marijuana effects healthy and compromised immune systems differently. While healthy folks using marijuana experience a suppressed immunity, those with autoimmune diseases can receive benefits from marijuana intervention. Today, we will look closely at how the individual compounds, THC and CBD, affect the immune system and what you can expect from different strains.
Our central nervous system, i.e. the endocannabinoid system, maintains the body’s daily function and wellness. The endocannabinoid system achieves homeostasis through endocannabinoid production and endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The endocannabinoids and receptors communicate through a process called binding and work together to control our immune system. Sometimes, in the case of autoimmune disorders, the endocannabinoids our body produces fail to function properly. When this happens, our body will accept cannabinoids (from marijuana) in place of the failed endocannabinoids.
THC and CBD affect both CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are important because they are our prime neurotransmitters. CB1 receptors regulate pain, coordination, and brain function such as mood, appetite, and thoughts, while CB2 receptors influence immune response such as inflammation.
CBD, cannabidiol, interacts with both receptors indirectly. CBD wills the body to create more endocannabinoids instead of replacing them. CBD can suppress and boost immune system activity. How so? CBD’s effect on you is completely dependent on your body’s function. Past studies show that CBD encourages white blood cell production in immunodeficient patients, helping boost the immune response in persons with HIV. Other trials have shown CBD to suppress immune response, such as inflammation, in patients with autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis. Think of CBD in terms of a modulator, rather than a boosting or suppressing agent.
THC is notably active in response to immune function. THC actively binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors. THC plays a major role as a psychoactive chemical when binding to CB1 receptors that control the mind’s function. CB1 receptors tell the body whether it is experiencing pain which can be negated by THC. The main impact upon the immune system is through the binding process in CB2 receptors. In a patient study performed in 1994, researchers confirmed THC activated immunosuppressing proteins after binding to CB2 receptors and influencing T-cells. This is great news for people battling autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease, because it will help with inflammation of the body. In 2011, the University of Louisiana conducted a study on the effects of THC on monkeys with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). The results were astonishing. 28 days before the monkeys contracted SIV, they were given doses of THC. This reduced the viral load and extended the life of the primate. In 2014, the same team gave the monkeys THC 17 months before the SIV infection stage. This not only increased T cell numbers, as well as decrease the viral load, but protected the apes against viral intestinal damage SIV patients usually suffer. Through theses tests, researchers are realizing the potential of THC as an immunostimulant.
While much is yet to be discovered on perfecting the balance of THC and CBD for immunotherapy purposes, we know that marijuana does help with many other symptoms that immunodeficient and autoimmune disease patients face. While cannabis can tackle many problems with serious diseases, it has yet to show benefits during times of flu illness.
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.
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