There is never a bad time to look into supporting your immune system. But right now, with the coronavirus still in the front of our minds, many more people are looking into strengthening their immunity. Which leads some cannabidiol fans to wonder, how can CBD support the immune system? Is it possible?
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that CBD has only been FDA-approved for two specific, rare forms of seizures. All of its other uses are based on anecdotal evidence, with some preliminary studies in the mix. We do not have enough scientific data to support any definitive statement about CBD and the immune system. What we can do is look at the facts we’ve been presented and make informed decisions.
If you’re looking to boost your immune system, whether you incorporate CBD or not, you’ll also need to make other lifestyle changes. A healthy diet, exercise, a proper vitamin regimen, and many other choices can do wonders for your immune system. Even if you decide CBD will be a beneficial part of your wellness routine, there are still other steps you’ll need to take to effectively strengthen your immune system. CBD may serve as a tool to help you get there, but don’t rely on it solely.
With that being said, let’s dive in and see how CBD may impact immune function.
The role of the immune system
There is no doubt our immune system is crucial for health. Immune systems defend against illnesses and infections by protecting our bodies against viruses, parasites, bacteria, and more.
Immune systems activate when the body doesn’t recognize a foreign substance, known as an antigen. Antigens attach to immune cells, triggering a series of defenses. The beauty of the immune activity is that after your system has come in contact with a specific antigen, it can fight it off better next time it appears. This is how you become immune to certain substances and invaders.
How does this immune function work? Primarily because of inflammation. Immune cells make their way to fight off antigens, and they do so by inducing inflammatory responses that destroy the invaders. However, this inflammatory response can sometimes wreak havoc on our bodies. If you have an autoimmune disease, you know what we’re talking about.
With autoimmune disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, lupus, and many others, the body attacks healthy cells. It mistakes your healthy cells for invaders and destroys them. This can lead to trouble in the body.
How CBD may support the immune system
The endocannabinoid system is a biological function where cannabinoids, like CBD, interact with neurotransmitters and receptors. This works to modulate various functions in the body.
Cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), regulates inflammation, among other processes. Researchers think this receptor may be a target for managing hyperinflammatory immune responses. Since the CB2 receptor plays a large role in maintaining homeostasis in the body, this includes the immune system.
It is suggested that CBD may be able to interfere with the release of cytokines (proteins secreted by the inflammatory response). This is important because an immune system overreaction can potentially prevent a cytokine storm, where the body attacks its healthy cells.
Another way CBD may help with immune modulation is with activated T cells. T cells are an important part of the immune system because they identify and kill diseased cells, as well as cells that are infected with a foreign pathogen or are mutated and may become cancerous.
CBD has been found to suppress T cell proliferation. This means it can suppress the immune system’s ability to produce a lot of T cells, and ultimately, remember certain antigens. Additionally, CBD has been suggested to promote apoptosis, which is cellular death.
You may be thinking that most of these things do not sound positive for immune health. Why would you want to suppress T cells or prevent your body from attacking foreign invaders? The answer is that it may be helpful for those with autoimmune disorders, where it is actually beneficial to slow down the immune system’s response to certain things.
The bottom line
So, can CBD support the immune system? In some ways, yes, the evidence we have so far is very promising! Keep in mind that most of CBD’s potential immune function benefits affect those with autoimmune disorders.
Some have hypothesized that CBD is beneficial for combatting coronavirus. The reason? It may stop a cytokine storm, where your body attacks even the healthy parts.
As far as CBD’s role in everyday immune health goes, we’ll need more scientific research to take place before we can make any calls. What we do know now though is that there is a lot of promise for using CBD to manage your immune health if you have an autoimmune condition.
As always, it’s important to shop pure CBD. Look for a brand that has conducted thorough CBD testing from a reputable lab to ensure purity and potency.
Be on the lookout for the Premium CBD database coming soon. We’ll have all of the best brands, all tested by reputable labs, all in one place!
Learn more about CBD at the Premium CBD blog!