Boost Immune System With CBD
In the world of wellness, the term “immune health” is incredibly broad, and can invoke several different interpretations. Many of us have heard of “antioxidants” that provide the necessary boost to protect our bodies from office failures, sick household disturbances and seasonal fragments. But what if your daily dose of CBD could boost your immune system without having to worry about waiting to be taken out by a persistent insect! Several scientists have described the “immunomodulatory” properties of active cannabinoids (such as CBD)-but what does this mean exactly?
We know that hemp is often used as a therapy for patients suffering from autoimmune diseases such as HIV/AIDS and rheumatoid arthritis, but can it also be used in healthy individuals to prevent disease and boost overall immune health?
In this article, we explore some of the most relevant research publications on the far-reaching influence of CBD on the immune system. While a broader clinical basis is needed to reach definitive conclusions regarding its specific physiological effects, it is clear that the endocannabinoid system and the immune system are highly interrelated.
OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM-AN OVERVIEW
We are constantly exposed to infectious diseases, bacteria and viruses (antigens), all intent on wreaking havoc and awakening. Without any unconstructed defense to keep these invaders at bay, we would stay about five minutes on this planet. Thank God we have an immune system: the complex network of cells, tissues and organs, which runs with military precision to keep us healthy.
A key player in the immune system’s arsenal is the white blood cells or leukocytes, which seek out and destroy any unwanted visitors. Leukocytes can be divided into two groups: 1) lymphocytes (B cells and T cells) that destroy antigens and help the body remember previous attackers; and 2) phagocytes that absorb and neutralize foreign intruders.
Many of us are familiar with T cells because of their relationship to the HIV virus, which nests them; this is what makes HIV patients vulnerable to normally harmless infections.
Our immune system also plays a key role in detecting malfunctioning cells within our bodies, and, through the process of apoptosis or cell death, ensures that these cells do not continue to grow and turn into tumors.
Killing cells is a crucial element of a well-functioning immune system, which maintains a delicate balance between growth and death. If, for example, there is too much cell death, autoimmune diseases can occur, while too little can create the perfect environment for cancer.
THE ENDOCANNABINOID SYSTEM AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Optimal immune function involves a complex balance based on constant communication between our immune cells, tissues and organs. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the 1990s, scientists have found another key piece of the puzzle.
Endocannabinoids are produced on demand, traveling backwards through chemical synapses and modulating cell activity. This partly explains why ECS has been called a homeostatic regulator that works continuously to maintain a state of biological balance.
Much of the research on the health effects of CBD has been conducted on patients with severely compromised immune systems, those with HIV, hepatitis B or, surprisingly, the Ebola virus. In general, researchers have found that treatment with medical and cannabinoids (synthetic hemp compounds) does not increase the number of virus cells in the body or the number of other infections that patients get. In fact, they believe that hemp known as anti-inflammatory effects can reduce the damage that so-called opportunistic diseases do to the body.
CBD & YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
In general, the cannabinoids act like immune suppressors, because they minimize the inflammation. Nevertheless, for those that undergo autoimmune diseases, diseases caused by inflammation, cancer or HIV/Aids, the cannabinoids can be able to help.
Because CBD is a potent immune suppressor, it works particularly well in cases where an overactive immune system is the culprit in negative health. An overactive immune system tends to overreact when exposed to common allergens or foods, and may even begin to attack the body in response.
For example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, lupus and arthritis are a few autoimmune diseases where cannabinoids are showing promising results.
With multiple sclerosis, the immune system is overactive and targets the body’s central nervous system like a dangerous antigen. This causes the immune system to attack the protective coating around the nerve fibers, generating a buildup of scar tissue. This construction disrupts the ability of nerve cells to react and release signals, causing a loss of motor function and eventually paralysis.
Until recently, there was no treatment or cure for multiple sclerosis. However, research has found that the use of CBD can improve mobility and help reduce pain in patients with multiple sclerosis.
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