As the world struggles to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be looking for a way to bolster your immune system. There is currently a lot of hype promoted by the media about the wonders of the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) so you might wonder if the supplement is truly beneficial. In this article, we will explore 10 things nobody told you about CBD and your immune system.
10 Things About CBD and the Immune System
The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a crucial function in regulating your immune system. In fact, medical doctors and researchers often call the ECS the ‘gatekeeper’ of the body’s immune system because of its fundamental role in keeping you healthy.
Within the endocannabinoid system are two cannabinoid receptors called CB1 and CB2. CBD binds well with the CB2 receptors and to a lesser extent the CB1 receptors. The ability of the cannabinoid to join forces with the receptors means it works on the frontlines alongside your body’s immune system! Think of it like shoring up the body’s defenses.
Now let’s explore the 10 things nobody told you about CBD and the immune system. We are sure a few of these will surprise you!
- Anti-inflammatory response: A lot of chronic health conditions are caused by an overactive immune system. The immune system attacks the body’s own cells. You’ll see this phenomenon in Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. When the immune system attacks, widespread inflammation occurs which often causes pain and discomfort. Also, with COVID-19, many researchers think that younger people are experiencing extreme reactions to the virus and even death due in a large part to the aggressive response of their immune system to the viral invader. CBD has very potent anti-inflammatory properties which ease the body’s inflammatory response.
- Increases the Killer Response: Animal studies have shown that CBD provides great support to the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are a form of white blood cells found in the body. They are the frontline defenders that react quickly to combat viral and bacterial invaders. The cells also help maintain health within the liver.
- The Gut: You probably didn’t know that your gut and digestion are important players in your immune response. There is a lot of lymphoid tissue in the digestive area. Within the gut are good and bad organisms. They all play crucial parts in your body’s immune response. If you have a lot of gastrointestinal inflammation, then your digestion becomes impaired and compromises your immune response. CBD supports your gut and helps create homeostasis which promotes a healthy immune response.
- Stress: Who isn’t under stress? With busy careers and bustling families, everyone feels stress at some point. However, chronic stress weakens your immune system. CBD offers some calm in the storm for many.
- Lack of Sleep: You’ve probably heard that lack of sleep makes you sick. Well, that’s not an old wife’s tale. If your body does not receive adequate sleep then your immune system weakens. Luckily, one of the main benefits that most people love about CBD is that it often helps you achieve a good night’s slumber!
- Acne: Those pimples and pustules are a direct result of clogged hair follicles and the body’s immune response which leads to the red bumps. CBD topicals, oils, and ingestibles appear to ease acne in some people and improve the appearance of skin.
- Cancer: Cancer remains a leading killer. However, researchers are studying how CBD can prompt the body’s own immune system to attack the cancerous cells.
- Slow Disease Spread: In 2017, a study found that CBD increased the immune system’s infection-fighting cells which seemed to indicate a real boost to the participants’ immune systems. Clearly the increased fighting cells help slow the spread of potentially deadly diseases, especially in the immune-compromised such as those with HIV and AIDS.
- Cytokine Production: Within the body, cytokines act as messenger cells. They send out signals. The cytokines cause inflammation to occur in their overzealous response. However, CBD decreases cytokine production which reduces inflammation.
- Mental Health: If you suffer from anxiety or depression then your mental health will decline which is like a snowball effect in your body. Your immune system will also take a nosedive. However, CBD is often used to battle anxiety disorders and bouts of depression.
CBD and the immune system are complicated, but as you can see from these 10 CBD benefits, the cannabinoid can complement your body to achieve full-body health.
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