It’s not often that the world stumbles upon a natural compound that’s supportive of the immune system. Although there are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that play a crucial role in bolstering the immune system, CBD has been researched to work hand-in-hand with this essential biological structure.
Read along as we delve into the benefits and effects of CBD and its role in regards to the immune system.
What is CBD?
First, you may wonder what exactly is CBD. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid that’s found in cannabis. It’s become world-renowned because it does not harbor psychoactive effects, such as THC.
CBD is primarily produced from hemp plants because they are bred to contain trace amounts of THC and abundant levels of CBD. This must-have feature of hemp plants is essential because federal law stipulates that CBD products must not contain over 0.3% THC.
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a naturally-occurring biological network that’s found within all animals – including humans. The ECS is composed of a multitude of receptors that are responsible for sending signals that directly impact motor skills, memory function, the immune system, organ function, the reproductive system, and much more.
The endocannabinoid system is organized into two distinct receptor groups, which are known as the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptors are primarily found within cells of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral organs, and blood cells. The CB2 receptor group is found within the immune system, major organs, and tissue.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
When you consume CBD, whether by inhalation or digestion, CBD molecules make their way to your endocannabinoid system. It’s generally believed that CBD primarily affects the CB2 receptor group; however, it plays critical functions in relation to the CB1 group as well.
Perhaps, the best way to describe this phenomenon is that CBD can influence certain biological processes, such as the immune system. CBD is known to, directly and indirectly, affect the endocannabinoid system to produce a series of beneficial effects on the immune system – let’s take a look.
The immune response is responsible for triggering inflammation when your body is injured or threatened by bacteria. However, certain acute and chronic issues, such as arthritis, are triggered by an overactive immune system that produces too much inflammation.
It’s in these cases that CBD has been shown to actually promote a reduction in inflammation. However, how is this remotely possible? It’s done through various mechanisms that are originally triggered by CBD interacting with the CB2 receptor group. The result is the release of cytokine production and immune-cell mobilization. These two factors pair to provide beneficial effects, such as reduced inflammation and decreased pain.
Autoimmune diseases affect over 20 million individuals, according to a study that was conducted in 2005. As we all know, it’s likely that this number has only increased since the time of this study took place. Diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Celiac disease, Lupus, and Rheumatoid arthritis are all examples of autoimmune diseases. In these cases, the immune system actually turns against itself and attacks healthy cells. CBD has fortunately been researched to act against the autoimmune response by regulating inflammation and by suppressing the immune system’s overactivity.
Although this field is undergoing a large amount of research, preliminary results show that CBD can be effectively utilized to fuel an antipathogen response. Specific case studies show that CBD actually activates the immune system to inhibit cell replication of harmful diseases, such as Ebola and Malaria in mice. This pushes the boundaries of what CBD is capable of accomplishing and widens its horizon as a beneficial actor on the immune response.
The Potential of CBD
As you can see, CBD is experiencing a vast amount of research in regards to the immune system. However, it’s also essential that you understand that these studies are ongoing and do not indicate that CBD is a cure-all of any kind. Instead, CBD is viewed as a beneficial compound that can support a wide range of mental and physical issues.
Furthermore it’s important to understand that there isn’t any supportive evidence that CBD triggers the immune system to fight various viruses, such as the current Coronavirus (COVID-19). But it stands to reason that one would be better prepared to handle any illness with a healthy & balanced immune system.
Ultimately, cannabidiol is a new compound that is both natural and effective in generating a positive response and homeostasis for one of the body’s most needed structures – the immune system.