CBD is an all-natural compound extracted from the cannabis family of species and has been linked to many health benefits. CBD has exploded in the health and wellness industry, as most people are using it as an alternative to over-the-counter or prescribed drugs to relieve common, everyday ailments, like stress, joint pain, inflammation and sleep issues. It turns out that CBD also has a positive effect on the immune system.
How does CBD work?
CBD works through many pathways in the body, one being The Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system is made up of cannabinoid receptors found throughout the body, known as CB1 & CB2, as well as enzymes and endocannabinoids ( Anandamide & 2- AG). Endocannabinoids are produced in the body on demand that bind to cannabinoid receptors to regulate many bodily functions such as mood, appetite, pain, immune response and more. Research has shown that CBD works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down, in turn increasing the levels of these compounds in the body. By slowing down the breakdown of your body's natural endocannabinoids, you're helping your body maintain balance, this is also known as homeostasis. Research has also shown that CBD interacts with other receptors outside of the ECS, such as Serotonin and Vanilloid.
What does the immune system do?
Your immune systems' sole purpose is to protect your body against disease, infection, and help you recover after an injury. The immune system is a very complex system that is powered by 5 liters of blood and lymph. Lymph is a clear liquid that passes through the tissues of the body - together these fluids work together to transport all the components of the immune system so they can do their job.
As previously stated above, The ECS regulates the immune response in the body but due to external or internal factors (i.e. chronic stress, environmental toxins, lack of sleep, poor diet), the proper functioning of the ECS can be disrupted, this is one of the reasons why many people experience health issues.
3 Benefits of CBD For The Immune System
1. Reduces Inflammation - Inflammation is a natural process triggered by the immune system, for example, in the case of injury, the purpose of the immune system is to trigger an inflammatory response to remove components of damaged tissue in order to allow the body to begin to heal. However, chronic inflammation, which occurs when the immune system goes awry, can wreak havoc in the body. It can eventually start damaging healthy cells, tissues, organs and your DNA.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to:
type 2 diabetes
cognitive decline and dementia (in older adults)
One of the primary benefits of CBD are its anti-inflammatory properties. This can be especially helpful for those with inflammatory diseases, such as the ones listed above.
CBD acts a immunoregulator, - this means that when your immune system can't turn off the inflammatory response in the body, CBD can help to suppress it. By reducing chronic inflammation, you're protecting your healthy cells, tissues, organs and your DNA from more damage.
2. Reduces Stress & Anxiety - Stress is a natural process of the body that is integral for survival, but chronic stress has been well-known to negatively affect the body. It's been linked to depression, anxiety, heart disease and more. Over time, stress hormones can weaken the immune system. Those that are under chronic stress are more susceptible to viral illnesses like the flu and the common cold, as well as other infections.
For generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rats.
In 2011, a study researched CBD’s effects on people with Social Anxiety Disorder. Participants were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. Those who received CBD experienced overall reduced anxiety levels.
3. Promotes quality sleep - Sleep provides essential support to the immune system. Researchers from Germany found that sound sleep improves immune cells known as T cells. These are cells that fight against intracellular pathogens, such as the flu and other infections and diseases. Getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep enables a well-balanced immune defense. However, poor sleep can weaken the immune system.
A review published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25 milligrams (mg) of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 percent of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 percent reported better sleep.
The uses of CBD are wide ranging and it's benefits can also be gained by the immune system. CBD can be a safer alternative to conventional medicine and the side effects they may come with. When trying CBD for the first time it is best to start with a moderate dosage of 20-30mg and increase your dosage as necessary. We recommend journaling your experience with CBD - this will help you keep track of your dose and what works better for you.
Disclaimer: this info and products are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any ailment. Consult your doctor before starting a new supplement.