CBD and The Immune System
An autoimmune condition happens when your body misreads its own signals and the body starts to attack itself. This can cause inflammation and other undesirable symptoms.
Common autoimmune diseases include:
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
People experiencing autoimmune diseases often need to use immunosuppressant treatments that can slow or stop an overactive immune system.
Optimum immune function involves a complex balance of communication between our immune cells, tissues, and organs. The discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the 1990s, provides us with a key development in understanding how we can maintain an optimum internal environment that directly affects our immune responses.
The ECS is a homeostatic regulator - continually working to maintain an internal state of biological balance - it has been described as the “homeostatic gatekeeper’ of the immune system preventing overwhelming inflammatory responses and maintaining an optimum immunity response.
Immune cells have cannabinoid receptors and produce endocannabinoids. The vast majority of these receptors create an anti-inflammatory response. When our immune system is not functioning properly we do not produce the necessary amount of endocannabinoids. When our ECS is dysregulated we, again, do not produce the necessary amount of endocannabinoids.
Using CBD helps with regulating our ECS as well as prolonging the life of our own natural endocannabinoids so they can provide more therapeutic benefits. CBD “tones up” your ECS by exposing it to an extended dose of cannabinoid activity. This may be a key mechanism whereby CBD helps to protect the brain, buffer stress, and fight disease.
Research from 2020 suggests that full spectrum CBD, in particular, has immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the immune system’s inflammatory responses, increase cellular health and prevent rapid cell growth. CBD can help to suppress the dysregulated functions of your immune system and keep it active when underperforming. Using full spectrum CBD products may also repress the cytokines, chemokines and T cells functions, which are all part of the body’s immune defense.
CBD provides subtle effects which often build up over time rather than a quick fix. The healthier someone is, the less likely they will notice any changes in their body even though the benefits will still be present.
Poor sleep and stress are linked to worse immune system function. CBD helps with the immune system because it improves sleep and reduces the effects of stress.
Research into CBD for autoimmune disease treatment is ongoing, with promising results suggesting that it could help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.