How CBD can boost your immune system
Over the past couple of years, there has been enormous interest and demand for immune-boosting products and remedies. Especially since the pandemic, society has been paying more attention to their health and increasing their immunity to viruses and disease.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is well known for its medicinal and therapeutic properties, including its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties alongside various other health benefits. Therefore, it’s no surprise that CBD is one of the many natural health remedies people have turned to for protection against Covid-19 as well as other illnesses. Indeed, companies like CFAH, which offer CBD products, have reported an increase in purchases, especially since the beginning of 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic started.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The ECS is our body’s production of molecules called endogenous cannabinoids. Our ECS plays a crucial role in regulating our body’s state of homeostasis, which is essential for the digestive, immune, and neurological systems to operate effectively. The endocannabinoid receptors are used throughout the central nervous system and the immune system. They’re also involved in mood regulation, pain, sleep, memory, fertility, and temperature.
The health benefits derived from CBD, including the effects on the immune system, are thought to result from how CBD interacts with our ECS system and regulates it. CBD can activate, antagonise, or inhibit our cannabinoid receptors – specifically our CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Once a CB2 receptor is triggered, it stimulates a response that fights inflammation and minimises damage to body tissues. These anti-inflammatory reactions can help treat many conditions that cause inflammation in the body.
The Research Behind CBD’s Ability to Boost Immunity
Due to the way CBD interacts with our ECS system and cannabinoid receptors, studies have shown that CBD is immune suppressive and anti-inflammatory. This can increase cellular health and prevent rapid cell growth. Research has also shown that CBD interferes with the release of cytokines, chemokines, and T cells functions. There are proteins involved in causing inflammation in people with chronic illnesses. It’s thought that CBD is immune-modulating, meaning it can regulate an over or under-reacting immune system, regaining its balance. For example, CBD can help suppress the functions of your immune system when it overreacts and keep it active when it underperforms.
Indeed, CBD has been recommended for treating some autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), arthritis, and psoriasis, which are known for attacking healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Despite the benefits of CBD, its effects are notably gradual and build up over time. Typical medications prescribed to treat autoimmune conditions are synthetically created and shut down the over-reactive immune system completely. This means the individual can be susceptible to other infections and illnesses while taking the medication. In contrast, CBD is favoured to suppress specific parts of the immune system rather than the whole.
Although CBD is not proven to protect our bodies from Covid-19, despite the increased uptake since the pandemic, it’s clear that CBD does positively affect our immunity and defence overall.