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CBD: An Immune System Booster


CBD: An Immune System Booster

A well-functioning immune system is the best protection for humans against disease. Although many have not only dealt with this topic since the Corona crisis, interest is currently unabated given the occasion. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves to the question: What influence does CBD have on the human immune system?

The Immune System

The human immune system is our body’s defense – it decides who is a friend and who is foe. It is supposed to protect us against the penetration of harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, or environmental toxins.  

In the course of human evolution, our body’s own defense system has constantly evolved. Two different aspects emerged from this. Before we get into the effects of CBD, let’s take a closer look at the human immune system.

The Immune Defense System

To understand how the immune system can do its job, one has to understand how it actually works. It consists of several components, which we will explain in more detail below.

The Course of an Immune Reaction

The unspecific immune defense, which is also known as pathogen-unspecific immune defense, is innate in us. It is a sophisticated system that protects us from pathogens. It consists of our skin, the respiratory tract (organs that are necessary for breathing), and the gastrointestinal tract. These elements form a natural barrier, which pathogens cannot easily overcome, If they manage to overcome them, the complement system takes effect.

Our body reacts to tissue damage with an immune response in the form of inflammation. It takes days or even weeks until we can notice this. Our body produces plasma proteins, which are supposed to ensure that the inflammation does not spread any further. It is also these proteins that help the immune system to ultimately heal the focus of inflammation.

Pathogen-Specific Immune Defense

If this is not enough, the adaptive pathogen-specific immune defense intervenes. In the course of evolution, it developed from the unspecific immune defense. This immune defense is so important because it recognizes the antigens of new or mutated pathogens and can, therefore, fight them. As a result of the specific immune defense, the antigen-specific T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, which produce antibodies, react to bring the body back into balance. Some of the T-lymphocytes change into so-called T-memory cells. These can not only immediately recognize new damage caused by the sick body cells, but even ensure that it does not arise again in the first place. The adaptive immune system can only target certain pathogens, however.

Strengthen Your Immune System

How well our immune system works depends on many factors. For example, genetics have an influence on it, that you cannot control yourself.

However, it is also known that various aspects have an impact on how well our immune system works. We can take this into our own hands. For example, a balanced, healthy diet with enough fruit and vegetables and regular exercise not only makes you feel better. They also help the body find its balance. Good stress management, adequate fluid intake, and avoiding cell toxins such as alcohol or nicotine are other ways to support our health.

However, it has also been scientifically proven that cannabinoids also have a positive influence on our immune system, which we will now take a closer look at.

How can CBD strengthen the immune system?

The reason our bodies can interact with cannabinoids in the first place is that we have our own endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoids can dock to the cannabinoid receptors, two of which are known so far: the CB1 receptor, which mainly interacts with THC, and the CB2 receptor, which mainly binds with CBD.

In the human immune system, receptors for cannabinoids are found on a large number of different cells. The T cells, neutrophils, monocytes, NK cells, and B cells that are important for the immune system have CB2 receptors. When cannabinoids like CBD attach to them, they use chemical signals to call additional immune cells to the areas that require help.

Cannabinoids also have the property that can balance the immune system and accordingly help to prevent overreactions. Our body’s own cannabinoids are usually responsible for this. However, if there is a deficiency or imbalance, then herbal cannabinoids can be of help.

A Balanced Immune System

In order for the human immune system to function optimally, one must have a balanced endocannabinoid system (ECS for short). For example, if CB1 receptors are inhibited, the immune system can no longer work properly. If other endocannabinoids such as B. Anandamide or 2-AG can develop into diseases such as irritable bowel or migraine. In these cases, an additional intake of cannabinoids could have a positive effect on the body.

In animal models, for example, it was possible to use the autoimmune disease arthritis to illustrate that CBD has an influence on the overreaction of the immune system. The diseased mice were treated with CBD. It has been shown that certain signal substances in the joint fluid, which normally call immune cells and consequently lead to inflammation, are reduced. The scientists were also able to observe that after a few days of treatment, the animals had better mobility and less pain.

Anti-inflammatory Drugs

Another aspect that makes CBD so interesting is the fact that it is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. If the body suffers from inflammatory processes, it forms free radicals. These are natural but nonetheless very aggressive metabolic products. They can be harmful to the body and are also thought to contribute to the development of cancer. In medicine, it is believed that too many free radicals cause the body to be exposed to oxidative stress. This, in turn, is suspected of contributing to diseases such as aforementioned arthritis.

But there are also compounds that can counteract these radicals. In addition to vitamin A or vitamin C, for example, cannabidiol also has this property. Its antioxidant properties even enable CBD to prevent these radicals from forming. As a consequence, CBD has the ability to reduce the risk of disease.

CBD Against Stress

As described at the beginning, stress is a factor that does have an impact on our immune system. It can reduce our immune system. Most of them have already experienced this when they survived a stressful examination phase and became ill immediately afterward.

Various studies have shown that CBD is responsible for producing the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. CBD can certainly not completely remove stress, but it can influence its effects on our organism.

How Much CBD is Good?

When it comes to cannabinoids, unlike many drugs, there is no general statement about the amount. Everybody reacts differently to cannabinoids. So one person can feel an effect even with very small amounts and another has to use a lot more with the same complaints. If you decide to use CBD products, you should always discuss this with the doctor if you have previous illnesses or are taking other medications. It is also advisable to slowly approach the dosage to see how much cannabidiol the body needs before an effect can be seen.

You should also know that you can take CBD preventively even without illness. Which products you choose should always depend on what effect you want to achieve where in the body.

Healthy Through the Years

As made clear in this article, CBD does have an effect on our immune system. Of course, cannabidiol is not a panacea either and in case of doubt, you should always consult a doctor and obtain a diagnosis before starting self-medication.

It is very likely that in the near future we will continue to receive a lot of new scientific knowledge about the additional effects CBD has on our immune system.

Until then, we wish you all the best and stay healthy!

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