CAN CBD OIL BENEFIT OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
It is almost undisputed that CBD has some amazing effects on the body. Many studies and experience reports suggest various positive effects on our well-being, stress and sleep. But can CBD also strengthen the immune system?
This article will show how the immune system works, what we need it for, and how CBD can affect the system. We have read through current research reports and carefully examined the connection between the endocannabinoid and immune systems. At the end of the article, you will also find tips for use and dosage and a small selection of products that convinced us.
How does our immune system work?
Our immune system is a natural shield that protects us from the dangers of everyday life. Bacteria, viruses and fungi are a constant source of danger and, without the immune system, many of them would damage our body and cause serious diseases after a short time.
Fortunately, evolution has planned something against it and equipped us with basic protection (the unspecific immune defense) and adaptable protection (also called specific immune defense).
The unspecific protection is innate to us and reacts to intruders from outside. Foreign substances and pathogens are automatically recognized and destroyed. It uses physical (e.g., our skin) and chemical barriers (e.g., enzymes and acids).
However, the specific protection reacts to our environment and adapts to the individual situation in which we find ourselves. In this way, we build up natural protection against certain bacteria and virus strains that we have already encountered.
We humans even make targeted use of this process. With active vaccination, we inject weakened pathogens so that the body can produce antibodies on its own.
How does inflammation arise?
If the physical and chemical barriers do not work in the first place, an infection will occur. The body fights this with inflammation.
Normally, we also produce many plasma proteins that help reduce the inflammation. The body regulates itself.
It doesn’t happen in people with immunodeficiency. These react too sensitively to environmental influences and answers, even in minor cases with inflammation. If these persist and flare up repeatedly, one speaks of chronic inflammation, which can cause severe pain.
So far, so good. Now we know what the immune system is and how it relates to inflammation. Now let’s delve further into the matter and take a look at CBD.
How does CBD work?
To understand how CBD acts on the immune system, we must first understand that cannabidiol functioning generally starts in mind. Most mammals have what is known as an endocannabinoid system, which in turn consists of a myriad of receptors.
Self-produced cannabinoids activate and block these receptors and thus regulate some important body functions.
Externally supplied CBD indirectly increases the cannabinoid concentration and influences the system such as heartbeat, blood pressure, emotions and the nervous system.
We know from experiments, case studies and experience that CBD can help with stress reduction, pain relief, and the immune system.
We’ll see if that’s true in the next section.
How does CBD affect the immune system?
Whether CBD has a positive or negative effect on the immune system is a hot topic of debate. However, the current state of research suggests that the positive effects predominate. Let’s look at the results in detail.
- Improved sleep: In the fight against bacteria, viruses and the like, our immune system sometimes needs a break to regenerate. According to research, CBD promotes a healthy night’s sleep and lets us sleep faster and deeper. You start the day more relaxed. It also relieves your immune system and protects against infections.
- Effect on the central nervous system: CB1 and CB2 receptors are also found in the central nervous system. Before an inflammation develops, proteins (especially the signaling substance cytokines) are produced by this. The endocannabinoid system destroys these and could help prevent inflammation from occurring in the first place.
- CBD destroys free radicals: If the body is already fighting with inflammation, CBD has another important effect. It catches and kills free radicals – aggressive oxygen molecules created in inflammation, which attack the cells. They are jointly responsible for certain diseases, such as arthritis or cancer. It should be noted here is that free radicals have positive properties and may help suppress the pathogens. However, excess is harmful.
- The individual state of health: Ultimately, a generally good state of health is also essential for the immune system’s optimal function. CBD’s positive influence on the cardiovascular system, general well-being and stress and anxiety can help to better respond to the dangers of everyday life.
Attention: When buying, make sure to pay attention to the legality & quality of the CBD products.
CBD and autoimmune diseases: how can the active ingredient help?
Studies indicate that CBD can have a positive effect, especially in autoimmune diseases, including diseases like Crohn’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
In autoimmune disease, the immune system is directed against the body’s substances and destroys them. Drugs used for traditional treatment help but also weaken the function of the immune system.
According to doctors and scientists, CBD can help with the following diseases:
Cannabidiol catches free radicals and inhibits inflammation, which often attacks the largest human organ. CBD can have a positive influence on acne, psoriasis or neurodermatitis.
In MS, inflammation in the brain also spreads to the central nervous system. The consequences are pain, fatigue and paralysis. CBD is already being tested in a drug for MS patients in England and is intended to combat symptoms and create a better quality of life.
Diseases of the intestinal tract (for example, Crohn’s disease) often also have their origin in inflammation. Also, the use of CBD restricts intestinal motility, which can lead to cramps and pain.
Excessive stress is also often the cause of a weakened immune system. With CBD, one could, therefore, fight the root of the evil. Experience reports show that cannabidiol users often feel much more relaxed and less stressed.
In fact, a positive effect in the treatment of cancer is also being discussed. Many experts at least agree that cannabidiol can improve the effect of radiation therapy under certain circumstances. Also, CBD helps with the symptoms such as anxiety, depression and pain-relieving.
What is the current state of research?
We have already briefly touched that the research is still at an early stage and that the statements relate more to small case studies and experiences. Unfortunately, due to legal restrictions, more in-depth research turns out to be difficult.
It is currently believed that externally ingested CBD inhibits the production of enzymes that destroy cannabinoids. It enables the endocannabinoid system to produce more cannabinoids effectively, especially anandamide.
In turn, it positively influences the formation of new nerve cells (neurogenesis) and prevents the loss of function of existing nerve cells (neurodegeneration).
Please note that despite the many initial positive studies and experience reports from long-term studies, CBD has not yet been 100% proven. You can find out more about the current state of research on our study page on CBD.
How do I use CBD preventively to protect the immune system?
You don’t necessarily have to be sick to use CBD because it has been shown that cannabidiol also has a good effect as a preventive measure. There are different forms of administration for this, all of which have certain advantages.
The most popular methods are:
- Sublingual: Administered under the tongue, the CBD is absorbed through the mucous membranes and works here in about 10 minutes. This method represents a good compromise between handling, fast application time and long-lasting effect.
- Oral: Here, the cannabidiol is released into the bloodstream via the stomach. Even if it can take an hour or more for effect to occur, the effect’s duration is unbeatable at up to 8 hours.
- Inhalation: Inhalation is best suited for acute use. The active ingredient is transferred to the bloodstream in seconds via the alveoli.
How much you should consume depends on you, your physical requirements and the intended use. As a first-time user, you should start with little and then slowly work your way towards your optimal dose (about 0.5 to 20 milligrams per day).
Small doses work well for prevention of illnesses and strengthening the immune system. On the other hand, existing diseases are countered with a larger dose.
Experts assume that autoimmune diseases usually require a dose of 100mg CBD daily.
Our immune system is very complex but much more helpful. Without this, we would not survive very long. Unfortunately, we still know relatively little about the connection between the endocannabinoid system and the immune system.
However, much of what we know indicates a positive effect, both in terms of prevention and for existing diseases.
Do you have any questions or suggestions on this topic? Have you already had any experiences with CBD that you would like to share? Please write us a comment under this article.