Understanding the Science: CBD for Your Immune System
Your immune system keeps you alive. If our immune system doesn’t function properly, something as routine as a cold or flu could be life-threatening. The Covid-19 pandemic was a big wake-up call for many of us when it came to protecting and boosting our immune systems.
When trying to improve immune system function, some people shift to healthier diets for natural immune support. Others take vitamins and supplements. If you’re looking for more steps you could take to protect yourself, CBD as an immune system booster is showing promise in research to date.
CBD is being studied as a treatment for multiple health conditions. It’s even received approval from the FDA for use in certain anti-seizure medications. The latest findings, which point to CBD as a potential immunomodulator, are especially promising. Let’s explore what we’ve learned so far about CBD and the immune system.
How Does the Immune System Work?
Your body is constantly in contact with pathogenic bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. The only thing standing in their way is your immune system. Different cells, organs, and tissues work together to keep your body safe and eliminate foreign invaders.
At the forefront of this battle are white blood cells, such as lymphocytes and phagocytes that destroy the pathogens. Apart from neutralizing foreign invaders, the immune system also detects defective cells in the body and removes them through apoptosis.
How Do CBD and the Immune System Interact?
Studies suggest that CBD may provide natural immune support by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). If you are getting started with CBD, it’s important to learn how this system plays a crucial role in enabling CBD to work in your body.
The ECS is a newly found regulatory system in the body that creates balance. It has receptors in different bodily systems, including the immune system. According to some recent studies, your natural cannabinoids (called endocannabinoids) interact with these receptors and signal the body to regulate different functions like your immune responses.
Scientists speculate when people use CBD oil or cannabis, their phytocannabinoids interact with the receptors in your ECS. That way, they impact the body’s endocannabinoid system. Here are some of the most commonly observed effects of CBD on the immune system in research to date.
CBD as an Immunosuppressor
In autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis, the body mistakes its healthy cells and organs as invaders and attacks them. These attacks can weaken your body and sometimes be fatal. As a potential immunosuppressant, CBD may reduce the hyperactivity of the immune system and stop the body from attacking itself.
While we’re still waiting for the full impact of CBD on the immune system to be uncovered. But it’s already been shown to help some immunocompromised people manage difficult symptoms. In one promising study, HIV patients used CBD to increase their appetite. In another, cancer patients found it effective for treating fight chemotherapy-induced nausea.
CBD as an Anti-inflammatory Agent
Inflammation is a natural sign of your body fighting infections and injuries, but it can be more than that. An unhealthy lifestyle can also trigger inflammation. If you have an unhealthy diet or experience too much stress, you can develop chronic inflammation.
At this point, your immune system kicks into gear, but since there is nothing for your body to fight, it begins to destroy your healthy arteries, joints, and organs. This action will have catastrophic consequences over the long term, one of them being liver fibrosis.
Studies have shown that CBD and the immune system may work together to fight inflammation. CBD often acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and has been shown to increase the production of a key anti-inflammatory mediator. If you’ve been looking for a safe solution to manage and reduce inflammation, CBD oil could have the potential to provide much-needed natural immune support for your body.
CBD as an Antibiotic Helper
Antibiotics have helped us defeat bacteria for millennia, but microbes have changed their mechanisms to adapt and stay alive. More and more bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics. This resistance has prompted scientists to search for new solutions. One of these solutions could be using substances like CBD to help improve the efficacy of antibiotics.
A recent study found that CBD in combination with an antibiotic can kill more gram-positive bacteria than antibiotics alone. This research about CBD and the immune system is very promising for the study and treatment of fatal diseases like pneumonia, endocarditis, and sepsis.
CBD as an Antifungal Agent
Fungi are all around us. Some are harmless, while others can cause yeast infections and skin infections such as athlete’s foot. These conditions are more irritating than dangerous and sometimes embarrassing for the infected person.
Some studies have shown that the compounds found in CBD and the immune system may effectively work together to fight fungal infections. Those studies found that CBD can bind to some fungal cells, which can prevent them from growing and spreading further. Since the fungal cells can’t multiply anymore, they may be more effectively destroyed in combination with other antifungal treatments, with the help of CBD.
The way CBD works against fungi is not that different from how other anti-fungal medications work. But CBD is a plant-based substance that provides natural immune support, protecting your body against fungal infections without harmful side effects.
Give Your Immune System a Boost With CBD
Those are just some of the ways early research has shown CBD and the immune system working together to improve your overall health. As always, we recommend consulting your doctor before starting a natural immune support regimen, especially if you are on medication or have any underlying health conditions. Once you’ve talked with your healthcare provider, there are a number of safe, all-natural CBD products that can improve your overall sense of health and well-being.