When you start to take CBD oils how does it affect your immune system?
Cannabis’ cannabinoids are a group of compounds that react with the body’s receptors and produce mental and physical effects. Although cannabis contains as many as 113 different cannabinoids, or even more, THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) are some of the most widely-studied.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD is a chemical compound found to have health effects on the human body without being psychoactive, and is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Our body even produces endocannabinoids like anandamide.
The lack of a ‘high’ allows people to use the products we offer for various health reasons without the usual psychoactive properties of THC from cannabis.
How Does CBD Affect the Immune System?
Overall, cannabinoids act as immune suppressors, because they interact with the endocannabinoid system within our own bodies.
Because CBD is a potent immune suppressor, it works particularly well in cases where a hyperactive immune system is to blame for negative health. A hyperactive immune system tends to overreact when exposed to common allergens or food, and can even begin to attack the body in response.
For example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, lupus, and arthritis are a few autoimmune diseases where cannabinoids are showing promising results.
With multiple sclerosis, the immune system is hyperactive and targets the body’s central nervous system as if it were a dangerous antigen. This causes the immune system to attack the protective coating around nerve fibers, generating a buildup of scar tissue. This buildup interrupts the ability of nerve cells to react and release signals, causing a loss of motor function and eventually paralysis.
Until recently, there was no treatment or cure for multiple sclerosis, until Sativex was approved in over 25 countries. Research has found that CBD use may improve mobility and help reduce pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. Much more research is necessary to determine if it is CBD that helps your body regulate itself into homeostasis.
What are Cytokines?
Secreted by immune cells, cytokines are a group of proteins that regulate inflammatory responses to disease and infection. There are both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Overproduction or excess secretion of pro-inflammatory messenger molecules can trigger a dangerous cytokine storm and other aberrant conditions. A cytokine known as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFa), for example, is produced in excess in rheumatoid arthritis, a painful, autoimmune disease that afflicts 1.3 million Americans.
The interaction between cytokines, immune cells, and the endogenous cannabinoid system plays an important role in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration.
It’s well documented that stimulation of the CB2 cannabinoid receptor by THC and its endogenous counterparts can suppress inflammation. Cannabinoid receptor signaling confers therapeutic effects by downregulating inflammatory cytokine expression.
Although cannabidiol has little direct binding affinity for the CB2 receptor, CBD also acts as a potent anti-inflammatory, reducing cytokine production and inhibiting immune cell function.