There’s a bold claim floating around the blogosphere that CBD can strengthen the immune system. The truth is, well, it’s true!
Though the science is young, research and pre-clinical trials show CBD to have promising effects on inflammation, illness, certain cancer cells, and certain types of tumors.
Of course, this may not be true for everyone and more research is needed with diverse human audiences. But so far, the science, and anecdotal stories of success heard around the world are so encouraging that even the naysayers are inclined to admit: CBD benefits the immune system.
Before we address how CBD works with our immune system, let’s explore how they both work individually.
Immune system basics
Your immune system is responsible for protecting and healing your body. It treats wounds, cures sickness, and fights disease.
The immune system is bombarded daily by bacteria, viruses, and dangerous microorganisms that attempt to infiltrate and multiply. Minor scrapes and bumps would otherwise cause blood loss or trauma. But your immune system intervenes and triggers offensive and defensive tactics.
It’s attacked so often that, most of the time, you don’t even know you’re fighting something off.
These tactics can seem like everyday physiological functions, like the bruising after stubbing your toe or the fatigue you feel when your body is fighting a cold.
A complex and extraordinary internal process is taking place. And science has only graced the surface of how it all works.
Cannabinoids & the Endocannabinoid System
Our bodies produce chemical compounds called cannabinoids that bind to different receptors within our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). (“Endo-” meaning within; i.e. cannabinoids made within).
These receptors signal instructions to different bodily functions like mood, appetite, memory, immunity, and more.
The ECS is known as the body’s “master regulator.” In an ideal environment, the ECS would operate with a balanced number of human-made cannabinoids and receptors. But the human ECS is commonly deficient in some way or other. Most of us have at least one recurring condition, like insomnia, poor metabolism, or anxiety.
A deficient or imbalanced ECS causes symptoms ranging from mild to severe. These symptoms, in turn, create a vulnerable cellular environment that can lead to more serious conditions over time.
Research shows that cannabinoids are essential for maintaining a smooth-running ECS and a healthy immune system. But where our self-made cannabinoids are deficient, Hemp CBD (cannabidiol) could provide supplemental immunity defense when taken as part of a healthy lifestyle.
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a type of phytocannabinoid (“phyto” meaning plant) primarily found in hemp. It has no adverse side effects and is non-intoxicating, unlike it’s cousin cannabinoid, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is found in marijuana.
CBD is chemically similar to human cannabinoids and mimics the role they play in the ECS. It has been the subject of exciting research in recent years because of its ability to restore balance to ECS processes. It also has perhaps the most promising immune-boosting benefits, which we explore below.
CBD’s role on the immune system
When the immune system is faced with an illness or injury, cannabinoid receptors influence how your body reacts. For instance, they might direct how intensely you feel pain, call for some degree of protective inflammation, or initiate an attack on a foreign organism.
If the ECS is deficient in supplying cannabinoids to immune system cells, you may become vulnerable to illness and chronic inflammation. Similarly, if the ECS over-supplies the immune system, you could develop allergic reactions or an autoimmune disorder.
The goal is to maintain homeostasis, or balance, within your Endocannabinoid System.
Hemp CBD works with your ECS to maintain or restore balance to your immune system. CBD works to destroy foreign cells, defend normal cells against invaders, support cellular repair, and prevent inflammation and cellular defects like cancers from forming.
Specifically, research shows that CBD complements the immune system in three impressive and distinct ways:
#1 CBD inhibits inflammation
Inflammation can be both beneficial and harmful.
On one hand, if you fall and scrape your knee, your immune system signals inflammation to isolate and protect injured tissue. It secretes proteins that help repair the scrape, causing redness and swelling which acts as a temporary barrier against pathogens.
On the other hand, if the immune system signals inflammation unnecessarily, it provokes chronic ailments like gastrointestinal pain, acid reflux, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders. Hemp CBD works with your ECS to keep inflammatory cells at bay. Inflammation can be treated with prescriptions, but many have adverse side effects. Hemp CBD, on the other hand, is non-steroidal and without side effects – presenting a promising alternative to traditional medicine.
#2 CBD kills cancer cells
CBD provides defensive support against cancer cells in three primary ways: 1) It helps the immune system identify abnormal cells; 2) It encourages the immune system to kill cancer cells at a faster rate; and 3) CBD blocks the growth of new cancer cells from developing.
Specifically, CBD shows results with colorectal, prostate, cervical, ovarian, and breast cancers, as well as leukemia and lymphomas.
CBD is also effective in treating some existing cancers if caught at the right time.
Cancer cells are able to spread by invading and multiplying into normal cells. They shield themselves with protective enzymes and barriers so the immune system can’t kill them off easily. CBD blocks their ability to form these defensive shields, making them less resistant to immune system responses and cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
#3 CBD shrinks tumors
Prolonged inflammation opens up your immune system to chronic conditions and autoimmune disorders. Evidence suggests that an inflamed cellular environment promotes tumors and other cellular defects. CBD suppresses the proteins that cause this dangerous inflammation.
As far as existing tumors go, studies show that CBD can shrink tumors and activate tumor cell death.
Hemp CBD has been proven effective at enhancing immune system response in numerous animal and human clinical studies. Can it cure every ailment on the planet? No, probably not.
The point is – if you suffer from a chronic condition or illness and are not happy with your treatment – why not consider CBD? It has no toxicity, no adverse side effects, very few drug interactions, and has fast results.
Even if you have no health problems, consider taking CBD as part of a holistic wellness regimen. Regular intake will provide balance to your Endocannabinoid System and in turn support your immune system’s defense against disease.
Consult with a physician before beginning a CBD regimen if you have a medical condition or use prescription drugs. Research has not confirmed that CBD products are safe for women who are pregnant or nursing.