Can CBD boost your immune system? The immune system is the organs and processes of the body that provides resistance to infection and toxins. So, it’s important to keep a healthy immune system. Studies have suggested that CBD can help in keeping your immune system healthy.
What is CBD?
CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is non psychoactive meaning it doesn’t give you the “high sensation”, unlike THC which is the psycho active compound that everyone associates with the “high sensation”.
It works by entering the body and connecting to receptors. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptor plays the role in helping with health and disease, cardiovascular and motor control and are primarily located on nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Whereas, CB2 receptors helps with the immune system by managing pain and inflammation. CB2 receptors are mainly found on white blood cells, in the tonsils and in the spleen.
An overview of the immune system
Daily we are exposed to endless streams of diseases, infections, viruses and bacteria that could kill us at any second if it wasn’t for our built-in immune system. Our immune system is built up on a network of cells, organs and tissues. They work together to destroy foreign cells or particles. The key players that make this happen is the white blood cells.
White blood cells have two types: lymphocytes and phagocytes. Lymphocytes are more commonly known as B-cells and T-cells, and they destroy antigens (toxins or harmful foreign substances). Also they help your body in remembering foreign substances so you immune system can respond quickly and allows it to detect another invasion. Phagocytes help absorb and neutralize the invaders, preventing them from spreading and causing more damage.
The endocannabinoid system and immune system
The ECS helps establish and maintain homeostasis, or balance, between the various systems in the body. Your body produces endocannabinoids to help modulate and regulate cell function, including the cells in your immune system.
How CBD affects the immune system
Studies have found that CBD can boost your immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties and it functions as an immunosuppressant and immunomodulator. Here’s a quick breakdown of how CBD works as an immunosuppressant.
- CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which can reduce the immune system’s inflammatory response. Inflammation is a vital response that isolates infected areas and prevents toxins from spreading.
- CBD can promote apoptosis, or cellular death.
- CBD can prevent proliferation, or rapid cellular growth.
- CBD can modulate or suppress the function and secretion of cytokines. Cytokines are large groups of proteins, secreted by specific cells in your immune system. Their function is to signal molecules that regulate your body’s immunity, inflammation and white blood cell production.
- CBD can also suppress the production of chemokine, which is a group of cytokines that act as chemo attractants. They lead immune cells to an infection site so that the white blood cells can attack and destroy invading microbes.
- CBD can suppress T-cell production and function, ultimately suppressing the immune system’s ability to remember foreign invaders.