How CBD Can Help to Boost Your Immune System
With all of the recent health fears in the UK and further afield, it’s more important than ever to build a strong immune system. But Can CBD help you to do this? Let’s take a look at what science says about CBD and the immune system, as well as finding out about how taking CBD can boost your overall health!
The Endocannabinoid System
To understand the connection between CBD and the immune system, it’s first important to understand the Endocannabinoid System (ECS.)
The (ECS) is a complex cell-signalling system present within our bodies. It plays a crucial part in homeostasis – maintaining the fine balance that allows our bodies to function optimally. This means that the ECS regulates a number of aspects of our health, such as sleep, memory, appetite, and yes, even our immune systems.
In fact, the ECS and the immune system are so closely related, that many scientists refer to the existence of an “immuno-cannabinoid system” within their research. One study from the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of South Florida writes:
“It appears the immuno-cannabinoid system is involved in regulating the brain-immune axis and might be exploited in future therapies for chronic diseases and immune deficiency.”
But what does this have to do with CBD?
Where does CBD come in?
To explain where CBD comes in, we’ll need to get a little science-y – but stick with us!
The Endocannabinoid System works through 2 main receptors – CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors in the central nervous system. And these receptors act kind of like a lock – waiting to be opened… But where’s the key?
The key comes in the form of substances called cannabinoids – of which there are hundreds and hundreds of different types. And when the cannabinoid “key” attaches to the receptor “lock” the receptors become activated, allowing the Endocannabinoid System to function properly and provide all the benefits we discussed above.
Where do cannabinoids come from? Well, our bodies naturally produce many types of cannabinoids. And yep, you guessed it – cannabidiol, (CBD) is also a type of cannabinoid!
So, taking CBD regularly acts as a boost to your ECS – effectively supercharging it and helping it to functional well. But let’s take a deeper look at CBD and the immune system. And let’s look at what this actually means for your immune system and your overall health.
The immune system fights disease via cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity. This may sound a bit complicated. But essentially, our immune systems need to maintain the right balance between the two in order to function optimally. And recent research is showing that the Endocannabinoid system plays a part in regulating the balance between these two immune responses.
So, there is evidence to show that taking CBD helps to keep your immune system acting responsively and functioning properly.
Chronic inflammation can have a knock-on effect on your whole body. It’s also a leading cause of illnesses such as autoimmune conditions, arthritis, asthma and even heart disease or stroke.
However, recent scientific studies have shown that CBD has powerful anti-inflammatory properties due to its suppression of cytokines in the body, which regulates inflammatory response. This can make CBD an excellent choice for boosting the immune systems of those who suffer from inflammatory or autoimmune conditions.
Our bodies don’t function well when we’re stressed. Stress has been directly linked to the four most common causes of death – heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. And in fact, stress stops our immune systems from working properly. When we’re stressed, our immune systems are less able to fight off antigens – leaving us more susceptible to infections.
But don’t fear! Scientists have found that CBD can significantly help with anxiety and stress. And it does this by changing the way the brain reacts to stressful stimuli. In another study, brain scans showed changes in blood flow patterns in regions of the brain associated with stress and anxiety. Allowing an overall boost to the immune system by helping us to stay on top form.
Lastly, studies have shown that CBD plays a role within neuromodulation. This is another complex term, but essentially ‘neuromodulation’ refers to the regulation of the nerves and nervous system. And in recent years, much has been discovered about the link between the nervous system and the immune system (the neural-immune system.)
A study from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Würzburg showed that CBD could benefit the neural-immune system through supporting the body’s production of serotonin. In addition to being the body’s natural ‘happy’ chemical, serotonin also helps to reduce oxidative stress on the body and the nervous system – helping the neural-immune system and its interactions to function properly.
Stay healthy, stay happy
So, now you understand a bit more about how CBD and the immune system can work together to:
- Naturally fight disease and boost overall health
- Support inflammatory and auto-immune conditions
- Reduce physical and mental stress
- Help the neural-immune system to function properly
And right now more than ever, it’s important to look after your immune system. So, whatever you’re doing to look after yourself, make sure to stay healthy and stay happy.