Using CBD To Support The Immune System

Using CBD To Support The Immune System
Using CBD To Support The Immune System

Proponents of cannabidiol (CBD) claim that this herbal supplement can provide health benefits with respect to numerous medical/health issues. They cite increasing bodies of anecdotal evidence from the healthcare system to support these claims.

Skeptics counter that the sheer number of supposed health applications for CBD are highly improbable.

They reject the mounting anecdotal evidence and suggest (or simply state) that CBD proponents are exaggerating the health-promoting properties of CBD.

Case in point: CBD and the immune system.

Cannabidiol has gained increasing prominence in the treatment of autoimmune disorders. This is where an overactive (and dysfunctional) immune system creates health issues. Here CBD is observed to be an “immunosuppressant”.

However, other anecdotal evidence (and actual scientific research) indicates that CBD can be used to boost/support the human body’s immune system. This improves our capacity to fight off diseases and infections (including viruses).

So which is it? Does CBD suppress our immune system? Or, does CBD help to promote the immune system?

The answer – apparently – is it can do both. Why? How can CBD act to boost or suppress the immune system, depending on a particular patient’s medical needs?

The explanation is rooted in our endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Cannabinoids (like CBD) are the active ingredients in the cannabis plant.

They are produced naturally in the human body. Referred to as “endocannabiniods”, these naturally occurring cannabinoids (and the ECS itself) are now known to be instrumental in regulating almost every aspect of human health.

From this perspective, the apparent contradiction disappears.

When someone is suffering from an autoimmune disorder, the ECS acts to suppress an overactive immune system. Conversely, when we are fighting off some disease/infection that requires an increased immune system response, the ECS helps to amplify the immune system.

Today, increasingly health-conscious consumers are especially motivated to seek to boost their own immune system. Here is what researchers are learning:
Optimum immune function entails a complex balancing act that relies on constant communication between our immune cells, tissues, and organs. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the 1990s, scientists have found another key piece of the puzzle.

The endocannabinoid system comprises two main G protein-coupled receptors (CB1 and CB2), endogenous ligands known as endocannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), plus the proteins that transport our endocannabinoids and the enzymes that break them down in the body.

Endocannabinoids are produced on demand, travelling backwards across chemical synapses and modulating cell activity. This partly explains why the ECS has been termed a homeostatic regulator – continually working to maintain a state of biological balance.

How important is the ECS to our health? This 2015 YouTube clip (from a CNN news feature) supplies some powerful testimony from medical experts.
Retired cardiac surgeon, Dr. David Allen, didn’t mince words in laying out the importance of the ECS (in the clip above).
“The discovery of the endocannabinoid system is the single most important medical, scientific discovery ever. More people will be saved by manipulation of the endocannabinoid system than are currently saved by surgery.”

That’s the general context. In more concrete terms, here are four ways that CBD can help to support the human body’s immune system.
  1. Increasing natural “killer cells” that fight disease/infection.
  2. Supporting a healthy inflammatory response.
  3. Maintaining healthy gut microbiota
  4. Relieving stress/anxiety

Antibodies and other “killer cells” are produced in the human body to help ward off everything from cancer to viruses.

Many infections and diseases generate inflammation as a byproduct of these conditions. The inflammation itself then can exacerbate the central health issue and/or produce additional harmful effects.

Maintaining a healthy digestive tract also helps us to ward off diseases/infections. Optimizing digestion and the absorption of nutrients provides important secondary benefits to help support our immune system response.

Similarly, stress and anxiety are known to have a depressive effect on our immune system. The stress and anxiety relief produced by CBD thus also (indirectly) supports the immune system.

CBD is already the best-selling herbal dietary supplement in the United States. It passed turmeric (the previous #1 supplement) in 2019.

In 2020, consumer health concerns are at a multi-decade high. This strongly suggests that going forward there will be an additional jump in CBD usage as a dietary supplement.

As turbulent global markets have investors re-thinking their investment strategies, many investors will be looking to increase their exposure to CBD stocks.
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