How Does CBD Help Your Immune System?
CBD, a natural compound extracted from the cannabis plant, has been linked to many health benefits. Most people use it as an alternative to over-the-counter or prescribed drugs to relieve mild or chronic pain, anxiety, and insomnia. It has also been shown to have sedative effects that calm the mind and body, help with relaxation, and ease epileptic seizures.
CBD is able to regulate, control, or enhance different body functions and deliver positive health benefits. In this article, we explore how CBD interacts with the body, particularly the immune system, and what that process means for CBD users.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
When CBD is administered through oils, smoking, or CBD-infused edibles, its compounds interact with the body’s nervous system, particularly, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS has various receptors that communicate and work together to keep our bodies functioning optimally.
CBD binds and interacts primarily with two receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. These receptors are in charge of our body’s immune response. Specifically, CB1 is located in the brain and central nervous system and supervises the body’s immune cells, motor activity and coordination, appetite, thinking, short-term memory, and pain perception.
On the other hand, CB2, which is found in the peripheral organs that are associated with the immune system, targets the bones, eyes, gut, kidneys, liver, skin, and muscles, as well as the cardiovascular, central nervous, reproductive, respiratory, and immune systems.
Through a process called binding, the CB1 and CB2 receptors communicate and ensure that all the systems in the body are functioning as they should. However, they don’t always do a good job at it. Viruses, diseases, and sicknesses can compromise the effectiveness of CB1 and CB2.
Because these receptors are important neurotransmitters, their failure can hamper our body from being able to regulate pain, stimulate the appetite, or naturally fight off inflammation and viruses. This is when CBD can help.
CBD’s Contribution to the Immune System
CBD primarily binds with CB1 and CB2 receptors and helps regulate the body’s immune response. It encourages the body to create more endocannabinoids to boost activity in the immune system, which consequently helps it function better.
Because different people react to CBD in unique ways, its effect on the immune system can differ from case to case. CBD can either be a suppressor or a booster. For example, CBD can encourage white blood cell production to boost the immune response of patients with immunodeficiency. But in other cases, it can function to suppress the immune response to reduce inflammation and pain.
This means how CBD helps your immune system would depend on your body’s condition, supplying the relief that you need to alleviate illnesses or pain and achieve better health and wellness.
CBD vs. THC: Effects on the Immune System
Alongside CBD, THC is also another cannabis plant compound that is gaining recognition as a natural treatment option. THC and CBD are almost similar, with the exception that THC has high levels of psychoactive components that can alter the mind’s function. Hence, taking THC can produce an overwhelming high.
Like CBD, THC also interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS. It mainly controls CB1, which is in charge of mind and brain function. THC stops CB1 receptors from telling the brain that you feel pain, helping reduce and relieve it. When CB1 then binds with CB2, THC activates proteins and influences T-cells, which can eliminate inflammation in the body. Because of this, THC is considered to have the potential as an immunostimulant.
CBD and THC both function to help the body’s immune response. The only major difference is that THC causes psychoactivity while CBD does not. It’s also because of this that THC is still regulated or prohibited in certain states. Hence, CBD is more popularly used than THC as an alternative to pain relief and anti-inflammatory drugs and medications.
Fostering Immune Health With CBD
CBD has powerful compounds that can stimulate the body to function better — whether that means suppressing the immune system or boosting its efficiency. It has a track record for fostering good health and improving quality of life, helping people relieve pain, reduce discomfort, stop allergies, eat better, sleep better, and live better.
If you are keen on switching to a natural alternative for physical or mental issues, browse Terra Vita’s benefit-based CBD products today. We have a myriad of CBD oils formulated for your specific needs — whether for relieving stress and anxiety, managing pain, improving sleep quality, or supporting overall health and wellness.