Can CBD Boost Your Immune System During COVID-19?
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
The biggest question we're getting asked is how may affect coronavirus, and about what else we can do to protect ourselves against viral infections using CBD.
Many people are asking if CBD can help boost the immune system so that the body can effectively fight against COVID-19. And if you do get COVID, can CBD positively affect your health on your way to recovery?
Studies have shown that CBD can act both as an immunomodulator and an immunosuppressant.
In this article, we explain what this means for people with COVID-19 or Coronavirus.
CBD and Coronavirus: Why do We Have an Immune System?
We're surrounded by potentially deadly bacteria and viruses from the day we're born. And yet, we somehow manage to survive among them. Why? Because we have an immune system — a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that protects our bodies against intruders. Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) helps boost the efficacy of how our immune system works.
What Helps Our Immune System Fight Bacteria and Viruses? Our immune system produces two types of white blood cells. They search for — and eliminate — viruses, bacteria, and other aggressive molecules that attack the body. The immune system has one major role: detecting and eliminating malignant cells in the body. Scientists describe this process as apoptosis. Interestingly, CBD has been shown to trigger apoptosis. Remember the ECS mentioned previously?
How does CBD Affect the Immune System? When it comes to the subject of CBD and coronavirus, people are wondering how CBD can affect the immune system. In order to understand that, we need to take a closer look at the relationship between the immune system and the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
CBD, ECS, and COVID-19: Is There a Link? The proper functioning of the immune system depends on the communication between organs, tissues, and cells that are part of this system. Scientists found another part of the puzzle in the 1990s upon the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS — the prime system in the body — consists of two types of receptors (CB1 and CB2). Additionally, they found ligands known as Endocannabinoids, proteins that transport them, and enzymes that break them down. What a massive physiological scientific discovery! The ECS releases endocannabinoids on demand, modulating cellular activity between synapses (also called a neuronal junction). That's why scientists describe this system as the regulator of homeostasis. Homeostasis means the balance between vital biological processes in the body. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors occur in our immune cells. However, the CB2 receptor is 100x more concentrated there! This is how CBD produces the majority of its anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating effects by targetting the CB2 receptors.
Does CBD Boost Immune Function or Suppresses the Immune System?
As mentioned, CBD can act both as an immunomodulator and an immunosuppressant depending on the situation. In healthy individuals, CBD balances the functioning of the immune system, helping the body stay vigilant against infections and viruses, that is, homeostasis. But on the other hand, studies show that CBD can suppress an overactive immune system, where the body starts to attack itself by producing antibodies without any good reason. According to Dr. Mariano Garcia de Palau, a renowned professional using cannabinoid treatments, says cannabinoids are adaptogens, meaning they can improve our well-being by regulating various biological processes without any negative impact on our physiology. That's right; homeostasis! Here's what he says about using CBD for immune health: "I believe in the immunosuppressant properties of cannabinoids, but only when the immune system is overactive and produces abnormal immune responses. Otherwise, cannabinoids seem to boost the functioning of the immune system by regulating the activity of white blood cells." Let's take a look at how exactly CBD affects the immune system, and whether it has something to do with the Coronavirus or COVID-19.
When Does CBD Act as an Immunosuppressant?
In a compromised immune system, especially when it gets overactive, the body may start to attack itself, causing continuous inflammation. That's because the body also attacks healthy cells. Studies have shown that CBD can effectively suppress that agitation through its interaction with the CB2 receptor in the immune cells. Interestingly, CBD doesn't shut the whole immune system down; instead, it seems to act locally on the affected areas inside the body.
When Does CBD Boost Immune Health?
An overactive immune system wreaks havoc on the body. Some autoimmune diseases target only one organ. Type 1 diabetes damages the pancreas. Other diseases, like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), affect the whole body On the other hand, a weakened immune system makes us more vulnerable to infections and viruses like COVID-19. Clinical endocannabinoid deficiencies have been recently claimed as the reason for a wide range of autoimmune disorders. Migraine, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome – as well as some of the other disorders, suggested as results of ECD – are relatively common. That's why homeostasis is paramount for internal balance and optimal immune health. CBD helps the endocannabinoid system (ECS) achieve and maintain homeostasis by triggering the death of malignant cells. Studies have shown that cannabinoids like CBD can boost immune function by stimulating the CB2 receptor in the cells, tissues, and organs of the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, CBD can signal it to localize sick cells in the body, eliminate them, and prevent them from accumulating which then, in turn, helps to rebalance the ECS.
What Experts Are Saying About Using CBD for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dr. Dani Gordon, an integrative medicine expert, answers the question of whether CBD can affect contracting or recovering from coronavirus. "We don't have any studies showing CBD has any effect on coronavirus, although there are some interesting studies on cannabinoids and progression of viral infections. As both (a) cannabis specialist and doctor trained in natural medicine and western medicine, I feel obliged to let people know the facts and be honest about what we don't know. It's also critical not to make false claims when we are all understandably a bit scared, and of course, want to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones". According to Dr. Gordon, using CBD to boost immune health can be a good choice. However, we must remember that we have no information on how CBD can affect the immune system when it comes to Coronavirus.
So... Does CBD Affect Coronavirus? Long story short, we don't know yet. CBD does many great things and thousands of people use it to boost their immune health. There are also stories of CBD users recovering from serious problems and regaining an internal balance again with a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and responsible supplementation. Here are the key takeaways on CBD oil and immune health:
CBD can act as both immunomodulator and immunosuppressant
The way CBD affects the immune system depends on our overall health
CBD has been shown to suppress the activity of an agitated immune system, reducing inflammation throughout the body
In a weakened immune system, CBD appears to improve the communication between immune cells, tissues, and organs, regulating apoptosis and our response to bacteria and viruses
In a healthy immune system, using CBD oil can help the body maintain the balance between the aforementioned communications between immune cells
Do you use CBD oil for immune health? Let us know how the COVID-19 situation affects you and what you do to stay healthy!
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