Updated: Oct 7, 2020
More than ever before, we’re understanding the critical importance of the immune system and its essential functions when it comes to keeping us in good overall health. The immune system is a major bodily system tasked with the role of fending off illness and healing the body from within. Therefore, without the immune system, we would not be able to survive as a species. Yet, many of us do not have immune systems that are as strong as they could be, due to various factors, which puts us at higher risk of getting sick.
However, there’s a new product on the market that’s changing the way in which we look at overall wellness.
CBD is cannabidiol, which happens to be the most prominent chemical compound found in the hemp plant, which belongs to the cannabis genus. CBD is non-psychoactive, legal and nontoxic, and more and more people are using it daily because of its regulatory effects on the bodily systems, with the immune system being just one of them. [Source]
First, we need to go into greater detail about the role of the immune system, to understand how CBD may have an impact.
The Immune System: What it Does
The immune system, as we said, is in charge of fighting disease and creating inflammation throughout the body as it sees fit. The way in which the immune system operates is relatively complex. When it senses an intruder in the form of an illness, it sends cells called cytokines to the area of the body in which the infection is, causing inflammation to occur. This is why we may get a sore throat or stuffy nose when we have a respiratory infection. It’s not the actual infection causing those symptoms, but the inflammation that results from the immune system’s response to the intruder.
The immune system’s inflammatory process is also at work when we are injured. This is why the injured area of the body will become red, swollen and tender.
Now, the immune system is not incapable of having inappropriate responses, however. An immune system that is not fully healthy can struggle to fend off diseases because it’s taxed by issues within the body. Further, sometimes, the immune system can attack healthy cells in the body that it mistakenly perceives as threatening, as is the case in those with autoimmune disorders. And, the immune system may perceive harmless substances as potential infectious invaders, such as certain foods and environmental substances, as is the case in those who have allergies.
Ways in Which the Immune System Can Become Compromised
So, why does the immune system have the potential to attack its host, lose its function or cause allergic reactions to harmless substances? Well, in many cases, it’s because of poor overall health in the body.
Below are just some factors that can cause the immune system to become compromised in some way.
#1: An Underlying Illness
There are various underlying illnesses that drain the immune system’s resources. When the body is already ill, the immune system is constantly hard at work trying to heal the body, so when an infection comes along, it cannot commit all of its energy to fighting off the illness. Examples of underlying illnesses that drain the immune system’s resources include diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and cancer.
#2: Certain Substances
Some substances can weaken the immune system, which is dependent on the overall health of the body to function properly. Some of these substances come in the form of prescription medications, with chemotherapy being a common culprit. Others are illicit substances which are dangerously taxing on the body. Both alcohol and tobacco can also weaken the body’s immune system.
#3: Poor Lifestyle Habits
Poor lifestyle habits, including poor sleep and a lack of physical motion, can cause the immune system to become weakened over time.
#4: Poor Nutrition
The immune system depends largely on good overall nutrition within the body, as a multitude of nutrients feed the immune system so that it may do its job, as is the case with all systems in the body.
#5: Psychological Stress
Finally, psychological stress can weaken the immune system, as stress releases a hormone called cortisol which causes the immune system to produce a chronic inflammatory response.
CBD and the Immune System
The good news is that there are various ways to properly support the body’s immune system. Obviously, the overall key to maintaining good immune health is taking care of the body through all means possible, including nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management.
But there are also things that you can incorporate into your daily routine to potentially boost immune function directly. One such option that is being studied is CBD. What makes CBD unique is the way in which it feeds the endocannabinoid system in the body, which is in charge of maintaining an equilibrium of all bodily systems through means of regulation.
Within all bodily systems are cannabinoid receptors, and these receptors trigger chemical reactions within the systems when they are given cannabinoids like CBD. This means that CBD may play a major role in regulating the overall function of the immune system.
Studies on CBD’s Impact on the Immune System
Each study has shown some real success with using cannabidiol for this.
Study #1: We said that stress and poor sleep can play a role in immunity, and CBD’s
Study #2: Furthermore, CBD is noted for its anti-inflammatory activity, which may help take some stress off of the immune system.
Study #3: Demonstrates a direct impact on the immune system’s general health and functionality.
Using CBD for Immune Function
If you wish to incorporate CBD into your routine for immune support, the first thing that you must do is tell your doctor that you plan to use it regularly for this purpose. He or she can make certain recommendations based on your needs and medical history.
We suggest taking CBD daily for the best results. Note that the milligram strength reflects the potency of each dose, so those with weaker immune systems may respond to higher strengths that are available.
Having a Healthy Immune System is Crucial
As you can see, it’s of utmost importance that we do what we can to support our body’s immune system. This is a critical component to living a long and healthy life. If you wish to support your immune system through more holistic means, then it’s time to consider speaking to your doctor about giving CBD a try.