What Are the Effects of Hemp on the Immune System?
Posted on November 15th, 2020
Every day, humans are exposed to many infection-causing viruses, bacteria, and other microscopic pathogens. If it weren’t for our immune systems, many of these cellular organisms could kill us. The immune system helps ward off these “foreign bodies.” It’s natural for everyone to want to keep their immune systems strong and healthy. This helps your body fight off infectious diseases. The effects of hemp on the immune system have been linked to various benefits, from relieving stress to inhibiting the progression of diseases. Let’s dive into how hemp interacts with the immune system.
An Overview Of The Immune System
It’s paramount for us to understand the immune system before we look at hemp’s role. The immune system is the body’s defense mechanism against disease and infections. It detects and destroys foreign substances that may harm the body. It is a network of tissues, cells, proteins, and organs spread out throughout the body that mounts a complex attack once a foreign substance is detected.
The immune system launches an immune response once it encounters a pathogen (virus, bacteria, or parasite). It also protects healthy cells by destroying dead and faulty cells, like cancer cells. Cell death reduces the chances of growth and multiplication of such cells. This could eventually result in a tumor. A properly functioning immune system balances the rate of cell death and growth.
Many body parts, including the spleen, bone marrow, lymphatic system, and tonsils, are responsible for the immune system’s effectiveness. White blood cells (leukocytes) are also essential in protecting the body. They attack pathogens that risk infecting the body. They produce antibodies, ensuring the body doesn’t suffer from the same germ infection twice.
What Affects The Immune System’s Strength?
The immune system is critical for our overall well-being. The body’s immune system is a product of our genetics. Scientists are still unearthing direct links between genetics, lifestyle, and enhanced immune function. Exercise, age, diet, and stress play critical roles in immune health.
People are increasingly looking for supplements to boost their immune systems. There are lots of ways to boost your immunity. Eating fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water, avoiding sugar, and minimizing stress levels are some helpful steps.
However, alternative medicine is gaining the attention of more people by the day. CBD, extracted from the hemp plant, is being administered to many people with immune deficiencies. Research into medical cannabis has pointed out that cannabidiol (CBD) has numerous potential benefits for the immune system. To put it simply, CBD appears to be the main reason for the effects of hemp on the immune system.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound extracted from hemp or marijuana. It is one of the most abundant compounds in the cannabis plant. This compound, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), does not cause the intoxicating effects associated with marijuana. You don’t get “high” when you consume CBD. The hemp plant has higher concentrations of CBD, and almost no THC (less than 0.3%). Therefore it is usually the best source from which to extract cannabidiol. CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to provide various potential benefits.
The Gateway to Effects of Hemp on the Immune System
Scientists discovered the ECS in the 1990s. The ECS serves as a homeostatic regulator. It works biologically to maintain balance within the body. This system exists in all vertebrates and helps with various mental and physiological processes, including mood, immunity, sleep, memory, appetite, and fertility.
Cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) make up most of the ECS. These receptors exist throughout the body, including the central nervous system and the immune system. External cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids) including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), naturally connect with these receptors. The body also produces its own cannabinoids— endocannabinoids.
What Does Hemp Do To The Body?
Understanding hemp activity while in the body is essential to understanding the effects of hemp on the immune system. CBD mimics natural chemicals within the body and interacts with the ECS. This can trigger various functions like hunger, mood, pain, and sleep.
Balancing the immune system or maintaining homeostasis is one role of the endocannabinoid system. The ECS is regarded as the “gatekeeper” of the immune system since it prevents inflammatory responses.
Transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 is a protein that promotes cell communication with the extracellular environment. TRPV2 plays a critical role in boosting immune function. CBD influences transient receptor channels and activates TRPV2 to support immunity. Hemp-based CBD oil has both direct and indirect techniques for maintaining immunity.
What Triggers Effects of Hemp on the Immune System
CBD is a complex cannabinoid that may act as an immunomodulator and an immunosuppressant. It works by boosting the immunity of the body as well as suppressing it. Immunomodulators help the immune system to function correctly.
Immunosuppressants, on the other hand, act by suppressing, inhibiting, or preventing immune responses. They address diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease. Some cancer treatments are immunosuppressants. CBD may trigger both of these responses according to what the body needs.
So What Are the Effects of Hemp on the Immune System?
Boost Natural Killer Cells
Hemp-based CBD oil may have the ability to reduce B cells, T cells, as well as cytotoxic T cell and T helper subsets. According to an animal study investigating autoimmune health, CBD also supports the action of natural killer (NK) cells outside the autoimmune sector. NK cells are a type of white blood cells.
NK cells are essential in the body’s response to viruses. These lymphocytes provide quick reactions to virus-infected cells. They detect and control early cancer signs as well as playing a vital role in pregnancy. CBD could then potentially help reduce the spread of cancerous cells, since it appears to helps in the self-destruction of unhealthy cells. This, in turn, may reduce tumor growth.
CBD supports the action of natural killer T cells that share similar properties to T cells and NK cells. Vitro studies have also shown that CBD produces positive results for individuals wishing to maintain liver immune health.
Support a Healthy Gut Microbiota
The gastrointestinal tract, running from the mouth to the anus, contains many lymphoid tissues and effector cells. Trillions of cells make up the gut microbiota in the intestines. These microorganisms play an essential role in assisting the body to mount a balanced immune response.
Excessive gut inflammation can result in an impaired intestinal immune response, dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, and intestinal permeability. The body counteracts these effects through the ECS. Human CBD trials, just like endocannabinoids, have been found to maintain healthy intestinal inflammatory responses. A healthy gut boosts overall immunity.
Maintain a Healthy Inflammatory Response
Cannabidiol maintains a healthy inflammatory response in animals’ lungs. CBD was also discovered to boost lung function in mice that were exposed to lung irritants.
A different study showed another way that CBD could help with respiratory function. It enhanced lung markers like leukocyte migration, and protein concentration. It also decreased lung tolerance and resistance, and myeloperoxidase action within the lung tissue. Hemp-based CBD also helped to maintain sustainable levels of chemokines and cytokines.
Psychological stress negatively affects your immunity. Endocannabinoids interact with CB1 receptors, whereas CBD activates the serotonin 1A receptor. The stress-relieving properties of hemp are linked to its potential to modulate cerebral blood flow in the hippocampus, cingulate cortex, amygdala, and hypothalamus. These brain regions are associated with anxiety.
One study also found that CBD reduced stress during speaking presentations. Subjects given 300 mg oral doses of CBD were more relaxed and calm while giving their speeches.
Conclusion: Effects of Hemp on the Immune System
A healthy immune system is critical to keep your defenses strong against invaders, regardless of whether you are sick or healthy. This ensures your body functions normally. You’ll start experiencing health problems when your body’s defenses are down.
Hemp extracts may help boost your immune system by addressing issues such as anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and inflammation. The safety and potency of hemp was first realized back in 3000 BC. Luckily, the US government gave the nod to the cultivation and commercialization of hemp plants in 2018. This, in turn, has led to an influx in the production of hemp-based CBD products.
Full-spectrum hemp CBD products can either boost or suppress your immunity, depending on your condition. At Tanasi, our hemp-based CBD products are made from the finest materials and superior extraction processes, guaranteeing optimal effect.