Before cannabis/CBD started taking America by storm (well, legally), it seemed like the go to for anything cold and flu was orange juice, airborne, and vitamin C supplements. Now, many are starting to look at CBD and for good reason. The human endocannabinoid system and the Cannabis plant endocannabinoid system create magic together for the overall human body.
A little insight into the human endocannabinoid system; the system that feeds and nurtures the human immune system, and the central nervous system:
- The main function of the human endocannabinoid system is to maintain bodily homeostasis.
- Like the endocannabinoid system of the cannabis plant, the human endocannabinoid also creates cannabinoids
- The human endocannabinoid system is involved in a wide variety of processes including proper immune system function.
- Endocannabinoid receptors are present throughout the body. In skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract.
In an article focused on cannabis and CBD for health, it says: “The ECS is generally considered to be one of the gate-keepers of the immune system, preventing the onset of overwhelming inflammatory responses that may result in disease.”
Overall, when consuming cannabis/CBD, the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the human body that feed the endocannabinoid system, contribute to the body’s overall homestasis (a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes). The pandemic is shifting the way people think about health. We are finally at a point where overall health and focus on the immune system is taking precendece. Collectively, there seems to be an increased focus in making sure supplements are taken, hands are washed, and respecting the space of others. But also, there seems to be an increased interest in cannabis/ CBD for boosting the immune system.
Immune Systems and Cannabis/CBD
The immune system is described as a network in the body, consisting of: cells, organs, and tissues that work together to destroy unfamiliar cells or particles. This process is the one that keeps us healthy and alive. Additionally, the immune system helps protect the body against toxic invaders, and also detects and eliminates cells that aren’t working properly.
As it relates to cannabis/CBD and the immune system, the link is the endocannabinoid system. “The effects of Cannabis are mediated primarily by the endocannabinoid system”, says Project CBD, and scientists believe it interacts with all biological activity, including our immune system. There are studies that suggest that cannabinoids like THC and CBD are immunosuppressants (medications that keep the immune system in check).
Cannabis/CBD contribute greatly to the human immune system. Studies have shown that cannabis can increase white blood cell counts in immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV, which suggests an immune-boosting effect. CBD Hemp Experts say: “CBD is an intelligent immunomodulator and knows exactly what reactions our body must take to aid the immune system in fighting whatever may be dampening the body's full functionality.”
Central Nervous Systems and Cannabis/CBD
The central nervous system is defined as: the complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body. In vertebrates it comprises the brain and spinal cord. Medical News Today says: “it is referred to as ‘central' because it combines information from the entire body and coordinates activity across the whole organism.
For many central nervous system conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, cannabis/CBD is a benefit. The National Library of Medicine says: “Anecdotal evidence suggests that patients with disorders such as multiple sclerosis smoke cannabis to relieve disease-related symptoms. Cannabinoids can alleviate tremor and spasticity in animal models of multiple sclerosis, and clinical trials of the use of these compounds for these symptoms are in progress.”
Human Health and Cannabis/CBD
When overall health treatment, homeostasis, and balance are thought about and treatment is considered, many don’t look in the direction of essential oils. You don’t have to smoke or eat cannabis for healing, cannabis essential oils are beneficial as well.
Cannabis essential oils are found in the plant's stems, leaves, stalks, and even seeds. Usually, cannabis essential oils don’t contain the cannabinoids, but they do contain terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavor of the cannabis plant. They aid in pain relief, relaxation, focus, acuity, and more. These are the same terpenes that are found in orchids, apples, roses, and oranges to name a few.
This piece isn’t meant for medical advice. We always recommend discussing your health concerns with a medical professional and how cannabis/CBD can help with treatment.
This piece was originally written by the author, and published in the Chronic Magazine. It has been slightly edited for reposting.