With an ongoing pandemic, you probably must have already come across the term ‘immunity power’ and ‘immune health’ in the healthcare world. It has now, more than ever, become important to have a strong immunity system.
But what is an immunity system and how does it function?
You have probably read about this in your Biology classes back at school. Let us do a quick recap, though. The human body is exposed to millions of pathogens every single day. Each of these pathogens have the potential to kill us if it was not for our immune system. The key component of our immune system are the white blood cells. These white blood cells are further categorized into Lymphocytes and Phagocytes. The Lymphocytes are further divided into T and B-cells based on their functions. It is these cells that eliminate antigens (pathogens and other harmful microorganisms) and play a vital role in remembering these foreign bodies to protect our body from further invasions.
The initial bodily response when there is infection or an attack from a foreign body is inflammation. Inflammation is often seen in negative light, but it implies that the immune system is healthy and is functioning efficiently. In cases where the immune system under performs or becomes hyperactive, the body's vulnerability to disorders and infections increases exponentially.
In many cases, where the immunity system becomes hyperactive, it starts attacking its own cells in the body. It loses its ability to distinguish between foreign cells and its own cells - this leads to extensive organ damage. Such disorders are referred to as auto-immune disorders.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is obtained from naturally occurring plant cannabis. Unlike most other chemical compounds derived from the same plant, CBD is believed to be non-intoxicating and is known to have positive health effects. Since it does not have its psychoactive properties, people generally use it for its medicinal and healing properties, without experiencing a ‘high’.
How can CBD help our Immune System?
CBD acts as an immunosuppressant. While for a healthy human body, immunosuppressants do not prove to be helpful, in cases of auto-immune disorders, CBD can help in suppressing the hyperactivity of the immune system and therefore prevent the damage caused to its own organs.
CBD is also known to have immunomodulation properties that helps it to regulate the physiological responses of the immune system.
How does this happen?
Throughout the human body, there is an endocannabinoid system that is present. This system comprises receptors that are spread across the nervous system, brain and organs. It facilitates the immune system to return to homeostasis. CBD interacts and induces a reaction in these receptors. This reaction results in alterations of physiological responses. Through this process, CBD either over-activates or under activates the immune system so that it performs efficiently without causing any damage to the organs.
Although not scientifically proven in humans, CBD also has the potential in treating certain cancers. Malignant tumors are often the result of uncontrollable growth of cells. In other words, the cells lose ability to self-regulate and self-destruct. CBD can therefore interact with the ECS system and boost its response. It can activate the immune system to facilitate the self-destruction of such cells on time. The study is still in its clinical trial phase, where in both laboratory and rodent clinical trials, CBD stimulated the self-destruction of cancer cells.
Although most of this work is still speculative and in early stages of study, it has been proven that CBD can effectively be used in relieving pain and inflammation and for those suffering from auto-immune disorders.
Research has also shown that CBD is highly beneficial in improving the body's natural immune system.
Will it affect my daily routine?
There is nothing to worry about. Most of the time, the effects of CBD take effect immediately (usually in 15 – 20 minutes). In some instances, it takes time to build for you to notice a significant difference. If you are trying CBD for the first time, there is a good chance that you would not even notice a change and that is how subtle its effects are. These benefits help in maintaining and strengthening the immune system. CBD is also responsible for reducing stress and anxiety and therefore helps the human body to focus on essential tasks.