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Benefits Of Cannabis For The Immune System

The immune system gets a boost from cannabindoids

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DanaSmith on Wednesday Apr 18, 2018
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Benefits Of Cannabis For The Immune System



You don’t have to be sickly to benefit from the therapeutic effects of cannabis.


Cannabis can help protect you from sicknesses by strengthening your immune system in a number of ways. This is one of the least-explored areas in medicine, but the studies that we have available so far have been promising.


Cannabis Treats Overactive Immune Systems


Cannabis contains cannabinoids, chemical compounds that have long been used to treat a wide range of illnesses from inflammation to cancer. Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is also known as the ECS – a network of receptors (CB1 and CB2) found throughout the human body.


Endocannabinoid receptors can be found in connective tissues, the brain, various systems, and even in the immune system. The receptors are biologically designed to interact with cannabinoids, which is why we experience the healing benefits of the plant when we consume it. The ECS is responsible for regulating numerous important functions in the body, including memory, mood, blood sugar levels, appetite, and immunity.


Researchers have recently discovered that cannabinoids can help the ECS function optimally. For one, cannabinoids act as neuromodulators for many processes including immunity as well as appetite and learning. Neuromodulators are released by neurons and help transmit information to other neurons in the body, thus improving synaptic transmission in the nerve cells. In the immune system, endocannabinoids lubricate and protect the systems to help us function at optimal levels. They also help alleviate pain and inhibit the progression of disease.


On its own, the body relies on two functions to prevent illness and disease. The first is cell-mediated immunity, which activates the antigen-specific T-lymphocytes which we know of as phagocytes. Phagocytes are responsible for targeting antigens through the release of cytokines which then neutralize the threat and help restore the body to its normal functioning. The second is humoral immunity, which is also known as antibody-mediated immunity. Humoral immunity uses the macromolecules found in extracellular fluids to battle antigens, while cell-mediated immunity uses T-lymphocytes.


The human immune system is so complex and there is still so much we don’t understand about it. We sometimes get chronic diseases, seemingly out of the blue. The immune system sometimes just gets out of balance and it’s difficult to pinpoint the exact reason why. For example, multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease which occurs when the cell-mediated immune system is too active and it starts to attack the brain and nervous system, treating it as a dangerous antigen.  In cases of multiple sclerosis, the immune system targets the myelin, which is the protective coating surrounding nerve fibers. What occurs is widespread damage to scar tissue, and over time the scar tissue accumulates and affects nerve impulses that travel to and from the brain. As a result, patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from paralysis and loss in motor function.


Multiple sclerosis was thought of as having no known cure before. But with the advent of research into cannabis, it was found to help patients with multiple sclerosis because of the endocannabinoid system as well as the cannabinoids in the plant that balance various functions of the immune system. Multiple sclerosis is an example of an overactive immune system, but cannabis has shown to be effective in regulating it in such a way that patients can benefit.


Cannabis Treats Weak Immune Systems


A weakened immune system can no longer fend off disease, which is what happens in the case of cancer and HIV/AIDS.


Individuals with a weak immune system can benefit from consuming cannabis. For example, in cancer, cannabis helps the immune system communicate to affected cells so that they cause cell death – a process called apoptosis. Ultimately, apoptosis that has been induced by cannabis prevents cancer cells from proliferating.


In HIV/AIDS, the immune system suffers from serious dysfunction. The virus has completely compromised the immune system for life, and the body can no longer fight infection. In both cases, this is why patients tend to be frail and weak; more susceptible to disease on top of HIV/AIDS and cancer. But studies show that HIV patients who consume cannabis can prevent the condition from escalating into AIDS, because THC has the ability to suppress the very function that causes progression of the disease.


Cannabis Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties


When you are exposed to harmful toxins or injuries, inflammation is the immune system’s natural response. The immune cells then travel to the affected area and cause inflammation, manifested through pain, swelling, redness, and warmth. However, some symptoms of inflammation are not immediately visible – parts of our body may be suffering from inflammation and it may take a while for them to be diagnosed but long-term inflammation can also occur.


Inflammation is the root cause of many chronic and fatal conditions today. Some of these include Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and asthma among many others. However, cannabis has been shown to be extremely effective in treating inflammation by controlling the response of the immune system, suppressing inflammatory response, and support the concentration of cannabinoids to help the body heal.


Have you used cannabis to support your immune system? Share your experience with us in the comments below!


The Benefits Of Marijuana On The Immune System from CannabisNet on Vimeo.



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