In this time and age, you probably have heard about claims about the health benefits of CBD. You should note that some claims are misleading. One of the controversies surrounds the benefits of CBD to your immune system. In this article, we are going to dissect the facts and myths about the association between CBD products and your immune system.
How does the Endocannabinoid System Work?
First and foremost, it is crucial to understand how the endocannabinoid system works. This is a cell-signaling system found in all human beings. Sending of signals is achieved through the receptors bound with endocannabinoids.
It is worth mentioning that endocannabinoids are similar to phytocannabinoids, which are compounds found in cannabis. However, endocannabinoids are naturally made by your body, unlike phytocannabinoids that are introduced after consuming cannabis.
Endocannabinoid receptors are grouped into two:
- CB1 receptors (mainly found in the central nervous system)
- CB2 receptors (mainly found in the peripheral nervous system)
Studies have shown that ECS plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. They include:
- Brain activity including memory
How does CBD Work?
As stated earlier on, phytocannabinoids interact with ECS. However, cannabidiol (CBD) does not bind with CB1 and CB2 like phytocannabinoids. It is believed that CBD prevents endocannabinoids from being broken down. By doing so, the compound ensures that there is a potent effect on your body. You can, however, not dismiss the possibility of CBD binding with an undiscovered receptor.
Performance of CBD as an Immunity Booster
Over the years, there has been a growing number of people turning to CBD to boost their immunity. This was recently experienced following the outbreak of Covid-19. Some people believed that CBD cushioned them from the adverse effects of coronavirus. Nevertheless, there have been no conclusive studies supporting the role of CBD as an immunity booster.
In a typical situation, your body can function properly without the need for boosters. You can, however, not dismiss the impact of lifestyle changes on your immunity. Some people opt to use CBD products to induce sleep especially if they have difficulties having adequate sleep. This does not imply that CBD can cushion you from contracting diseases.
Is CBD an immunomodulator?
Researchers have been trying to establish whether CBD can boost or suppress the immune system. It has been noted that CBD contains compounds that are immunosuppressants. The same cannot be said for CBD as a stimulant for the immune system.
Nowadays, people associate improvement of sleep with the help of CBD as boosting the immune system. This is due to the fact that some people lack adequate sleep due to stress and anxiety. Despite this being factual, one cannot rule out the need for further research to be undertaken to ascertain the role of CBD in stimulating the immune system.
Immunosupprecancy of CBD
As seen earlier on, CBD does not have a direct impact on boosting the immune system. This is often witnessed when your body detects foreign attacks and threats. You should note that autoimmune conditions cause conditions such as autoimmune.
Some autoimmune diseases include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
It is worth mentioning that the overactive immune system has often led to an increase in immunosuppressants. Studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. This plays a crucial role in ensuring that CBD helps in treating inflammation and other autoimmune conditions.
That said, there have been minimal studies undertaken to support the impact of CBD on autoimmune conditions. However, most research on the subject has been done on animals. From these studies, it has been proven that there is room for CBD to be used in immunosuppression for humans.
For instance, there is an ongoing research study that suggests that CBD can be used in the treatment of conditions such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Is CBD safe to Use?
In general, CBD is considered safe for human consumption. This has been determined after experts conducted several research. Nevertheless, your body may experience some side effects after using CBD. They include:
- Changes in weight or appetite
Aside from the mentioned side effect, you should note that CBD reacts differently with some medications. For example, you are warned against combining CBD with medication that has a grapefruit warning. This is because grapefruit, like CBD, interferes with CYP3A4 which is an enzyme that plays a crucial role in processing medication such as immunosuppressants in your body.
Other medications that you should avoid while using CBD are:
- Anticancer medications
- Cholesterol medications (statins)
- Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications
- Blood thinners
- Anti-epileptic drugs
- Erectile dysfunction medications
- Blood pressure medications
- Heart rhythm medications
- Gastrointestinal medications
- Pain medications
- Prostate medications
- Antibiotics and antimicrobials
Safety Considerations CBD for Allergies
As stated earlier on, CBD cannot be used as a cure. Therefore, you should not use the product for the treatment of diseases. For instance, you cannot CBD for severe allergic reactions. Studies have shown that conventional medicine is helpful compared to the use of CBD.
In 2004, experts embarked on a study to assess the influence of CBD on animals. It was noted that rats pre-treated with cannabis had fewer allergic reactions compared with the placebo. It was noted that terpenes had a significant impact on the broad-spectrum and full spectrum. Another study showed that mice injected with CBD had reduced symptoms of allergy compared to the placebo group. For instance, there was no airway inflammation experienced in the animals after the research study.
Nonetheless, you have to counter check the medication with the certificate of analysis (COA) to determine that the medication can be used for treatment. It is worth noting that contact dermatitis can be treated using CBD. This is because the drug has anti-inflammatory effects that help you experience fewer symptoms.
Experts advise people to wait for further research before entrusting CBD as a mode of treatment, especially for humans. With more research, it will be possible for people to understand the gravity of issues and possible help and side effects of using CBD.
CBD Versus Other Allergy Treatments
Examples of treatments include:
- Mast cell stabilizers
- Nasal, topical, and oral corticosteroids
- Epinephrine for severe allergies
You should note that avoiding allergies can best be achieved by staying away from triggers. Studies have shown that CBD is an effective allergy treatment. Nonetheless, conventional treatment is the best when it comes to allergies.
Safety Considerations of CBD for Allergies
According to the World Health Organization, CBD is generally safe to use for human consumption. It has, however, been found that CBD should not be used in case of issues with terpenes or any of the ingredients.
It is worth mentioning that there are various side effects of CBD. They are:
- Appetite changes
- Weight changes
As stated earlier on, CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, you are not guaranteed safe over-the-counter (OTC) CBD products. That said you should ensure that you counter-check the company and ingredients used to manufacture the products. Nowadays, you can obtain this information from various online platforms.
What to Look for When Choosing CBD Oil
Finding high-quality CBD oil can be hectic given the influx of companies in the market. If you are in search of CBD oil, here are helpful tips.
When purchasing CBD oil, you should read through the list of ingredients. By doing so, you identify products that contain ingredients to which you are allergic. You will also note that some oils contain added ingredients such as arnica which help in relieving pain.
Products with supplements and vitamins should be avoided at all costs especially if you plan on ingesting CBD. This is mainly attributable to the lack of substantive research on the said ingredients in CBD.
Studies have shown that combining tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) can yield better results than when taking CBD alone. This phenomenon is known as the ‘entourage effect’. Flavonoids and terpenes have been found to have health benefits to the brain. They also have anti-inflammatory effects and neuroprotective effects. You will learn more about the ratios in subsequent text.
Unlike conventional prescription drugs, CBD is not regulated by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). As a result, you are expected to be wary of dubious companies spreading false claims about CBD products. This can be achieved by looking at the certificate of analysis (COA). The COA is resourceful in showing third-testing results for potency and contaminants.
Options for Taking CBD
One of the benefits mentioned above is that CBD can be used in various ways. One way is to apply topicals directly on the skin, more so on the target area of the neck. This way, you help relieve pain in the joints.
Aside from topicals, you can ingest CBD in the form of oil, capsules, gummies, and edibles. Nonetheless, you have to check product labels before taking CBD. This way, you cannot oils that are not supposed to be taken by mouth.
Regarding dosage, there are various aspects to consider. For instance, your dosage may vary from another person. This depends on trial and error to determine the best approach. You should also check the potencies of the CBD products before consumption.
It is advisable to take low doses, especially if you are a newbie to consuming CBD. You can progressively increase the dosage as you assess your body’s reaction. Notably, edibles take more time to wait compared to other forms of CBD to work.
headaches and migraines from a young age.
Replacement of Conventional Medication with CBD
A research study in 2018 showed that participants that opted to replace opioids with CBD experienced a significant reduction in chronic pain, headache, arthritis, and migraine. They realized that they had fewer side effects after using CBD.
However, higher dosages of CBD led to drowsiness among the participants. Therefore, experts had to review the doses to reduce the side effects. Aside from reducing drug effects, CBD products have been found to reduce drug dependency.
Notably, opioids have been used in the treatment of various diseases. Usage of these drugs has led to an increase in drug dependency especially opioids. By using CBD, you get to experience less chronic joint pain and inflammation. This is evident in the usage of nabilone, a synthetic form of THC, in treating headache disorders.
CBD for Chronic Pain Relief
Experts have noted that CBD interacts with a core component of the endocannabinoid receptors (ECS) in your brain and immune system. The brain receptors contain proteins that receive chemical signals from different stimuli. Through the signals, the cells can respond accordingly.
Legality of CBD
In the past, cannabis and related products were illegal in various states. However, this has changed as experts identified the medicinal benefits of CBD products. For instance, you can purchase CBD oil for medicinal products in most parts. However, you have to check whether your state has legalized the recreational use of cannabis or not.
Chronic conditions have posed various challenges such as severe symptoms. Therefore, it is common to find people opting for remedies to ease symptoms such as pain and sleep deprivation. In the quest of searching for alternative solutions, you are bound to come across misleading claims from individuals and companies.