Boosting your immune system and having good overall immune health is critical right now as so many people, especially the elderly, seek protection from the coronavirus. How does CBD boost Immune Health? Let’s take a look at what we currently know about our Immune System and list some ways CBD has been shown to help.
Our Immune System
Over the course of our lives, we are continually being exposed to different bacteria and viruses that seek to break down our body’s natural defenses. Our immune system, with its complex network of cells and tissues, provides the front-line defense against these potential invaders.
Our immune system creates antibodies known as leukocytes, which are white blood cells whose job is to seek out and destroy foreign intruders that intend to do harm. It can sense when it’s under attack and send those leukocytes to the areas in need. For example, the immune system fights off infections, colds, and diseases and helps to stabilize and balance the body’s important functions.
Our immune system also plays an important role in detecting harmful cells in our body. When detected, it removes these cells via a process known as apoptosis (“programmed cell death”) so that they don’t continue to grow into potentially cancerous cells. The immune system must walk a fine line between cell death. Too much can lead to autoimmune diseases. Too little can lead to cancer.
CBD and Immune Function
Our Endocannabanoid System (ECS) we know is responsible for regulating many of our body functions like sleep, pain, stress, mood, and appetite. CBD interacts with the ECS to bring our bodies back into balance, a process known as Homeostasis. In doing so, CBD helps manage our bodies’ immune response to protect us from sickness. Again, there is a delicate balance. A hyperactive immune system tends to overreact when stressed and can attack the body in response. A hypo-active immune system won’t be strong enough to prevent attacks by viruses and bacteria. CBD promotes this balance.
Where Can CBD Help?
CBD and Stress
One of the most common ways our immune system becomes compromised is by stress. Stress is a very real problem for people and an almost daily occurrence in our 21st century lives when we face serious health issues, financial concerns, job loss or family strife. The body’s physical reaction to stress can lead to weight loss, loss of sleep, anxiety, depression and even ulcers. Thankfully, research has shown CBD is helpful in mitigating stress and reducing its negative effects, and reducing stress has been proven to help your the immune system function.
CBD and Inflammation
It’s been said that inflammation is the root of all disease. Similarly to when your car’s check engine light comes on alerting you to a problem, inflammation is our bodies’ check engine light letting us know an issue needs to be resolved. Inflammation comes in two types: acute (short term) inflammation and chronic (long term) inflammation.
Acute inflammation is a normal and healthy response to an injury or infection. It alerts our body to the issue so it can activate and fix the problem. Without this type of inflammation, we would be left susceptible to pathogens like bacteria that our bodies usually fight off easily.
Chronic inflammation is a different story. When exposed to things like toxins in our food, pollutants in the air, lack of sleep or a poor diet, a low level of inflammation can linger for years. Our bodies never get a break which can lead to depression or disease. This inflammation tends to build up as we age and is sometimes referred to as “Inflamm-Aging”; get it!?
CBD, when it interacts with the ECS both in the brain and throughout the body’s immune tissues, contains CBD anti-inflammatory effects that systemically reduces inflammation and related negative health outcomes consistent with compromised immune function.
CBD as Immunomodulators
CBD also possesses immunity-boosting properties which works alongside its anti-inflammatory effects. The cannabinoids in CBD are known as immunomodulators, which means they’re able to regulate immune system functions. Reducing inflammation helps to suppress the immune system. CBD works to strengthen the immune system when it’s become weak or vulnerable.
Because the human body produces cannabinoids naturally, it sees the cannabinoids from CBD as identical to the cannabinoids already occurring in our body, known as endocannabinoids. When a certain function of the body is in need of healing or treatment, the ECS sends cannabinoids to that area. Taking a regular dose of CBD gives the body extra cannabinoids to promote healing in the body.
While CBD is a great way to help boost your immune system, it should not be your only defense. Just as important are things like getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Eating a nutrient-rich diet that consists of mainly real, whole foods, as opposed to processed junk food which promotes inflammation. Getting in some form of movement or exercise each day.
These things aren’t new by any means, rather they tend to get neglected in our crazy hectic lifestyles. Now that many of us are isolated and self-quarantined, I encourage you to take time for personal self-care. Make it a priority not just for your health, but for the health of your loved ones as well.
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Until next time, Be Well!