In 2017, a poll revealed that 52% of Americans over the age of 18 have tried cannabis at some point in their lives.
Cannabis' cannabinoids are a group of compounds that react with the body's receptors and produce mental and physical effects. Although cannabis contains as many as 113 different cannabinoids, or even more, THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) are some of the most widely-studied.
CBD has recently taken center stage within research, as scientists are attempting to learn its health effects.
Continue reading to learn more about how CBD oil and it's products may affect your health and immune system.
What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
CBD is a chemical compound found to have health effects on the human body without being psychoactive, and is naturally occurring in the cannabis plant. Our body even produces endocannabinoids like anandamide.
The lack of a 'high' allows people to use the products we offer for various health reasons without the usual psychoactive properties of THC from cannabis.
How Does CBD Affect the Immune System?
Overall, cannabinoids act as immune suppressors, because they interact with the endocannabinoid system within our own bodies.
Because CBD is a potent immune suppressor, it works particularly well in cases where a hyperactive immune system is to blame for negative health. A hyperactive immune system tends to overreact when exposed to common allergens or food, and can even begin to attack the body in response.
For example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, lupus, and arthritis are a few autoimmune diseases where cannabinoids are showing promising results.
With multiple sclerosis, the immune system is hyperactive and targets the body's central nervous system as if it were a dangerous antigen. This causes the immune system to attack the protective coating around nerve fibers, generating a buildup of scar tissue. This buildup interrupts the ability of nerve cells to react and release signals, causing a loss of motor function and eventually paralysis.
Until recently, there was no treatment or cure for multiple sclerosis, until Sativex was approved in over 25 countries. Research has found that CBD use may improve mobility and help reduce pain in patients with multiple sclerosis. Much more research is necessary to determine if it is CBD that helps your body regulate itself into homeostasis.
Although inflammation is often seen in a negative light, it's a vital immune response to infection. Inflammation helps isolate infected or damaged parts of the body, preventing the problem from spreading. Therefore, preventing inflammation when it is actually needed can lower immune function and make people more susceptible to disease. CBD and other cannabinoids may be able to help balance that function in the body.
Chronic inflammation is attributed to many modern diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, allergies, asthma, arthritis, acne, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and more. Because CBD works with your endocannabinoid system, it can help your body regulate its response to symptoms of these illnesses.
Those with cancer have a weakened immune system, and although CBD is an immune suppressor, preclinical research has found it can be used to boost your body's endocannabinoid system response.
Normally, unhealthy or aged cells have a command system that tells the cell when it is time to self-destruct.
Cancer cells are able to proliferate and expand quickly because they have lost their ability to self-regulate, never telling the cells when it is time to self-destruct.
In both laboratory and rodent clinical trials, cannabis compounds stimulated cancer cells to commit suicide through apoptosis.
In mice, cannabinoids were found to reduce tumor growth and metastasis (the spreading of cancer cells).
More than 1.1 million individuals in the United States are living with HIV.
In HIV, the virus causes immune suppression, which makes it more likely for individuals to succumb to infection and eventually premature death.
However, a study on cannabis use in those with HIV found that cannabis may actually boost the immune system, as those who used the herb had lower viral loads and greater numbers of T-cells, which are essential to immunity. T-cells work by discovering pathogens and destroying them.
Is CBD Oil Right for Me?
The use of cannabinoids for helping with these issues is supported scientifically, but further research is certainly required before coming to a consensus.
How Do I Use CBD Oils?
When you receive hemp CBD oil, you will often receive it in a bottle dropper.
To use a CBD tincture, follow the steps below:
Shake it well! The ingredients may naturally separate, and you'll want to receive the full benefits by ensuring the tincture is shaken thoroughly.
Squeeze the dropper and fill to the appropriate level desired. Squirt the liquid under your tongue, and let it sit for 60-90 seconds to allow it to absorb. The oils are not psychoactive, so you can increase or decrease your serving size as needed. You may feel a mild sedative effect with increased doses. Or you may feel energized. This is due to CBD's biphasic nature.
Use throughout the day as necessary.