Every flu season or seasonal change, a lot of information and news goes out about protecting yourself from viruses and how to support your immune system. Particularly in this pandemic, protecting yourself has never been more critical. Washing your hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing can keep more people from contracting viruses and other germs, but what about our built-in defense, the immune system?
This blog will explore topics around our immune system, what we know so far about CBD and the immune system, and information about CBD safety. First, we’ll get started with a brief overview of the immune system in human beings.
A Brief Intro to the Immune System
Your immune system is basically your body’s defense against incoming viruses, bacteria, and germs that can make you sick. Unless your immune system isn’t working correctly, it can guard you against quite a few infectious agents.
Even with a strong immune system, some particularly aggressive germs your body has never encountered before can get through, which is why even healthy people with a robust immune system can get sick.
The immune system is composed of a variety of cells and molecules that make up your body’s automatic response to any kind of threat. The immune system response activates when it encounters proteins on the surface of viruses and other infectious material called antigens, or any type of material the body does not recognize as its own.
The immune system is not supposed to attack its own cells, but the body can attack its own unsuspecting, healthy cells, which is called an autoimmune response. When taken to the extreme, this is how autoimmune diseases work, a body attacking itself when immune tolerance isn’t working correctly.
When antigens or external threats attach to immune system cells, this sets off a cascade of bodily processes to respond to the threat. Two systems within the immune system respond to these threats. These are called the “Innate” and “Adaptive” Immune system.
The Innate Immune System, according to this article, is “our body’s first line of defense from invasion by pathogens.” This can provide a more broad barrier to germs in that it reacts more generally to pathogens with a particular set of patterns.
Made up of barrier tissues, cells, and molecules, the Innate Immune System acts consistently to prevent pathogens from entering the body but is limited in how it can react.
The Adaptive Immune System, by contrast, is more specific with its defense, fighting germs it has come into contact with before with the help of antibodies. The best thing about the Adaptive Immune System is it learns and, of course, adapts.
It does this by using what’s called Sentinel cells to recognize and fight incoming invaders. Without getting too complex, this sets off a chain of reactions in the body, making it easier to send our bodies’ defenses wherever they need to go.
Antibodies and T-cells join the fight to target viruses and otherwise. One of the most important things to remember about the Adaptive Immune System is it has memory. It can also recognize itself and is much more specific than the Innate Immune System in its defense.
With these two systems, Innate and Reactive, as well as a lot of key players that work within this system, our immune system can successfully safeguard itself from dangerous pathogens.
You might be wondering at this point whether CBD has any effect on the immune system or immunity. More on that below.
CBD and the Immune System
The research around CBD and the immune system is in its infancy, and there is much to learn about how it specifically affects the body and its immune response. Below we will go over what a few studies have concluded about how CBD seems to interact with the immune system.
According to this research article, “Considering all the studies conducted on immune responses and inflammation, the data overwhelmingly demonstrate(s) that CBD is immune-suppressive and anti-inflammatory.”
CBD being immune suppressive might seem like a bad thing. Still, in some cases where the body is attacking itself or what it perceives to be a foreign invader- anti-inflammatory and immune-suppressive effects can be quite helpful, particularly for potentially helping people with autoimmune diseases.
Another study concluded that “Much of the data support(s) the fact that CBD is immune-suppressive and anti-inflammatory; however, there have been a few reports over the years that CBD has produced some immune-enhancing effects.” It isn’t entirely clear why this is, however, without further study.
A review published in 2017 suggested that activation of the endocannabinoid system “could be considered an important factor in the study of an effective or deficient immune response against infectious diseases.” It also suggested that “contact with cannabinoid compounds can affect different types of infectious agents, by allowing their replication or by eliminating them.”
So how does CBD interact with the immune system? That isn’t entirely clear yet. According to the above studies, CBD may potentially treat autoimmune diseases and inflammation in the future. It is also possible that CBD might help affect pathogens, although how is unclear. All we know for sure is CBD interacts with the immune system and has the potential for many uses.
If you are dealing with an ongoing disease and considering taking CBD, the safest route is to talk to your doctor about your treatment. CBD should not be considered as a treatment or cure for disease.
But is CBD safe to take as a healthy adult? More on that below.
Is CBD Safe?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD is generally safe and well-tolerated in humans, and no physical dependence effects have been reported.
Much more research is needed into the long-term side effects of CBD.
CBD may interact with certain medications, so always speak to your doctor if you are currently on medication. If you would like more information about CBD, possible side effects, and medication interactions, please visit the FDA’s website to learn more.
Now that we’ve learned about CBD’s safety, what are some products to consider adding to your self-care and wellness routine? More on that below.
Strength of Hope CBD Oil
Strength of Hope CBD Oil is a classic and easy-to-use tincture made with our premium hemp (CBD) extract, MCT coconut oil, and Stevia/Vanilla flavoring. The formula is simple to take by mouth or to mix into a variety of beverages. You might try it mixed into some Echinacea tea, in orange juice, or even your morning coffee for calm energy to start your day.
Our CBD Oil comes in three strengths; 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg CBD per one-ounce bottle. Add CBD Oil to your self-care and wellness routine if you are looking for some more relaxation or calm energy throughout your day. You might also try our CBD Oil if you are looking for help with day-to-day stress and joint and muscle discomfort from exercise or other tension.
Strength of Hope Mints
Strength of Hope CBD mints is a refreshing reprieve from the ordinary. Our CBD mints are one of our most discreet CBD options. The sliding tin container is perfect for taking with you on-the-go. Stash the mints in your pocket, car, or purse for a little bit of relaxation wherever you go. Our mints come in three different strengths; either 10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg per mint, with 28 mints per tin.
CBD mints also come in two fabulous flavors; peppermint and cinnamon. Try them for a simple way to take CBD without having to worry about measuring a precise dose. They are excellent as part of a healthy lifestyle for maintaining a calm focus throughout the day or relaxing in the evening as part of your bedtime routine. Strength of Hope CBD mints may help sore or tense muscles and joints throughout the entire body.
Want to learn more about our mints? Check out this detailed blog.
Questions About CBD?
If you are still curious to learn more about CBD and our products, our “Learn” tab is an excellent resource for information. For newcomers to CBD, you might start with this brief introduction to Hemp and CBD.
If you’d like an overview of how to look for a quality CBD product, check out this blog. Also, check out the differences between Hemp Oil and Hemp Seed Oil, to make sure you’re getting the real deal no matter where you go for CBD.
Talk to Your Doctor
Our CBD products are best used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle and communication with your doctor. We always recommend our customers speak with their doctor before using CBD.