5 Ways Cannabis Helps Build Immunity

Human beings have been consuming cannabis for many centuries for various reasons, including health and spirituality. Many scientists have questioned the actual benefits of cannabis on the human body. However, scientific studies are now providing insight into these questions.

One of the potential benefits of cannabis is the immune system. There is still insufficient data to make conclusive decisions on immune benefits. However, clinical studies show that somehow, cannabis interacts with the immune system in beneficial ways. 

This has led to many jurisdictions removing restrictions on cannabis. Consumers can now easily buy various CBD products like Cannabis edibles, tinctures, oils, and topicals at online weed stores or even at local dispensaries in some areas. 

Here is a look at how cannabis can help build your immunity:

1. Anti-inflammation

Excessive inflammation is a major cause of many chronic conditions, including certain types of cancer. These diseases are not only untreatable, but management is also a challenge.  

Cannabis has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat inflammatory conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis. 

Omega-3 fatty acids produced in the body are useful in preventing and managing inflammatory conditions. The body converts these fatty acids first into cannabinoids, capable of triggering an anti-inflammatory, immune response. 

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Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids. THC and CBD play a significant role in dysregulation of cytokine production, which are signaling proteins that regulate inflammation. Both THC and CBD have been found to inhibit the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, TNF-α, and GM-CSF.

2. Antioxidant

Oxidative stress is a common contributor to cell death as people age. As the body’s cells work to create energy for the body, they produce free radicals as a by-product. These free radicals are incomplete molecules that will easily attach to electrons from other proteins. When this happens, they modify DNA proteins, leading to severe health impacts.  

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Oxidative stress can cause several health conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, chronic inflammation, cancer, stroke, autoimmune conditions, and heart disease. Antioxidants can help get rid of free radicals and prevent these conditions. 

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Cannabis is rich in antioxidants that have shown the potential to eliminate free radicals. Since the body may not produce adequate antioxidants to clean the build-up of free radicals, cannabis can boost your immune system by giving it an extra supply of antioxidants. 

CBD interrupts chain reactions of free radicals, capturing them or transforming them into less active forms. CBD also interferes with the redox balance by activating nuclear erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2), which inhibits the oxidation of free radicals. 

3. Apoptosis

Apoptosis is a process by which body cells die by the action of immune cells. Immune cells can identify dangerous cells and initiate their death. However, certain cells escape this process and continue growing, becoming cancerous. 

Studies show that cannabis can induce apoptosis and can target the cancerous cells that escape natural apoptosis. These studies are still in their preliminary stages, but they show that cannabis can boost immune apoptosis. 

Cannabinoids are able to initiate ligation of death receptors (i.e., CD95), which activate major caspases that trigger apoptosis. 

4. HIV/AIDS

Cannabis can boost the production of certain immune cells. People with HIV generally experience a high level of inflammation, leading to several non-infectious chronic conditions. Cannabis can reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune responses of individuals living with HIV. 

Muscle mass wasting is one of the main challenges facing people living with HIV/AIDS. Muscle wasting can persist even with antiretroviral therapy. Cannabis can stimulate appetite for such individuals and stabilize weight, leading to increased muscle mass. 

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Wasting is mainly caused by cachexia. Scientists believe that cannabis could inhibit cytokines that stimulate the inflammatory process that causes cachexia.

5. Skin Protection

Cannabis is also beneficial to the skin and can boost skin health. Free radicals can also cause cell death on skin cells, one of the contributing factors to wrinkling skin. As your body gets exposed to pollution and UV rays, it gets exposed to harmful free radicals. 

The antioxidant-rich cannabis that prevents internal cell death can also be used to prevent skin cell death. However, ingestion does not work for the skin.

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To get the skincare benefits of cannabis, you have to use cannabis-infused topicals such as creams and balms. Therefore, cannabis can boost your skin’s immunity and provide anti-aging benefits. 

Conclusion

There are many potential immune benefits of cannabis. Cannabis is already being used unconventionally in treating various immune-related conditions, but studies are still ongoing.

Nonetheless, the interaction of cannabinoids with the immune system is a scientific fact. The only challenge is understanding the impacts of these interactions on the overall health and wellbeing. 

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