In the past two years, more people have begun to pay more attention to the overall health and resilience of their immune systems than ever before by boosting their supplements with CBD.

We hope that this will set us up for maintaining our health in a holistic way, rather than resorting to sometimes traumatizing pharmaceutical interventions down the line.

Even if we have been paying attention to our health a little more recently, it is not likely that we have learned ALL of the processes that the immune system can do. The immune system is so complex that you could study it for years and still not have all the answers!

Still, there are some basics about this fantastic protective system that is beneficial for us to know.

So, what is the immune system?

In short, the immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that work together to defend the body against harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses. It is our body’s guard against sickness.

The different parts of the immune system include the lymphatic system, bone marrow, natural killer cells, phagocytic cells, and T-cells. These actively fight infection and sickness.

When any of these parts are not working properly, is when we become immunocompromised, have life-threatening allergies, auto-immune disorders, and chronic inflammation.

CBD and the Immune System are linked through the Endocannabinoid System.

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) helps regulate vital bodily functions. It also fights to maintain balance within the body, despite changes outside the system.

The ECS is a vast network of receptors and chemicals. Its enzymes are densely packed throughout our bodies: even in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells!

The ECS is essential because it communicates and maintains homeostasis in all systems in which cannabinoid receptors are present. These cannabinoid receptors are crucial in the mission of the ECS.

These two receptors are called CB1 and CB2. In any conversation about cannabis science, you will probably hear these nifty receptors mentioned. That is because they are vital in the systems processes!

What do CB1 and CB2 do?

  • CB1 receptors are primarily involved with balancing the nervous system and are found in the brain, the spinal cord, connective tissues, reproductive system, glands, and organs.
  • CB2 receptors are mainly active in the immune system, existing throughout white blood cells, tonsils, and the spleen.

The effects of the ECS on immunity are typically seen through the direct influence of CB2, as it is the receptor with the highest immune concentrations.

The other ways that the ECS helps the immune system are primarily indirect. For example, the ECS works to keep the whole body happy, and safe, making it less likely that the immune system will be working on overdrive constantly.

Does CBD boost the effects of the ECS on the Immune System?

Yes! CBD’s relationship with the ECS is the reason behind the cannabinoid’s immunosuppressant effects.

That is because CBD interacts with both CB1 and CB2 indirectly. Instead of attaching to the receptors, like THC does (we’ll get into that later), CBD directs the body to create more endocannabinoids instead of replacing them.

There are a few other ways that CBD supports the ECS, therefore supporting the entire body – including the immune system:

CBD suppresses the fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH). FAAH is the enzyme that breaks down the endocannabinoid that activates the CB1 receptor: anandamide. By suppressing FAAH, CBD effectively enhances the body’s innate protective endocannabinoid response!

CBD stimulates the release of 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). 2-AG is a well-known endocannabinoid that activates both CB1 and CB2 receptors. As we previously said, CB2 receptors are predominant in the immune system.

CBD improves the communication between the immune cells and selectively shuts down overactive parts of the immune system — reducing inflammation, and calming the entire system.

Surprise, surprise: CBD indirectly affects the immune system in a few other ways, too!

  • CBD has repeatedly shown its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This makes it a quality therapeutic agent for viral infections.
  • CBD can improve sleep quality in individuals, especially those with anxiety disorders that contribute to insomnia symptoms. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after exposure to a virus. Lack of sleep can also affect your recovery time after you have contracted a virus or infection.
  • CBD can reduce stress. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. By minimizing stress we create a better environment for our immune system.

As it turns out, THC has an entirely different effect on our ECS than CBD does.

When you use a full-spectrum CBD product, the ECS can utilize the benefits of the small amount of THC without the user experiencing the infamous “high” of THC.

THC can attach directly to the cannabinoid receptors and further influence their actions. This is one of the many reasons why we find full-spectrum CBD to be more beneficial than broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.

With the addition of non-psychoactive amounts of THC, the full-spectrum product can attach to CB1 and CB2 receptors and actively influence their actions, rather than just indirectly controlling the receptor’s actions.

Why is full-spectrum CBD more beneficial than broad-spectrum and isolate for the immune system?

As we said before, CBD’s effects on the CB1 and CB2 receptors are indirect. Isolated CBD only affects these receptors by impacting the production and protection of endocannabinoids. Unfortunately, isolated CBD or CBD isolate is used in a lot of scientific studies, and in lab settings.

While full-spectrum CBD does not have enough THC to be psychoactive, it still has a small concentration (less than 0.3 percent).

When THC attaches to a CB2 receptor, it can influence the actions of the endocannabinoid’s response to the immune imbalance. When CBD is added to the mix, it keeps the endocannabinoids alive so they can do the work needed throughout the various systems involved: a win/win situation!

How can I use Full-spectrum CBD to boost my ECS and Immune system?

Suppose you are incorporating this incredible plant into your daily routine, already. In that case, it is already hugely beneficial to the overall health of your body!

If you are not using full-spectrum CBD daily, but are interested in trying it out, you came to the right place!

We always suggest using a full-spectrum CBD product daily because it is cumulative – which means that its positive effects will build over time.

The good thing is that this daily supplementation doesn’t have to be mundane at all! We offer as many options for administering full-spectrum CBD as possible. Some of our favorites include our Immunity Blend CBD Gummy that you can take once or twice daily, and our MCT extracted CBD Tincture to add to your morning or evening warm beverage.

Check out our website for more information, or our Instagram for daily informative posts about full-spectrum CBD.

Sources: 
Nichols, James M., and Barbara LF Kaplan. “Immune responses regulated by cannabidiol.” Cannabis and cannabinoid research 5.1 (2020): 12-31.
Suárez-Pinilla, Paula, José López-Gil, and Benedicto Crespo-Facorro. “Immune system: a possible nexus between cannabinoids and psychosis.” Brain, behavior, and immunity 40 (2014): 269-282.
Barrie, Nicola, and Nicholas Manolios. “The endocannabinoid system in pain and inflammation: Its relevance to rheumatic disease.” European journal of rheumatology vol. 4,3 (2017): 210-218. doi:10.5152/eurjrheum.2017.17025
Raypole, Crystal. “Endocannabinoid System: A Simple Guide to How It Works” https://www.healthline.com/health/endocannabinoid-system (2019)
Lee, Martin A. “CBD: how it works.” O’Shaughnessy’s [Internet] (2011).
Ferguson, S. (2022, January 26). CBD and the immune system: What’s the connection? Healthline. Retrieved February 23, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-immune-system