Cannabis is a very unique and versatile plant and is becoming increasingly known for its medicinal benefits. Although there is not much long term research done on cannabis, many studies show how much it can affect your body, specifically the immune system. But how exactly does cannabis help you and does cannabis hurt your immune system? Make sure to set yourself up for this one and buy a bong online from an online headshop like Everything for 420 before diving in and learning the basics about how cannabinoids affect the immune system!
Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is very important to understand because it is the reason our bodies are able to have a reaction to marijuana the way we often do. The endocannabinoid system is a biological system that can be found throughout the body and ultimately controls and regulates the many functions within our bodies like sleep, appetite, and pain sensation. This relates to how THC reacts with the ECS and thus the reason your body experiences physiological functions.
There are various pros and cons with how cannabis can help or hurt the immune system so let’s give a rundown of the basics. Please note every cannabis user will have a different reaction and experience when consuming marijuana, this is general information based off of studies that are still evolving.
Cannabis and the immune system: inflammatory reasons
One of the most popular reasons people choose to use cannabis is for its anti-inflammatory effects. Having a sickness or ailment that causes inflammation is very uncomfortable and can cause negative effects on the body long term, but when consuming cannabis, users are able to control and regulate in subsiding any existing pain.
For example, those with severe arthritis look to relieving their pain should be able to find relief with their symptoms. However, it is important to consider that while it might relieve your pain, anti-inflammatory responses in the body are meant to prevent infection or to stop further damage being done to the body. If you do not have anything to treat, your body might still fight with this type of response and weaken the immune system.
Cannabis strengthening the immune system?
Although there are not many studies done and only conducted within the last few years, there is inconclusive evidence as to whether cannabis usage affects immune competence. There is a lot of information and testimonies regarding the subject but there are no concrete findings with specific information to support either side.
What is known, though, is that generally if you have a weakened immune system or your immune system is already compromised, cannabis just might have a positive effect on your body. For instance, someone with HIV will have a weakened immune system but using marijuana can slightly strengthen that person’s immune response. We look forward to finding more studies regarding compromised immune systems and cannabis usage but from testimonials there are many users that find relief amidst their painful illnesses.
Cannabis and apoptosis
Apoptosis refers to the process where the immune system recognizes diseased cells and tells them to die. Early studies show that marijuana can have an effect on this and increase certain types of apoptosis. Please note these are early findings but for many cancer patients, for example, have found success in using cannabis to regulate their immune system. Again, there is very little preliminary findings about this topic but when you consider pain relief, triggering an appetite in conjunction to apoptosis – this seems like a much better healing regimen than pharmaceuticals
CBD and the immune system
Cannabis acts as an immunosuppressant, which is what was explained previously. This means that cannabis helps to prevent or suppress the immune’s response, like the previous example of cancer. Immunomodulators are referred to situations similar to HIV patients who need to regulate or strengthen the immune system.
CBD actually plays a large role in delivering lasting comfort and results to cannabis users that have autoimmune diseases. While THC does act as an immunosuppressant and immunomodulatory as well, CBD does not provide the same psychological effects as THC. This is great for patients that do not need the mental high, but those in serious discomfort should consider that option for pain release.
There are not specific statistics or conclusions that can be made that have solid evidence to support cannabis hurting your immune system. What we do know is that cannabis works with the endocannabinoid system to react with our body and regulate our immune system the way it needs to be. Cannabis was made for humans to consume and with all the cannabinoid receptors in our body we are able and ready to handle it. If you are sick or feeling a bit swollen, cannabis might be your go-to in finding some relief and could even be beneficial in the long run for your immune system.