Your immune system is an amazing machine. When functioning properly, it has two main lines of defense. These mechanisms work together to protect your body from invaders.
These defenses operate in two main ways:
- Through T-cell lymphocytes, which go on hunting trips to find and destroy foreign antigens through “apoptosis,” which is basically “programmed cell suicide”; and
- Through B-cell lymphocytes, which produce antigens that poison foreign pathogens.
These two systems work in tandem, complementing each other and operating in relative balance. However, when one system becomes dominant over the other, problems can occur.
If your immune system becomes underactive, it may fail to recognize and suppress errant cells, leading to tumors or cancer. In contrast, if your immune system becomes overactive, it can mistake your own proteins for a foreign virus or intruder, leading your body to attack its own tissues and resulting in autoimmune disease. At this time, scientists know about more than 100 autoimmune diseases. The National Institute of Health speculates that 23.5 million Americans are affected by such diseases, while the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. puts the number at a whopping 50 million.
“The immune system constantly creates genes on the fly that are specific to the things that show up in the body. It’s amazing.” – Erez Lieberman Aiden
Based on a number of studies, researchers have speculated that consistent doses of CBD may promote balance between T-cell and B-cell lymphocyte functions, helping them to work in harmony.
Cannabinoid science is in its early infancy and more research is needed. However, many scientists believe CBD has the potential to soothe overactive immune systems and boost underactive ones, contributing to proper immune response.
Biles, Mary (2019, May 8) Immune System: A Complex Balancing Act [Web Log Post]. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from https://www.thefix.com/how-cbd-oil-permanently-changed-my-autoimmune-condition
Booz, George W. (2011, January 14) Cannabidiol as an Emergent Therapeutic Strategy for Lessening the Impact of Inflammation on Oxidative Stress [Web Version of Journal Article published in final edited form as Free Radic. Biol. Med. 2011 Sep 1; 51(5): 1054-1061]. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085542/
Mecha, M., et. al (2013, November) Cannabidiol provides long-lasting protection against the deleterious effects of inflammation in a viral model of multiple sclerosis: A role for A2A receptors[Science Direct Article]. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969996113001939
American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (date unknown) Autoimmune Disease Statistics [Web Archives]. Retrieved October 8, 2019 from https://www.aarda.org/news-information/statistics/#targetText=The%20National%20Institutes%20of%20Health,Americans%20suffer%20from%20autoimmune%20disease.