Research on cannabis and the immune system
There is a lot of research on cannabis and the immune system. The relationship between marijuana and antibiotics has also been studied to the point that today we know a little more about its effects on the body.
In addition, cannabis is known for its therapeutic properties in the treatment of many medical conditions. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in the treatment of serious autoimmune diseases, inflammation and gastrointestinal disorders as they learn more about cannabis.
But what is the effect of cannabis on the immune system as a whole? If you are a regular cannabis user, you may have wondered whether it weakens or strengthens your immune system. Is it true that chronic cannabis use makes you more susceptible to infections and contagious diseases?
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Cannabis and the immune system
It turns out that scientists have not been particularly interested in cannabis and the immune system in the past. However, as our understanding of CBD’s impact on our bodies improves, we must also broaden our understanding of how cannabis affects the immune system.
Cannabis appears to inhibit the activity of the immune system, according to recent findings. While this may be advantageous for people with autoimmune diseases, it may not be very good for people who have a healthy immune system.
How does the immune system work?
The immune system is one of the most complex networks in the human body. Basically it is a complex system of specialized cells, endogenous chemicals and organs that work together to protect health and homeostasis from pathogens and infections.
White blood cells, the complement system, antibodies, the lymphatic system, spleen, and bone marrow are active components of the immune system that successfully fight infection.
Speaking specifically ofwhite blood cells, they keep track of any microbes that the immune system has previously eliminated. These logs allow for quick follow-up and removal of previously found infections. The immune system is also responsible for identifying and eliminating abnormal cells.
We have only limited knowledge of how cannabis interacts with the basic immune components. Although some studies have been done on the effects of cannabinoids on white blood cell counts and the lymphatic system, very little is known about how cannabis affects the thymus and complement system.
How does cannabis relate to the endocannabinoid system and the immune system?
The CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system regulate the effects of cannabis on the immune system. We know that THC and CBD, the two most common cannabinoids, have different effects on the immune system due to their different interactions with cannabinoid receptors. A study on the health effects of cannabis reveals that cannabinoids affect the functions of most forms of immune cells.
CBD is now known to suppress some inflammatory responses in the immune system and can cause cell death in immune cells, according to a study published in 2020. The death of immune cells is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is a natural part of the cellular life cycle and can help a person stay healthy by reducing inflammatory responses.
THC, like CBD, inhibits immune function and reduces inflammatory responses. THC has also been shown to alter the role of antimicrobial-producing immune cells.
What are the effects of cannabis on the immune system?
When scientists talk about cannabis and the immune system, they also use terms like immunomodulator and immunosuppressant to describe its effects. Immunomodulation is a term that refers to any treatment that alters the response of the immune system. Immunosuppression, on the other hand, is a form of modulation in which cannabis suppresses the expression of components of the immune system.
It is important to note that marijuana’s ability to subdue or kill immune system cells may be beneficial if the immune system is misbehaving and needs to be suppressed, as indicated in this research. Immunosuppression will not be beneficial if this is not the case.
CBD and THC also have an immunomodulatory effect on the human intestinal lymphatic system, which is the main host of immune cells, according to a study published in 2017. More than half of the lymphocytes in our body – white blood cells that locate and kill cells or foreign substances that have invaded the body – are found throughout the lymphatic system.
The researchers found that combining CBD and THC with fats led to extraordinarily high levels of cannabinoids in the intestinal lymphatic system. These CBD concentrations in lymph cells were 250 times higher than in plasma. The THC concentration in lymph cells was 100 times higher than in plasma.
But what does it all mean? Basically that cannabis can reach higher concentrations in the lymphatic system and suppress harmful inflammatory immune responses more effectively in people with autoimmune diseases.
Marijuana and antibiotics, what is their relationship?
When talking about the immune system, it is inevitable to mention antibiotics that fight infections. According to a new report, the cannabinoid CBD helps in the fight against resistant bacteria by improving the effectiveness of antibiotics. In fact, CBD may function as an “ancillary compound” to increase the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Antibiotic resistance is increasing, so new alternative methods are being investigated and some “ancillary compounds” are gaining ground. Non-antibiotic compounds that can enhance the efficacy of antibiotics are known as ancillary compounds. That is the case with CBD antibiotics.
Combination of CBD with antibiotics
CBD was used in research to increase the efficacy of the antibiotic bacitracin against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a common cause of population- and hospital-acquired infections.
Resistant clones of this pathogen have spread throughout the world. Treatment of bacterial infections caused by these resistant bacteria is difficult in some countries and the problem is expected to worsen.
According to the researchers, combining CBD with antibiotics may be a promising treatment for fighting infections caused by antibiotic-immune bacteria.
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