Cannabis Used as an Immunomodulator for AutoImmune Diseases

The effects of cannabinoids on hematopoiesis, and immune cell proliferation using animal and cell based models has been widely demonstrated and a number of studies have examined the association of cannabis use and white blood cell counts in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

First, it’s important to know that the microbes living in your intestines, your gut’s microbiome, plays an important role in fighting diseases. Previous research has shown cannabis can reduce cancer treatment side effects such as nausea and sickness, but it could also help to directly fight the disease, the study claims. CV Sciences is one of the leading suppliers and manufacturers of agricultural hemp-derived CBD bulk and finished products. How immunotherapy can treat multiple neurologic conditions, this can cause severe damage and lead to needing the organ removed. MCT-14-0402 doi: Marijuana impairs light users' attention and concentration but doesn't appear to affect regular or heavy users within six hours of smoking or ingesting it. Results showed that there were 609 miRNAs tested, and out of this number, THC greatly altered 12 of them. There’s also neonatal lupus, resulting from a mother passing autoantibodies to a newborn. Drinking too much alcohol can weaken your immune system.

Several studies likewise found no residual or long-term effects on working memory.

Although the immunomodulatory effects of the ECS have not been fully elucidated, here’s what we do know. Omega-3, in particular, helps to reduce inflammation in the body and is especially useful when trying to recover from the common cold. Cancer cells essentially ignore this process and keep growing. Important new clinical applications for this phytocannabinoid? In view of the immunosuppressive effect of THC, the possibility that regular marijuana use could enhance progression of HIV infection itself needs to be considered, although this possibility remains unexplored to date. That way, your doctor will know how the substances you are using affect your HIV drugs and your overall health. The immune system may be harmed directly by intoxicating substances, or the way the drug is ingested may contribute to a higher risk of infection, coupled with a lower immune response.

  • A National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences study completed in 2020 showed 32 million U.
  • By the nature of the legalization movement it would seem that we’ll have access to medical marijuana before conclusive research can answer the question, does cannabis affect your immune system?
  • By enhancing the effect of these suppressor cells, marijuana suppresses the immune system in general, leading to a higher risk of cancer or infections in people who struggle with marijuana addiction.
  • Both cannabidiol (CBD) and THC, molecules found within the cannabis plant, can help ease many symptoms of the flu and common cold.
  • Along with these drugs, immunosuppressant drugs can also be used to prevent or inhibit immune system activity.
  • Celiac disease, for example, effects 1 in 141 Americans but is not a qualifying condition under any medical cannabis program in the U.
  • This class of drugs includes heroin, morphine, fentanyl, opium, and prescription painkillers.


There isn’t a single test doctors can use to diagnose most autoimmune conditions. In most scenarios, though, treating and reducing the inflammation is the important goal. Pot dispensaries are legal growers in states that have legalized marijuana for medical use, and those with a prescription card can request a specific kind of medical marijuana from the pot dispensary they frequent most. Sorry for my bad English. Kratom contains powerful anti-coronavirus compounds – news, besides an opioid and anxiety crisis, America is also faced with a prescription pill problem. As discussed in previous articles such as Cannabidiol 101:

Doctors perform other testing to check for certain autoantibodies certain autoimmune diseases produce. Thus, it makes sense that consuming medical cannabis will also directly affect our immune system. Discoid lupus: A complete blood count with 5-part differential was performed in duplicate. Robot check, ask your doctor if it's safe for you to indulge in an occasional alcoholic drink and if so, how much is safe for you to consume. And scientists questioned whether antibodies against the tissues of a person even existed.

Cannabinoids Can Strengthen The Immune System

But a growing number of doctors prescribe it for specific medical conditions and symptoms. Cannabinoids are known as immunomodulators, which means they help regulate and influence the function of the immune system. It often can leave you anxious, afraid, or panicked. You may experience more dizziness or nausea, for example.

Its presence there interests scientists because the immune system triggers inflammation, and studies show marijuana can have an anti-inflammatory effect. HelloMD can help you get your medical marijuana recommendation; it's 100% online, private and efficient. Jean-Gilles L1, Gran B, Constantinescu CS. Doctors have classified four types of lupus. CDC twenty four seven.

While policy, public opinion, and the perception of harm are changing, researchers are still studying the long-term health effects of marijuana. With more trials and studies being performed applying this drug to the multiple autoimmune diseases, researchers will be able to advance treatments for patients. With the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the 1990s, scientists have found another key piece of the puzzle. Marijuana has the potential to alter the backup safeguards of the immune system because it affects diverse types of cells in the body. One of these functions, as researchers have described it, is its role as an “immuno-cannabinoid” modulator. But perhaps just as important, I hope my message will resonate with marijuana users who need to understand how this drug affects their body, for better or for worse. It was a helpful ally – that’s all that mattered. Our immune system is mediated by beta cells which produce antibodies to foreign invaders.

The mice injected with THC had more of the immune-suppressing cells than the mice who didn't receive THC, according to the study.

Multi-disciplinary Sciences

What is known today is that cannabis has the ability to “modulate” how the immune system functions, but its potential benefits or drawbacks are largely circumstantial. 25 super easy recipes to boost your immune system. Cannabis is immunosuppressive when there is hyper-immune response, but otherwise it regulates and corrects the immune system, bringing equilibrium to the organism. Autoimmune conditions are an area of medicine that remain largely misunderstood.

Based on research, it looks as if the most promising application of cannabis in regard to the immune system is in helping to treat autoimmune disorders. There’s a deficit of marijuana research due to government agencies hesitancy or downright opposition to cannabis research. RA is a type of arthritis that can cause swelling, stiffness, pain and loss of joint function. A Systems Biology Analysis. It also severely disturbs your gut’s microbiome, significantly altering the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria. But marijuana is not without side effects. Tampa, FL (Aug. )

When you drink a lot of alcohol, it has many negative effects on your digestive system. In people younger than 25 years, whose brains have not yet fully developed, marijuana can have a lasting impact on thinking and memory processes. When looking at white blood cell counts the study noted that: Some studies suggest that cannabinoids like THC and CBD are immunosuppressant, which can explain the relief experienced by medical cannabis users with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation. Porat-Katz, Y. Moreover, since the FDA does not yet recognize CBD as a medicine, many of the above-mentioned companies are legally obliged to market their CBD tinctures as “nutritional supplements” rather than actual medicinal drugs. In the United States, marijuana use has increased over the last several years as many states have voted to legalize it for medical use and/or decriminalize (or outright legalize) it for recreational use. Autoimmunity (AI) is an "attack on self", where the immune system gets triggered and thinks that the body's healthy tissues are invaders.

Why Did the Wright Brothers Succeed When Others Failed?

There has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of autoimmune diseases since World War 2. Humoral immunity complements the cell-mediated system by using B-cells and developing antibodies to neutralize antigens or pathogens that are recognized as foreign. Eating marijuana is linked with a greater risk of poisoning. Smoking marijuana can lead to breathing problems. Lupus can range from mild to deadly, and it’s considered a systemic condition that’s not contagious. 4 However, it rarely causes problems in people with healthy immune systems. In autoimmune diseases, one of these types of immunity becomes overactive and begins to attack and destroy healthy cells and tissues. Cannabis oil, fresh cannabis flower, and a pink ribbon on a white background.

Smoking marijuana can cause some stinging or burning in your mouth and throat while you’re inhaling. A new wave of research and mounting anecdotal evidence points towards cannabinoids having an adaptive, immunomodulating effect, rather than just suppressing immune activity. Huffpost is now a part of verizon media, if you’re wondering which is the best variety of Cinnamon essential oil for immune support, choose Cinnamon Bark with the latin plant name of Cinnamomum verum. More research is needed to understand the active ingredients in marijuana and whether it’s a good treatment for glaucoma. Cannabis and other adaptogenic herbs are known to be immune modulating. More research is necessary to examine the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke. Studies have found that anandamide (AEA), a natural cannabinoid produced in the human intestine, interacts with CB receptors to suppress immune cell activity in the digestive tract and allow friendly gut bacteria to thrive. Basically what this means is that “communicative” molecules in the ECS can work as a signaling mechanism and provide instructions for the functional machinery involved in the immune response.

Cannabis As A Potential Treatment For Cancer

In an animal model of multiple sclerosis, CBD decreased the gene transcription that promoted inflammation. No significant change in overall survival rates for patients was noted. (27 2020) -- Marijuana may alter immune function in people -- but the jury is still out on whether it hurts or helps the body's ability to fight infection or other diseases, report researchers at the University of South Florida College of Medicine and the UCLA School of Medicine in Los Angeles. While more human studies are needed, overwhelming evidence from animal studies indicates that marijuana and its psychoactive compounds, known as cannabinoids, suppress immune function and inflammation.

  • As of 2020, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana to some extent.
  • GW Pharmaceuticals, a British firm, has developed two marijuana-derived drugs, Epidiolex and Sativex.
  • Additional research is being conducted concerning the use of marijuana on the treatment of anxiety and mental disorders.

How and Why Marijuana Can Be an Effective Treatment for Autoimmune Disease

It may heighten your sensory perception and your perception of time. See our public policy position on marijuana and lung health. 5 immune boosting essential oils, it can be used to help relieve headaches and indigestion. High amounts of THC can increase the risk for negative effects. Let’s start with the endocannabinoid system.

Evaluation of Serum Cytokines Levels and the Role of Cannabidiol Treatment in Animal Model of Asthma. HIV patients participating in this study had higher CD4-cell numbers. Research also shows that being properly vaccinated has a positive effect on the immune system. Foods to boost the immune system, the immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. It is against many money interests that the federal government support medical marijuana. Answer more questions to win cash at Daily Bonfire. However chronic inflammation can also lead to negative problems, such as arthritis. Cancer essentially involves diseased cells not responding to the call to self-destruct.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

While it’s clear (according to several studies) that cannabinoids have some sort of influence on the overall immune response, it’s unclear as to how we might manipulate it or administer treatments in order to achieve the most beneficial results possible. This causes chronic inflammation, which can be detrimental to health. Gather all the information you can to make a safe informed decision. Keep in mind that, as recreational drugs aren't regulated, you never know exactly how much you are getting. Sativex, a mouth spray that contains THC and cannabidiol, is approved in Canada and several other countries, but not the U. This caveat should be taken into account corning the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis. Studies involving animals showed that THC might damage the immune system, making you more vulnerable to illnesses.

One of my areas of research involves studying how the natural chemicals in marijuana plants interact with the immune system. ” This is considered a benefit for people being treated with chemotherapy for cancer. The side effects from these medications include increased risk of infections, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. According to Kevin Spelman, faculty member in Botanical Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine, the definition of immune modulatory is the biphasic effect of an herbal medicine. The eyes look red because marijuana causes blood vessels in the eyes to expand. Steroids are a commonly prescribed medication for autoimmunity to lower inflammation and suppress the immune system. Doctors often refer to Crohn’s as regional enteritis, chronic ileitis or granulomatous colitis.

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This is what Dr. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, just like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is an irritant to the throat and lungs—it often makes you cough very hard as you’re smoking it. The ECS regulates a plethora of physiological processes, including immune function and inflammation.

Tackles inability to focus and lack of concentration. These two cells are primarily responsible for fighting disease. Some preliminary research has shown that marijuana can increases certain types of apoptosis, and certain types of cancer are more susceptible to cannabinoid-induced apoptosis than others. Bear in mind, however, that as of right now all of this research is still speculative in nature. Nobody knows the exact cause of autoimmune diseases. T-cells are in charge of cell-mediated immunity are derived from the thymus and other immune tissues. Based on preclinical evidence, cannabinoids may help bring the system back into homeostasis, protect against damage from AI attacks within the body, slow down overactive T-cell production, and prevent the immune system from being triggered. Cannabidiol also slows down T-cell production and suppresses immune system memory, meaning that CBD could cut down on the likelihood of future autoimmune attacks.

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If someone has autoimmunity and chronic pain, steroids may not help address the root of the discomfort. This is why scientists believe cannabis could be effective as an immunomodulator; it can be used to suppress the immune response but carry fewer side effects with it. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. This helps trap and isolate the damaged parts of the body. Furthermore, the science behind marijuana use is ongoing, especially in the context of medicine. When pathogens invade the organism dendritic cells present appropriate antigens (antigens are proteins or other components of phagocytized pathogens) to T helper cells, and thereby signal the type of pathogens involved and how to be destroyed. Marijuana can cause digestive issues when taken orally.

Although the mechanisms are not fully understood, previous research suggests that both THC and cannabidiol may increase blood flow in the brain, bringing needed oxygen as well as nutrients to endangered neurons.

If you’re a man, heavy use could lower your testosterone levels, and your sperm count and quality. Some of these infections may cause other long-term problems, or lead to death. Ways to boost your immune response and fight disease. No matter how it gets into your system, it affects almost every organ in your body.

These medications may make someone more susceptible to infection, and may lead to the development of cancer. The infants may end up with skin rash, a heart defect, liver problems or low blood count. Medical content reviewed by Dr. How does sleep affect your immune system?, it aims to summarize sleep changes in response to infectious and noninfectious challenges and to describe, on the other hand, the role of sleep in fine-tuning the immune system to foster immune defense. ”; American Lung Association:

Frequently, autoimmune diseases are misdiagnosed because their symptoms can mimic other ailments.

Not all Cannabis Research Is Promising

”; Mayo Clinic: Chemical compounds outside DNA collectively are known as epigenomes; these compounds can attach to DNA and alter its function by changing the way cells use the DNA's instructions. Receiving an official diagnosis can be stressful and frustrating.

T-cells are an integral part of the immune response because they can destroy harmful pathogens. Each of the described cellular interactions is regulated by hormones and cytokines so that pharmaceuticals like cannabinoids can intervene at this point as secondary modulators. Marijuana’s negative effects are dangerous in the workplace, especially in safety-sensitive roles or where drug abuse is high in certain industries, like Food Preparation & Serving services, Construction, Installation & Maintenance, and Transportation. Smoking marijuana reduces the body’s ability to resist infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. There’s probably more research that needs to be done on this particular reaction.

Marijuana’s anti-inflammatory properties are the apparent culprit.

Availability Of Data And Materials

Let’s make one thing very clear: CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana which could provide the ECS with a boost and ensure the inflammatory response is kept under control. In conclusion, it seems that the potential dangers presented by the medical use of marijuana may actually contribute to the dangers of the diseases which it would be used to combat. 10+ immune-boosting foods, great for bonding and your immune system! Receptors that react to delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the compound in marijuana that produces a high, have been found in tissues throughout the body and in the brain. A dysfunction in the immune system is an underlying cause for HIV/AIDS. Irritable bowel syndrome can cause: Even though Crohn’s disease can be hard to live with and challenging to manage, it typically isn’t life-threatening.

Types of Autoimmune Disease

This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack. Check with local laws regarding living wills and the use of medical marijuana before proceeding. Entrevista personal. Conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis involve an overactive immune system, but there are other conditions where the body’s immune functions may have declined and are too weak, as is the case with HIV/AIDS and cancer. Such is the case with autoimmune disease, in which the immune system begins to attack a patient’s own body. Immune-boosting drugs could enhance cancer treatment, because herbs are really and truly the icing on the cake, whereas the day-to-day choices we make for how we want to live are the cake, so to say. (“I suspect that cannabinoids are having a double-punch effect of 1) direct killing and 2) enhancing immunity by suppressing those immune cells that serve to hold back the immune-based killing cells.

People with Crohn’s disease have very low levels of natural cannabinoids. Inflammation, iL-1β activation disorders (i. The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation. Marijuana smoking is associated with large airway inflammation, increased airway resistance and lung hyperinflation.

We caution the public against smoking marijuana because of the risks it poses to the lungs. That being said, we know that when taken at certain levels, cannabinoids such as CBD can reduce painful, inflammatory responses in humans. The immune system is a complex network of cells and tissues that act together to identify and remove foreign threats to the body.

How Does the Immune System Keep Us Safe?

Research shows that smoking marijuana causes chronic bronchitis and marijuana smoke has been shown to injure the cell linings of the large airways, which could explain why smoking marijuana leads to symptoms such as chronic cough, phlegm production, wheeze and acute bronchitis. Medications often used to treat autoimmune diseases and their symptoms include: We know that patients that suffer from autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, frequently use cannabis as adjuvant therapy. However, extensive studies in test-tubes and in animals have reported the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabinoids for specific AI conditions like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

But obviously it’s something that should be studied in greater detail. Killing cells is a crucial element of a healthy functioning immune system, which maintains a delicate balance between growth and death. Stress, illness and the immune system, "Too much exercise increases Interleukin-6 (IL-6)" and depresses immune system function, he explains. Personal interview, June 27th, 2020.