Does Cannabis Affect The Immune System?

The result is the high that marijuana is best known for, often along with temporary impairment of short-term memory.

With the quickly growing medical weed movement, people are coming up with new cannabis delivery methods all the time. And at the University of South Florida, researchers working with cells in a lab showed that extremely low concentrations of THC could reduce production of beta amyloid, the protein that forms the plaque abundant in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. 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.

Scientists know that plant cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) impact our health by interacting in different ways with the endocannabinoid system. After inducing human breast cancer tumors in mice, researchers in the U. Other states are expected to follow suit.


Researchers have been limited in previous tests due to the risks posed by the psychoactive, or mental effects of consuming THC. This is much more likely to happen in people who start using marijuana before age 18. In 1997, 9 million U. Neonatal lupus is a rare condition affecting the infants of women who have SLE or a certain type of immune system disorder. Early research in rodents and human cancer cells cultivated in the laboratory has found that cannabis compounds trigger apoptosis in cancer cells. As with other medications and procedures, marijuana use can potentially bring both positive and negative effects.

Marijuana can be addictive. Recent research suggests that THC might also protect neurons from trauma. Especially take time to rest when you are sick or recovering. What to Tell Your Friend:

Marijuana is a shredded, green-brown mix of dried flowers, stems, and leaves from the plant Cannabis sativa. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naproxen and ibuprofen. 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. Porat-Katz, Y. Remedies stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, pain and inflammation.

LeCapitaine, Jovanny Zabaleta, Mahesh Mohan, Peter J.

Let Marijuana Doctors Help You Find Autoimmune Disease Symptom Relief Through Cannabis

“This is the first pilot study I will be able to do where I can look at a complete picture of how chronic marijuana use affects a variety of bodily systems, including leukocyte and cytokine activity,” he said. RA is a type of arthritis that can cause swelling, stiffness, pain and loss of joint function. The more HIV in the blood, the lesser the number of CD4 cells. The ability of cannabis to strengthen a patient's immune response may therefore prove to be beneficial when it comes to treatment. Medical marijuana, and particularly cannabidiol (CBD), might slow the progression of autoimmune diseases by taking over the function of naturally produced cannabinoids.

To help you find an optimal strain, we made a tool called Strainblazer which uses findings of research studies to profile the best strain for any given condition (or a set of filters). Studies in the laboratory and in animal models of autoimmune diseases demonstrate that cannabinoids interact with receptors (CB1 and CB2) in the digestive tract, nervous system, brain, and cartilage and joint tissues to suppress abnormal immune cell activity. Cannabinoids “force” certain cancerous cells to “realize” that they are defected, making them perform this cellular suicide. This is her first article for Project CBD.

For example, diabetes goes after your pancreas. Research is key, but it can’t move fast enough to unlock the genetic codes to stop, prevent or cure the increase in diagnosed cases every year. Use of "vape-pens" to inhale cannabis concentrates or liquids may have similar respiratory health effects as e-cigarette use. Keen will conduct research at the Wright Center’s Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging facility with a sample of 50 people who live in the Richmond metropolitan area, half of whom have marijuana use disorder. It is funny how having more of a team makes you more independent.


The body’s endocannabinoid system is known to play a role in regulating the immune system and its overall function. For most people, these infections are mainly a bad nuisance, though they can problematic for young children, the elderly and other at-risk groups, such as people with compromised immune systems. So, is cannabis good or bad for immune health? There are two types of immune responses. The microRNAs — also called miRNAs — are single-stranded, small, non-coding RNAs which play an important role in the regulation of gene expression.

This study emerges as the UK Government has today inched closer to legalising medicinal cannabis in the country after years of pressure from campaigners. 8 Scientists discovered that both types of infection-fighting immune counts were higher in patients using cannabis, suggesting their immune systems had been bolstered by the plant. Mediators of Inflammation. Many of the plant’s most profound effects happen in the immune system. He is pleased the nation at last appears to be catching up with him. People report various physical and psychological effects, from harm and discomfort to pain relief and relaxation. On the cellular level, it could significantly strengthen the immune system.

The cannabinoid system and cytokine network.

Eases pain, stress, insomnia and depression. Some companies do routine drug tests on employees, so people who use marijuana can lose their jobs. Cold showers lead to fewer sick days, most of it disappears with age, but PET scans have shown that adults retain some brown fat. Side effects of NSAIDs may include: 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.

Currently, THC and other marijuana-derived chemicals are being studied in clinical trials to assess their potential for medical use, such as treatment for neuropathic pain, or to combat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease.
The infants may end up with skin rash, a heart defect, liver problems or low blood count.

Long-term Effects Of Marijuana

As a result, it shares thousands of chemical features in common with tobacco smoke, including qualitatively similar amounts of carbon monoxide, cyanide, acrolein, benzene, vinyl chlorides, aldehydes, phenols, nitrosamines, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and a variety of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (3,4). The effects of marijuana on the body are often immediate. He notes that before World War II, marijuana was listed as a medicine in the country's encyclopedia of drugs, the United States Pharmacopeia. 6 tips for a strong immune system, while painful emotions like anger and grief can impair health, laughter does the opposite. We are thrilled to publish this work and hope you will find it enlightening.

Fernandez-Ruiz J, et al. We’ve assisted countless patients in finally finding true relief from their medical conditions and symptoms. 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. Out of these, the researchers discovered THC greatly altered 12 of them. The meeting focused on developing strategies for recruiting participants to a community-based substance-use disorder study. Auten, Lynn LaMotte, Lawrance C. Tackles inability to focus and lack of concentration. Marijuana can also be consumed through dozens of different products including e-cigarettes, candy, brownies and other baked goods, capsules, beverages and many more.


In 2020, the School of Medicine honored him with the Distinguished Mentor Award. Some studies claim that cannabis suppresses our immune system, which is the reason why it’s so good at decreasing inflammation. HIV/AIDS sufferers who use marijuana report decreased nausea, pain, depression, and anxiety throughout the day. “When marijuana is finally readmitted to the U. Morphine and related opioids have been found to directly impact white blood cells, which can reduce the ability of the immune system to react to diseases. Lupus is a long-term inflammatory autoimmune condition.

Liu told Project CBD: “Although we should be mindful of potentially aggravating autoimmune disorders with the biphasic effects of cannabinoids, it is not particularly distressing. Tetrahydrocannabinol suppresses immune function and enhances HIV replication in the huPBL-SCID mouse. According to early research, cannabis may have potential[1] as a treatment for cancer since it has been shown to trigger cell-suicide in cancer cells. Can i boost my immune system?, pretend you’re making chicken soup. Immune system problems. Smoking a bowl is usually a fine way to improve your mood and may seem like a way for your friend to diminish his misery when he's achy, stuffed-up, nauseated and stuck at home. Large numbers of cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) exist on immune cells, and in the digestive tract, nervous system, brain, and cartilage and joint tissues.

Living With Mucopolysaccharidoses: Support, Awareness And Research

An inflammatory response acts as the body’s defence mechanism in case of infection or damage. This can include the heart, brain, muscles, digestive tract, skin, eyes, joints, nerves, and lungs. Cod liver oil for kids: 5 healthy benefits, the experts found that children receiving the supplement were almost 20% less likely to suffer from respiratory illness or allergies. Medications often used to treat autoimmune diseases and their symptoms include: In thinking about just these two examples, it is clear that THC and CBD have important roles in suppressing immune function, and that in some cases this suppression is not good (i. )Taha T, Meiri D, Talhamy S, Wollner M, Peer A, Bar-Sela G. Once it spots an ‘antigen’ (bacterium, viruses, pathogens, etc.) While cannabidiol, or CBD, has gained traction as a legitimate alternative medicine in the UK, the psychoactive THC is still outlawed. The effect of cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds on the immune system is a very complicated topic because there are many different conditions and diseases that make this system work either too hard, or too little.

What are autoimmune diseases? If you're new to cannabis and want to learn more, take a look at our Cannabis 101 post. In fact, many important and widely-used drugs to treat autoimmune diseases suppress immune function, so are a benefit to those with disease, but potentially detrimental if taken by those without disease. Chandra, and Leslie L. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection so decreasing it could make a virus worse. CB1 receptors are present in the central nervous system, and at lower levels in the immune system. More research is needed to understand the connection. However, sometimes the body’s inflammatory response goes awry and it becomes too inflamed for its own good.

Grasping the complex interaction between the immune system and cannabis might be complicated at first. Secondhand marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxins and carcinogens found in directly-inhaled marijuana smoke, in similar amounts if not more. Some common types of autoimmune diseases include:

One of my areas of research involves studying how the natural chemicals in marijuana plants interact with the immune system.

However, sometimes the immune system needs to be suppressed.

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Since a healthy immune system reacts with inflammation to fight infection, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis may be of little benefit. Crohn’s disease is an attack on the lining of the intestines, and in multiple sclerosis, the immune system scars and damages the myelin sheath around neurons in the central nervous system. Vitamin effects on the immune system: vitamins a and d take centre stage. One trait nearly all autoimmune diseases share, however, is inflammation. Some multiple sclerosis patients reported that the progress of their disease slowed. Other studies have shown that regular cannabis use can increase white blood cell counts in immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV, suggesting an immune-boosting effect. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on your situation. Meissler, Effects of Cannabinoids on T-cell Function and Resistance to Infection. There is ongoing controversy around the effects of marijuana on the body.

It gets even more complicated when we consider that the effects of cannabis are mediated primarily by the endocannabinoid system, which scientists believe interacts with all biological activity, including our immune system.

It has similar symptoms as SLE, and once you stop the medication, the symptoms tend to go away. 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. About 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases that cause abnormal over-activation, or under-activation, of the immune system. And finally, make sure to always do thorough research on your own and use CBD under your own judgment. Before you consider taking cannabis as a way to deal with a disease, it’s important to talk to a doctor or an expert to see if your situation warrants it and if the plant is what you need. Some studies also indicate that cannabinoids may enhance the body's immune response against the growth and spread of tumours. At this point of preliminary research involving cannabis’ effects on the immune system, it is still too early to make a general statement whether it is wholly “good” or “bad” for immune health. Currently, the investigators are working with mouse models to determine whether it affects disorders such as colitis.

Research Analysis & Scientific Policy

THC moves from your lungs into your bloodstream and throughout your body. Marshmallow tea keeps the mucus membranes hydrated and can be used before, during, and after the flu. Reportedly, 27 percent of people with HIV/AIDS used marijuana to cope with their symptoms in 2020. Second, cannabinoids have been shown to play a role in modulating neurogenesis and neurodegeneration. THC and another ingredient called cannabidiol (CBD) are the main substances of therapeutic interest. There’s probably more research that needs to be done on this particular reaction. An increase in your appetite is common when taking any form of marijuana, leading to what many call “the munchies.

In self-quarantine because of coronavirus? They are also asking people and health professionals to report any adverse effects. The study states: The ECS regulates a plethora of physiological processes, including immune function and inflammation. Patients with Parkinson’s disease reported a reduction in tremors and better motor control. For the unacquainted, viral load is a term used to describe the number of HIV’s ribonucleic acid (RNA) copied in a patient’s blood. Keen emailed and to his surprise, Abbate responded, inviting Keen to a meeting at the VCU C. Humoral immunity.

Naturally, this opens up the question about its potential to treat autoimmune disorders like HIV/AIDS. Levels of THC – short for tetrahydrocannabinol – are how the strength of the drug is measured; it is what gives recreational users a buzz. Can i boost my immune system?, so drop us a line below in the comment section! Neither of which is a good thing.

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Their study, reported in the journal American Surgeon, found that 82 of those patients tested positive for THC and two of them died, for a mortality rate of 2. Until more details are known, FDA officials have warned people not to use any vaping products bought on the street, and they warn against modifying any products purchased in stores. In the meantime, the patients often need substantial pain relief and support for depression and fatigue. Cell-suicide is an adjunct part of the immune response that determines whether a diseased cell lives or dies. Active chemical compounds from cannabis are able to trigger apoptosis in cancerous cells. Trillions of friendly bacteria living in our digestive systems help to break down foods for absorption into the bloodstream, and synthesize vitamin B and vitamin K. The reason for this is because inflammation in the body normally has a purpose.

From there, it ends up in the brain and other organs. There's still a lot of discussion about the medical use of marijuana, though. Pre-clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids stimulate hematopoiesis and hence this stimulation to bone marrow tissues can be associated with increased circulating white blood cell count in cannabis users. The following article discusses some of the potential benefits and side effects that marijuana has on the body. Autoimmune diseases are conditions where your immune system attacks your body mistakenly.

THC triggers your brain to release large amounts of dopamine, a naturally occurring “feel good” chemical.

Marijuana Smoke

1634/theoncologist. The study was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. In early studies, cannabis was shown to affect both neurogenesis and neurodegeneration - the new growth and degeneration of nervous tissue in the brain, respectively. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British firm, has developed two marijuana-derived drugs, Epidiolex and Sativex. So while it may help it in certain ways, it may hurt it in others. Medical cannabis is a well-established palliative treatment for HIV thanks to the plant’s ability to reduce anxiety, improve appetite, and ease pain. It is important to recognize that these immunomodulatory effects are the result of a coordinated cascade of responses from the so-called “innate immune system” as well as the “adaptive immune system.

Symptoms of Autoimmune Disease

Another type of lupus is linked to the use of prescription medications. It damages the material surrounding and protecting your nerve cells called the myelin sheath. Next month we’ll talk about what to do if you have the flu. It takes a little longer to feel the effects if you eat or drink marijuana. ‘Additional research is needed to understand the immune related effects of different modes of cannabis use and to elucidate the role of proinflammatory chemicals generated from smoking cannabis. Since certain states have legalized marijuana, it provides scientists with an opportune way to access if regular ingestion of cannabinoids affects gut inflammation in humans. The more unpleasant effects of toking up may be more unpleasant and a spell of fever is a particularly poor time to get too high.

Has Cannabis Ever Been Determined To Have A Negative Effect On The Immune System?

Ultimately, understanding the intricate plasticity of cannabinoid compounds, cannabinoid receptors, and the enzymes that synthesize, hydrolyze, and metabolize them, and the complex cross-talk that exists with other organ systems in the body, will undoubtedly rewrite medical textbooks worldwide. The 7 best supplements to boost your immunity, mix one tablespoon (about 5g) into 2-4 oz of water and consume daily. To reduce your heart disease risk, you need to exercise as much as you can and eat a heart-healthy diet. Now, he's at home on the couch, wrapped in a comforter and fighting his way through chills, fatigue and nausea. It’s also known as pot, weed, hash, and dozens of other names. As a result, the investigators found that anandamide is what calmed the immune system. Many ancient civilizations – from the Chinese to the Greeks – included cannabis in their pharmacopoeia.

Your doctor may also prescribe you immunosuppressant drugs, like antirejection medicines, to prevent or inhibit immune system activity. Winsauer, Curtis Vande Stouwe, Robin R. You can consume it in oil form either by dropping it directly under your tongue or adding it to food or drink. The body’s endocannabinoid system is known to occupy a central role in regulating the immune system. CB2 receptors can be found in numerous parts of the body related to the immune system, including bone marrow, thymus, tonsils and spleen.

It is believed that the immune system also plays an important role in neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions, such as head injuries, stroke, and cerebral ischemia (a condition where there is insufficient blood flow to the brain). A new wave of research and mounting anecdotal evidence points towards cannabinoids having an adaptive, immunomodulating effect, rather than just suppressing immune activity. The placebo group (which was comprised of AIDS/HIV patients who didn’t use authentic marijuana products) showed decreased immune system function when compared to the group of patients that used cannabis during the study. It is against many money interests that the federal government support medical marijuana. Watch funny movies or surround yourself with silly friends. 5 diy 'tonic' to strengthen your immune system. “In order for me to be an independent investigator, I need to pay my dues. Yoga, dance, walk briskly. Consuming cannabis can undoubtedly help with many conditions where the immune system is plagued, but to take full advantage of the healing powers of this plant, two factors have to be followed—a personalized regiment of use, and a carefully selected strain (or some other form of cannabis), which has a desirable quantity of cannabinoids in it.

Doctors often refer to Crohn’s as regional enteritis, chronic ileitis or granulomatous colitis.

Final Thoughts on CBD & the Immune System

To restore access and understand how to better interact with our site to avoid this in the future, please have your system administrator contact [email protected] You may choose the strain that perks you up and helps with fatigue if you have depression, for example. Knowing that a major research university was just 30 miles north of the VSU campus, Keen started his search for collaborators on Virginia Commonwealth University’s website.

The mice injected with THC had more of the immune-suppressing cells than the mice who didn't receive THC, according to the study. Patients who cannot afford in-home care with attending nurses toward the end of MS, MD or ALS can afford medical marijuana. A Peek into Cannabinoid Chemistry and What Makes Cannabis Medicine? Scientists discovered that infection-fighting immune cell counts were higher in HIV patients using cannabis. The main active chemical in marijuana is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Autoimmune diseases may affect any part of your body, too. Most of the scientific research regarding marijuana immune system medicinal benefits has been conducted on HIV and AIDS patients. However, a person could also:

Research conducted on mice with cancer claims that cannabis causes apoptosis, which means that it kills cancerogenous cells. The molecule reacts with TRPV1 to produce more anandamide as well as immune cells to subdue the inflammation. Youtube, **Similac with HMO was introduced in the U. As well as launching complex attacks against harmful entities, the immune system is a model of efficiency as it recognizes and clears dead and faulty cells. Here are a few ways marijuana use could affect you: Patients with Crohn’s disease taking medical marijuana reported that their symptoms were less severe and occurred less often, and in some cases went into remission. They may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed; have trouble sleeping; or not feel like eating. Amedee, Nicole J.

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It also has a well-deserved reputation for increasing appetite. This effect isn't always desirable, depending on the circumstances and the health condition in question. 4 However, it rarely causes problems in people with healthy immune systems. Smoking marijuana reduces the body’s ability to resist infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. A 2020 study by Thames et al. What is medical marijuana? Cannabis has the ability to influence the functioning of the immune system.

For example, people with epilepsy, cancer and HIV frequently use cannabis. Peritoneal macrophages have an impaired immune response in obesity which can be reversed by subsequent weight loss. As the "enhancement smoker" played by Jon Stewart in Half Baked immortally described, every experience is different on weed. A second study conducted by New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine discovered that cannabinoids prevented the HIV virus from infecting immune system cells. By consuming CBD regularly, you could at least reduce the impact of winter viruses such as cold and flu and possibly prevent serious conditions such as influenza. Find out the easiest and simplest way to do so by giving us a call at Biofit; we are happy to answer any questions you may have about this potentially complicated process. This caveat should be taken into account corning the anti-inflammatory benefits of cannabis. As you may remember, the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of cannabinoids and receptors that works to regulate most functions in the human body.