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The Relationship Between CBD and Our Immune System

Medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Hacker, MD on May 14, 2020

The Relationship Between CBD and Our Immune System

Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is a naturally occurring compound that is found in the flower of the cannabis plant - one that itself brings with it a rich history.

CBD is closely related to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Together, these represent the two portions of cannabis that have enjoyed the majority of attention by researchers over the years. But while both CBD and THC offer many therapeutic attributes, CBD itself is a completely different compound from THC and is totally non-psychoactive - it is also a non-addictive substance.

But no discussion of the positive qualities of CBD would be complete without diving deeper into the compound's relationship with our immune system - something that is particularly important these days with covid-19 and other potential illnesses around us. Indeed, CBD brings with it a host of unique advantages for all types of people suffering from many different types of issues, all of which are more than worth a closer look.

How CBD Impacts the Immune System: Breaking Things Down

Before you get to the actual relationship between these two concepts, however, it's important to understand a little bit more about what the immune system actually does.

As the name suggests, the immune system is designed to help protect our bodies from foreign substances. Overall, you're talking about a complicated network of cells and proteins designed to defend the body against infection from germs, microbes and other types of obstructions that might make us sick.

With that in mind, the good news is that research suggests CBD potentially impacts the immune system in a wide array of different ways, nearly all of which are positive when it comes to supporting the immune system with its primary goal. This includes the following facts:

  • CBD has been shown to display a number of anti-inflammatory properties, which may positively impact the immune system's inflammatory response. For the record, inflammation is a process that itself isolates infected areas, thus preventing certain toxins that may have entered the body from spreading too far. It does this by interfering with the release of cytokines, which are proteins that are commonly related to both acute and chronic inflammation.
  • CBD may act as both an immunosuppressant and as an immunomodulator. Both are important, as inflammation itself has been shown to contribute to a wide array of different autoimmune diseases. In some conditions, excessive inflammation is a bigger problem than an infection itself.
  • Likewise, people who are known to suffer from overactive immune systems (meaning that their immune system actually attacks itself) can benefit from the potential immunosuppressant activity of CBD.
  • Just a few of the autoimmune diseases that CBD can potentially have a positive effect on include rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's diseases, multiple sclerosis and more. This has not been proven conclusively.

Interestingly, people think CBD can have a calming effect during periods of everyday stress and frustration. This may be related to how it can support and empower our immune systems. Don't forget that ongoing stress has been linked to a decline in immunity in many people. Therefore, the fact that CBD has been shown to bring with it a number of important healthy stress responses in the brain can also strengthen the immune system from that perspective, too.

At this point, it's certainly important to keep in mind that because of the specific relationship between CBD and our immune system, CBD is not necessarily the right type of treatment for every type of person or condition. Further research is needed to determine a clear benefit from CBD. There are a number of treatment options that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States that may work exceptionally well for one person but not at all for someone else.

As always, you should discuss your own needs with your primary care physician in detail before making any choice regarding any treatment option.

If you'd like to learn even more about the intricate relationship between CBD and our immune system, or if you'd just like to discuss the specifics of your own situation with someone in a bit more detail, please don't hesitate to  contact us today.


Information provided in the Palapa section of is based upon best available data and is intended solely for informational purposes to users. Representations regarding the efficacy and safety of CBD products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. *WARNING* CDB products may activate the endocannabinoid system and therefore may increase or decrease the effects of any medication taken while using this product. ALL INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS NOT MEANT AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR OR ALTERNATIVE TO INFORMATION FROM HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONERS. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL ABOUT POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS OR OTHER POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS BEFORE USING ANY PRODUCT. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN PRIOR TO USE IF YOU ARE PREGNANT OR NURSING. THE FEDERAL FOOD, DRUG AND COSMETIC ACT REQUIRES THIS NOTICE.

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