As more and more research is done into cannabis, scientists are discovering just how it affects our body. Some of this research is on the immune system, specifically on how it affects people who have autoimmune conditions.
When smoked, cannabis (or hash oil) affects the immune system in a number of ways. These effects vary from person to person, and may even differ over time.
Cannabis is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s easy to see why: Cannabinoids interact with CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which regulates inflammation. The cannabinoid CBD and the common cannabis terpene beta-caryophyllene, which is often used in pot extracts, appear to have especially strong interactions with these receptors.
But the immune system can also be affected by cannabis, in both good and bad ways. Researchers have found that regular users of cannabis may have decreased levels of white blood cells, which are a type of immune cell that fights off infection. These findings are important because white blood cells can help limit inflammation and bacterial infections.
The effects of cannabis on the immune system are complex and can depend on a number of factors, including how much the substance is consumed, how long it is taken, what dosage is used, and whether it’s used in combination with other substances. As a result, it’s important to take into account the various factors when examining the potential benefits and risks of using cannabis.
Research has shown that cannabis can suppress the inflammatory response in people with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The effect is thought to be a positive one because it could help reduce the symptoms of these conditions without negatively impacting other aspects of the immune system, such as the ability to heal itself.
However, it’s also possible that the effects of cannabis on the immune system are detrimental in immunocompromised patients, such as those who have HIV or AIDS. In these cases, regular use can actually weaken the immune system by reducing the number of CD4 cells (a marker for a healthy immune system) and increasing viral load.
These effects are similar to the way that chemotherapy can reduce the immune system. For this reason, some studies have suggested that cannabis could potentially dampen the effect of chemotherapy on cancer patients, reducing their ability to respond to immunotherapy.
However, other studies have found that even though cannabis may suppress the immune system, it can have a beneficial effect on people with autoimmune disorders. For these patients, it can be an alternative to steroids that commonly suppress the immune system.
Cannabis is a sativa plant that grows around the world and can be consumed in various ways. It can be smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes, joints, or pipes, or it can be vaped using a device called a vaporizer. It also comes in different forms, such as hash oil, which is a thick, oily substance made from the dried flower buds and leaves of the marijuana plant.
Cannabis contains chemicals known as cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors on immune cells and has been shown to suppress certain inflammatory responses. CBD, on the other hand, has anti-inflammatory properties and can even kill some types of immune cells.
Researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago found that cannabidiol, an ingredient in cannabis, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans and mice. It also decreased the number of virus-causing cytologic components in sputum.
Research also shows that cannabis suppresses the production of a type of immune cell called myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which are responsible for controlling the body’s immune response. This suppressive effect can make pot-smokers more susceptible to cancers and infections because these immune-regulating cells are out of commission.
The effects of cannabis on the immune system are complex and vary from person to person. It is important to note that while marijuana may suppress some of the immune system’s functions, this is a relatively rare effect. It is also important to note that cannabis has a variety of other beneficial effects on the immune system, including its ability to stimulate anti-inflammatory responses and reduce inflammation.
One study showed that a single dose of pharmaceutical-grade cannabidiol, which is extracted from the cannabis plant, significantly reduced viral replication in human lung cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. It inhibited the virus’s ability to attach itself to a key part of the cell membrane, called the viral spike protein.
A recent study comparing the immune systems of cannabis smokers and non-smokers found that pot-smokers have less active T cells, the infection-fighting cells that are most common in healthy adults. This can lead to an increased risk of developing a pulmonary infection or other diseases, especially among patients who are immunocompromised due to a chronic illness.
Stimulates Immune Function
The body’s immune system is an incredibly complex system that combats pathogens and infections by protecting our bodies from invading microbes. This is done through a number of systems, including the innate immune system (the first line of defence), the adaptive immune system (which attacks foreign invaders) and the humoral immune system (which detects and kills malfunctioning cells).
Our innate immune system is comprised of barriers that prevent bacteria and viruses from entering the body and biological walls that harness enzymes, acids and mucus to discourage infection. It also includes scavenger cells, called phagocytes, which “envelop” invading bacteria or viruses and help destroy them.
Some people with autoimmune conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn’s Disease, have low levels of the proteins that form these barrier barriers. Taking medical cannabis may strengthen their immunity by boosting production of these molecules and reducing inflammation.
It also appears to reduce inflammatory responses by interacting with CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which is found throughout the body. This is because the terpenes in marijuana, especially CBD, bind to these CB2 receptors and suppress inflammatory response.
These effects can make a big difference to some people who have autoimmune disorders, such as those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn’s Disease. But it can also cause problems for non-autoimmune patients, who will find that their inflammatory reactions are worsened by the immunosuppressive effects of cannabis.
For this reason, medical doctors often recommend using a combination of drugs that strengthen and suppress the immune system. They can do this by adding cannabinoids to medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid medications. This is known as synergism.
However, it’s important to note that there isn’t much evidence that CBD can boost the immune system, although some studies suggest that it can act as an immune suppressant. This could be useful for those with autoimmune diseases, but more research is needed to determine whether CBD has any other beneficial effects on the immune system.
As with any medication, it’s always a good idea to consult a health care professional before starting any new treatment. They can help you understand any side effects that might occur and can recommend the best way to take your medicine.
The effects of cannabis on the immune system vary from person to person. This is because everyone’s body reacts differently to the plant, including the types of cannabinoids that are in it.
Some of the main compounds that are found in marijuana include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These chemicals have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them beneficial for those who suffer from chronic pain, arthritis or Crohn’s disease.
In addition, the effects of CBD and THC have been linked to reducing inflammation in people with HIV-related comorbidities. However, how these drugs affect gene expression in peripheral blood cells is still unknown.
A recent study on patients with Crohn’s disease showed that cannabis was effective in reducing inflammation and inflammatory markers like CRP, IL-6, and fibrinogen. It also reduced pain and nausea, which are common symptoms of this condition.
Another study on cancer patients showed that a CBD-based formulation was more effective than a pure CBD treatment at reducing inflammation and lung function. This may be due to the fact that CBD and THC are able to interact with a number of different receptors, which can increase the body’s overall response.
The endocannabinoid system is a central component of the immune system, which regulates inflammatory responses in the body. It is composed of cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2), arachidonic acid-derived endocannabinoids, and enzymes involved in endocannabinoid metabolism.
These receptors are located throughout the body, and they interact with other molecules and ions. They can also be activated by specific chemicals and metabolites.
In the present study, we explored associations between self-reported recency of cannabis use and biomarkers of inflammation in a nationally representative sample of adults from Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) survey. We used weighted linear regression models to determine the association between self-reported cannabis use and natural log-transformed hs-CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen, adjusting for sociodemographic and psychosocial factors.
There was a negative association between self-reported cannabis use in the past 30 days and hs-CRP, although the confidence intervals around the point estimate included both null and positive values. Similarly, the association between self-reported cannabis use in any time period and IL-6 was also negative with wide confidence intervals.