Inflammation is the root of many maladies, from back pain to arthritis flare-ups to headaches and even heart disease. It’s also the reason why cannabis is often prescribed to ease these conditions and reduce their symptoms.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found throughout the body and works with the immune system to control inflammation. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD mimic our innate endocannabinoids, enhancing the ECS’s ability to regulate physiological processes.
Inflammation is a natural process of the body that helps fight infection by trapping harmful pathogens and isolating damaged parts. It also is a powerful way for the immune system to return to a normal balance. However, in some people it can become excessive and cause various autoimmune diseases. This is why a healthy immune system is so important for us.
In the case of chronic inflammation, it can lead to a wide range of health problems such as back pain, arthritis flare ups, headaches, and bowel disorders. Fortunately, there are several ways that cannabis can help fight inflammation in the body.
The impact of cannabis on the immune and inflammatory response has been studied extensively in various studies. This research has shown that consuming cannabis regularly can have a positive effect on the immune and inflammatory system of the body.
These effects may be caused by THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. They are believed to interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body and alter immune cell action on some levels.
One of the most well-known effects of marijuana on the immune system is its ability to reduce inflammation. It has been used to treat a wide range of inflammatory conditions including: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and Type 1 Diabetes.
Another effect of cannabis is its ability to tame inflammation in the brain. This can be beneficial for people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.
Finally, cannabis may also help control the inflammation of the lungs. Heavy marijuana use can weaken the immune system and make it more susceptible to respiratory illnesses. This can cause a variety of symptoms, such as chronic bronchitis, coughing, and wheezing.
Although it is important to note that many of these effects are not immediate and may take a few days or weeks to show. For this reason, it is vital to consume cannabis responsibly and keep your body and mind safe when using the drug. This includes avoiding smoking around others, reducing the amount of time you spend in the sun, and eating nutritious food and exercising.
The immune and inflammatory response are the body’s natural defense against infection. This system is composed of both innate and adaptive immunity, which are activated by specific immune cells and the release of certain cytokines. Innate immunity is rapidly triggered, while adaptive immunity requires more time. The inflammatory process occurs when an organism is exposed to pathogens, such as bacteria or viruses, and causes the activation of white blood cells. Inflammation also causes the production of hormones and cellular waste products.
The anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis are believed to be due to its ability to suppress the synthesis and release of cytokines, i.e. the proteins that produce the inflammatory response (Netea et al., 2019). These cytokines are produced by cells called white blood cells and play a critical role in the body’s defense against infection.
Several animal and human studies have reported the impact of CBD on the immune and inflammatory response [8,9,10]. The anti-inflammatory activity of cannabis may be due to its interaction with receptors located on immune cells, such as the EpCAM and CB2 receptors. Moreover, it may also be due to its effect on inflammation-related genes in the brain (Casteluto et al., 2011).
In addition to the well-known THC and CBD, other phytocannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabidiol (CBD) are shown to exert anti-inflammatory properties in different models both in vitro and in vivo. These compounds are thought to act on multiple inflammatory pathways, which might be due to their synergy and/or interactions with terpenes in the extract.
A recent study evaluated the impact of marijuana use on the inflammatory response among HIV-infected adults with and without AIDS. In HIV-infected patients with AIDS, marijuana use was associated with reduced levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and fibrinogen in blood samples. However, the relationship between self-reported cannabis use and these biomarkers was not statistically significant in this group.
The immune system is a complex system that responds to foreign cells, preventing them from entering the body. The innate immune system includes many different cell types that react to invaders, while the adaptive immune system uses T cells and B cells to attack infected cells.
The effects of cannabis on the immune and inflammatory response are complex, but many studies have reported anti-sensitizing effects. For example, in a study of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), CBD suppressed OVA-induced cytokine expression.
However, the exact mechanism remains unknown. In particular, it is not known whether CBD acts directly on the T cells that induce cytokine production or if the innate immune cells in the lung play a role. In addition, identifying the receptors through which CBD interacts with the immune cells will be important.
While CBD is thought to bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors on the immune cells, other receptors may also act on cells in the lungs or in the immune system as a whole. The PPAR-g receptor, for instance, is expressed in many of the same cells as the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
These receptors are believed to regulate a variety of processes within the immune system, including antigen processing, cell proliferation, and cytokine release. They are also associated with a number of other pathways, such as DNA synthesis and cellular differentiation.
Therefore, understanding the impact of cannabis on the immune and inflammatory response is critical. This knowledge is essential to advancing therapeutic potential for cannabis-based therapies and determining the best ways to use these compounds in the clinical setting.
Various research groups have studied how cannabis affects the immune system, including innate and adaptive responses. They have focused on different cell types, including T and B cells, dendritic cells, macrophages, and neutrophils.
The immune system is a complex system that is made up of different cells, and each type has a specific function. For instance, T cells provide signals that recruit and activate other immune cells, while macrophages help to lyse infected cells.
In addition to the innate and adaptive responses, there are other cells in the immune system that help to maintain the health of the body, such as phagocytes. These cells are a part of the innate immune system and are thought to react quickly to invading pathogens, destroying them by lysis or apoptosis.
Several studies have found that cannabis can reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. It is possible that this action may be due to the ability of cannabinoids to activate a mechanism known as autophagy, in which cells are able to die off without having to replicate themselves.
THC, the main active ingredient of marijuana, has been shown to kill human brain cancer cells. It also reduces the inflammatory response to chemotherapy, reducing pain and nausea in patients with advanced cancer.
It has also been shown to reduce tumor metastasis in lung cancer. In one study, CBD was found to increase the levels of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), which is known to inhibit tumor invasiveness.
There is a lot of research being done on the anti-cancer effects of cannabis. The most important studies are showing that it can stop the growth of cancer cells and shrink tumors. However, there is no guarantee that it will work for all types of cancer.
The immune system is a key part of the body’s ability to fight disease. It needs to maintain a tight balance between cells that produce inflammation and those that make white blood cells, which help the body fight disease. When the balance shifts to favor inflammatory cells, it’s called immuno-suppression and is detrimental to the immune system.
Inflammation in the lungs is one of the leading causes of death from cancer. It can cause lung tissue to thin, which is what leads to the development of scars and other problems. It also makes it harder for the immune system to defend the lungs, which can lead to lung infections like COVID-19 and the flu.
A recent study of people with HIV and AIDS showed that cannabis can help these patients’ immune systems function better. This is because cannabis can enhance the production of certain types of white blood cells, called CD4 cells.
In the future, it might be beneficial to develop and standardized full-spectrum cannabis extracts into active plant ingredients (APIs). These APIs might be formulated in combination with pharmaceutical drugs to reduce inflammation in humans.