The lymphatic system is a critical part of our immune systems. It drains toxins, waste and infection from the body, keeping us healthy.
Cannabis, which contains the chemical THC and cannabidiol (CBD), can have an impact on the lymphatic system by inhibiting the activity of white blood cells called lymphocytes. This can lead to decreased inflammation and pain in patients with cancer and multiple sclerosis.
Lymphocytes are part of the body’s immune system, which fights infections and disease. They’re made from bone marrow and circulate in blood and lymph tissue.
The numbers of lymphocytes in the blood can fluctuate. Your healthcare provider can check your lymphocyte count during a normal blood test at their office. If your number is low or high, it could mean that you’re at risk for an infection or have a condition.
There are two main types of lymphocytes: T cells and B cells. T cells are more active and produce antibodies that can help destroy invading bacteria and viruses.
T-cells also secrete cytokines, biological substances that activate other parts of the immune system. They also produce macrophages, which are cells that clean up dead tissues and other waste after an immune response.
Another type of lymphocyte is a dendritic cell (DC). These are important for the detection and presentation of antigens to naive T cells. They’re found in the lungs and other places in the body where they can detect foreign invaders.
DCs are also involved in inflammatory responses. They can help regulate the activity of other cells, like monocytes and macrophages, to reduce inflammation in the body.
However, there’s evidence that cannabinoids can cause an increase in the number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that can get into the lungs and cause problems. This is a potential risk for people who smoke marijuana, as these cells can trigger respiratory tract infections and asthma.
Several studies have shown that cannabis and other cannabinoids can alter the function of lymphocytes, either by activating receptors on the cells themselves or by influencing how the cells react with each other. One way that cannabinoids affect lymphocyte function is by influencing the number of Foxp3+ Tregs, T-regulatory cells that down-regulate immune responses and prevent infection.
The impact of cannabinoids on lymphocytes has been demonstrated in several different experiments, including studies on animals. A study on mice showed that chronic administration of CBD, THC and GW9662 reduced lymphocyte proliferation in CFSE-stained, CD3-activated splenocytes. Among the cannabinoids studied, pure CBD had the strongest effect. It led to a reduction in the amount of IL-17, a marker of inflammation, and an increase in the amount of IL-10, another marker of immunity.
The lymphatic system is a collection of fluid and protein-filled vessels that circulate throughout the body. The lymphatic vessels filter blood to remove any infectious agents and other debris from the body’s tissues, preventing infection and other diseases. Lymphatic vessels also carry clear, slightly alkaline fluid called lymph to the cells and tissues in the body.
In addition, lymphatic vessels are important in reducing the chances of getting cellulitis, an infection caused by bacteria that live in the skin. Milroy disease, a congenital disorder that causes the lymphatic vessels to grow small or absent, can interfere with this normal function, increasing the risk of infection and swelling in the legs and feet (lymphedema).
Lymphatic vessels are formed after the blood vascular system is developed. They start to form at about E9.5 in mice, which supports the theory that the vessels develop from a blood vessel origin, similar to veins.
Like veins, lymphatic vessels have a valve that allows fluid to flow in one direction. However, lymphatic vessels also have smooth muscle that makes up the walls. These tissues are more elastic than the valved veins and allow greater flow of interstitial fluid.
Another interesting feature of lymphatic vessels is that they have relatively narrow basement membranes. This is a good thing, because it prevents the fluid from getting trapped inside tissue cells or getting caught in microscopic pores that might cause a blockage.
These fluids include oxygen, glucose, amino acids, and other nutrients needed by the cells in the tissue. They also contain particulate matter, which is why the lymphatics filter out this material to return it to the bloodstream.
Cannabis may affect the function of the lymphatic vessels, as well as the rest of the immune system. Studies are examining whether CBD can reduce inflammation in the immune system, while THC may improve the function of cells that fight infections. These findings are promising for patients with autoimmune diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and leukemia.
The lymphatic system helps keep fluid balance in the body and is a critical part of the immune system. It picks up any waste products, like viruses, bacteria or excess fat, that have been left behind in our tissues, and deals with them.
This extra interstitial fluid is called lymph, which contains white blood cells that fight infections and help clean the body’s cells. It also helps carry oxygen to the body’s cells and removes toxins from the blood.
In the body, lymphatic capillaries form as blind-ended sacs composed of overlapping endothelial cells (Figure 3.1). These bulbous sacs are 10-60 mm in diameter and have a wall thickness of 50-100 nm [2,4].
Lymphatic capillaries are closed at one end and contain a mini-valve that lets interstitial fluid flow into them but not out of them. They also have a basement membrane that supports the endothelial cells. Anchoring filaments, which are elastic fibers that attach the endothelial cells to fibroblast cells in connective tissue, keep the capillaries from collapsing as the interstitial fluid pressure rises.
As the lymph fluid reaches the collecting vessels, the capillaries combine to form larger lymphatic vessels that are structurally resembling veins and contain lymph nodes at regular intervals throughout their course. These large lymphatic vessels have muscles in their walls, which help them gently and slowly pulsate.
Then the lymph enters these larger vessels and moves into the ducts that carry it to the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes collect the lymph, filter it, and transport it to other parts of the body where it can be used as a defense against disease.
The impact of cannabis on the lymphatic system is important to understand, as the effects of the drug may change the function of these organs and vessels. This could result in a negative effect on the lymphatic system or help to improve its function.
The lymphatic system is an important part of the body’s immune system. It helps the body fight infection and disease by removing harmful substances that have infiltrated the body, such as bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. It also helps absorb fatty acids that the stomach needs to digest food.
The lymph system is made up of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, and lymph ducts. The lymphatic vessels drain excess fluid called lymph, which is similar to blood, from tissues throughout the body and then return it to the venous system through two collecting ducts.
Lymphatic vessels have muscles in their walls that help them gently pulsate and slow down the flow of lymph. They also have valves that keep the lymph flowing in one direction (toward the heart) and stop it from clotting.
In the body, lymphatic ducts are found in the neck, groin, armpits, chest, abdomen, and pelvic region. They filter and drain interstitial fluid and also transport excessive proteins and waste that the lungs and other organs produce.
To help with this task, the lymphatic system has hundreds of lymph nodes. They are located in various parts of the body and help filter the lymph, so that only good cells can be sent to the blood.
They also trap pathogens that enter the body. They can then be destroyed by the immune system.
In some people, lymphatic ducts can become blocked or narrowed. These can lead to swelling of the lymph nodes and other symptoms. This can happen if you have cancer or a virus like HIV.
There are many types of lymph nodes, but there are six main groups: cervical lymph nodes; subclavian lymph nodes; bronchomediastinal lymph nodes; lumbar lymph nodes; hepatic lymph nodes; and intestinal lymph nodes.
Intestinal lymph nodes filter chyle, which is the mixture of lymph and fats that comes from the intestines. They also trap germs that get into the body through food and the air we breathe. They can also trap cancer cells. Using cannabis can affect the function of these lymph nodes and may reduce their size and activity.