As researchers and drug companies race to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 – the only sure preventative measure at the moment is avoiding the infection as much as possible.
People who have contracted the virus should drink a lot of fluids to reduce any risk of dehydration and also use medication to help reduce fever. In severe cases, supplemental oxygen is indicated.
Plant medicines like CBD and medical marijuana have done amazing things in helping combat various health conditions and mental health issues. It is no wonder that people are wondering whether CBD can help build immunity during this pandemic.
Every minute of our daily lives, we are exposed to lots of infections, diseases, bacteria, and viruses. COVID-19 is among many disease outbreaks humanity has had to endure and definitely not the last. Most of these illnesses would kill us if it weren’t for our immune systems, successfully keeping them at bay.
The immune system is a network of organs, cells, and tissues working together to destroy foreign particles or cells, keeping you healthy and alive. The white blood cells are the key players.
The immune system is also responsible for detecting as well as eliminating cells that don’t work properly. The immune system initiates cell death or apoptosis so that the defective cells don’t multiply and form tumors.
We have the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps establish and maintain homeostasis or balance between different systems in our bodies. Hence, the body produces endocannabinoids as needed to regulate or modulate cell functions, including cells in the immune system.
How CBD Can Affect The Immune System Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Several studies have found that CBD can influence the immune system. Research shows that CBD functions as an immunomodulator and immunosuppressant, and has anti-inflammatory properties. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help reduce the immune system’s inflammatory response.
Inflammation is a vital response that isolates the infected areas, preventing toxins from spreading. Hence CBD helps maintain a healthy inflammatory response.
According to a study done on mice, CBD supports a healthy inflammatory response in the lungs and improves lung function in animals exposed to a lung irritant.
In one study, CBD was seen to enhance healthy lungs markers such as elastance and decreased total lung resistance, myeloperoxidase activity in lung tissues, leukocyte migration into lungs, and protein concentration and maintenance of healthy levels of cytokines (IL-6 and TNF) as well chemokines (MIP-2 and MCP-1) which could potentially help with respiratory function.
CBD oil has also shown to balance the immune system in animal studies investing autoimmune health by reducing the activity of B cells, T cells, and both T cytotoxic and T helper lymphocyte subsets.
CBD helps support the activity of natural killer (NK) cells. NK cells are a type of white blood cells and a significant player in how the body responds to the presence of viruses.
Considering that a large portion of the immune system is also located in the GI tract, CBD can help maintain a healthy gut microbiota. The GI tract has a large number of organized lymphoid tissues, scattered innate, and adaptive effector cells.
The collection of organisms found in the intestines play a critical role in helping the body maintain a balanced immune response. Like endogenous cannabinoids, CBD has also been found to support healthy intestinal inflammatory response in human trials.
Keeping your gut healthy will support your overall immunity. Hence, during this pandemic, it is crucial to make sure you are feeding your body with more fruits and vegetables to support your immune system. Surviving coronavirus treatment doesn’t just require constant washing of hands but healthy eating to maintain strong immunity.
Eat a diet rich in micronutrients, Vitamin C, zinc, and flavonoids like quercetin, which can be found in apples and CBD as well. Make sure to get a good sleep because melatonin helps healthy immune function as well.
Avoid alcohol and be active even while self-isolating. You should also take up simple meditation or relaxation practices to help decrease stress hormones and anxiety during these trying times.
CBD and cannabis users should take extra caution during this pandemic. You should avoid sharing blunts or joints and avoid smoking as a group. Social distancing could actually save your life.
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