Does CBD Oil Affect The Immune System


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For CBD and the immune system, this article covers four ways in which CBD oil may support immune health and help patients… If you have been considering taking CBD for immune system health or an autoimmune condition that you already have, then you MUST read this.

CBD and the immune system: 4 ways CBD oil provides a virus-season boost

For CBD and the immune system, this article covers four ways in which CBD oil may support immune health

The endocannabinoid system is known to play an important role in regulating immunity and scientists consider it to be one of the “gatekeepers” of the immune system. 1 The endocannabinoid system includes receptors known as cannabinoid receptors 1 and 2 (CB1 and CB2) as well as the endogenous cannabinoids anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and enzymes that influence the production of these endocannabinoids.

There’s scientific evidence that cells of the immune system express both CB1 and CB2, although CB2 concentrations are higher than CB1. 2

How CBD and the immune system interact

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, is a phytocannabinoid that acts on the endocannabinoid system and may have the ability to maintain a balanced and healthy immune system.*

Transient receptor potential vanilloid 2 (TRPV2), a protein that facilitates the communication of cells with their extracellular environment, plays an important role in healthy immune system function. 3 CBD activates TRPV2 and also influences other transient receptor potential (TRP) channels involved in supporting immunity. 3*

Hemp-based CBD oil may have both direct and indirect mechanisms for maintaining immunity.* This article covers four ways in which pairing CBD and the immune system may support immune health.

Increasing natural killer cells*

In animal studies investigating autoimmune health, CBD oil from hemp has been shown to balance the immune system by reducing the activity of T cells, B cells, and both T helper and T cytotoxic lymphocyte subsets. 4* However, outside of an autoimmune arena, CBD supports the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cell. 4*

NK cells are a major player in the body’s response to the presence of viruses.* CBD also supports the activity of natural killer T cells, which share properties of both NK cells and T cells.* In vitro studies have shown CBD has actions of interest to people who want to maintain immune health in the liver. 5 *

Supporting a healthy inflammatory response*

CBD is well known for its ability to maintain a healthy inflammatory response.* In animals, CBD supports a healthy inflammatory response in the lungs. 6* It also improves lung function in mice exposed to a lung irritant. *

In one study, CBD enhanced markers of healthy lungs such as decreased total lung resistance and elastance, leukocyte migration into the lungs, myeloperoxidase activity in the lung tissue, and protein concentration as well as maintenance of healthy levels of cytokines (TNF and IL-6) and chemokines (MCP-1 and MIP-2). * This could potentially assist with respiratory function.*

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiota*

A large proportion of the immune system is located in the GI tract, where there are large numbers of organized lymphoid tissue and scattered innate and adaptive effector cells. 7

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The gut microbiota, the collection of organisms — good and bad — found in the intestines play an important role in helping the body have a balanced immune response. 8

Excessive inflammation in the gut can lead to intestinal permeability, gut microbiota dysbiosis, and an impaired intestinal immune response. 9,10 One way the body counteracts this is through the endocannabinoid system. 9,10

Like endogenous cannabinoids, CBD also has been found to support a healthy intestinal inflammatory response in human trials. 11* The key message here is that keeping the gut healthy supports overall immunity.*

A calming effect during everyday mild stress and frustration*

Ongoing psychological stress is linked to a decline in immunity. 12 CBD is involved in a healthy stress response.*

Unlike endogenous cannabinoids, which work on the CB1 receptor, CBD supplementation leads to direct activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor.* 13,14 CBD stress-relieving properties are also related to its ability to modulate cerebral blood flow in brain regions involved in anxiety including the amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus and cingulate cortex. 15*

In human trials, CBD was found to reduce mild stress in people giving a speech.* For example, researchers observed the effects of different doses of CBD and placebo in 57 healthy male participants performing a simulated public speaking test. 16 * In this double-blind study, subjects were given oral CBD at doses of 150 mg, 300 mg, or 600 mg or a placebo prior to the public speaking test. Compared with the placebo, 300 mg of CBD led to the subjects being more calm and relaxed during the speech.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

CHRIS D. MELETIS, ND, is an educator, international author and lecturer. His mission is “Changing World’s Health, One Person at a Time.” He believes that when people become educated about their bodies is the moment positive change begins. He is widely recognized as a world-renowned expert on the science of CBD and has authored 16 books and over 200 national scientific articles in such journals and magazines as Natural Health, Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, Life Extension and The Journal of Restorative Medicine. He served as dean of naturopathic medicine and chief medical officer for seven years at NUNM, the oldest naturopathic medical school in North America. He has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Physician of the Year Award by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians; Excellence Award for his work in treating and advocating for the medically underserved; and most recently, the NUNM Hall of Fame Award. He represents TruGen3 and can be contacted at “TruEase® is an ideal choice for people searching for a phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil. It’s encapsulated in VESIsorb®’s patented delivery system to optimize absorption. It uses a proprietary extraction process that eliminates solvents and impurities to produce non-detectible THC content. Clinically, I depend on bioavailability for my patients, and per a 2019 article, VESIsorb® CBD after a single oral administration of the SEDDS CBD led to 4.4-fold higher blood plasma levels of CBD compared to the control CBD formula.” 17

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Does CBD Have an Effect on Your Immune System?

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The term “immune health” is incredibly broad in the medical world, and it can invoke several different clinical interpretations. Several scientific publications have described the “immunomodulating” properties of active cannabinoids (like CBD) – but what does this mean, exactly?

We know that patients who suffer from autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, frequently use cannabis as adjuvant therapy. But is it useful for healthy individuals? Could it potentially prevent diseases and boost overall immune health?

This article explores some of the most relevant research publications on CBD’s far-reaching influence on the immune system. A greater clinical foundation is necessary to come to any definitive conclusions regarding its specific physiological effects. However, it’s clear that the endocannabinoid system and the immune system are very interrelated.

CBD and the Immune System: Bridged by the Endocannabinoid System

To even scratch the surface in describing CBD’s potential effects on the body’s immune system, we need a basic understanding of how the endocannabinoid system works.

The endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of cannabinoids and receptors that regulate most functions in the human body. As researchers have described it, one of these functions is its role as an “immuno-cannabinoid” modulator.

Over the last few decades, int…

This means that “communicative” molecules in the ECS can work as a signaling mechanism. They provide instructions for the functional machinery involved in the immune response.

Among other things, these “instructions” provide information for the body’s immune system that tells it when to engage its line of defense, where, and how strongly to engage it.

Does CBD Benefit the Immune System?

Additionally, some researchers have even speculated that the ECS may work to “notify” the body of an “incorrect” autoimmune response, wherein the defense cells attack otherwise healthy organs and tissues. This may be why cannabinoids seem to function so well in treating autoimmune conditions like multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

Bear in mind, however, that as of right now, all of this research is still speculative. We require far more in-depth studies to have a more thorough understanding of the exact molecular pathways at work.

However, we know that cannabinoids such as CBD can reduce painful, inflammatory responses in humans when taken at certain levels. This is particularly true among those who suffer from some of the aforementioned autoimmune conditions.

Moreover, we know that compounds that stimulate the endocannabinoid system can promote new nerve cell generation (neurogenesis). They could also reduce nerve cell degeneration (this last part was already seen in animals).

Compounds that stimulate the ECS could reduce nerve cell degeneration.

So, what does this mean? When an individual suffers a serious traumatic event (i.e., has a severe head injury, stroke, etc.), the lack of oxygen and excess inflammation severely damages the nerve cells.

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Experts believe that CBD could protect nerve cells because of its efficacy as an antioxidant. Few people know that the U.S. government holds a patent on cannabinoids for this exact purpose.

CBD and the Immune System: Have We Even Scratched the Surface?

Let’s make one thing very clear: there is much about the functioning of the immune system and the body’s immune response that is unknown. Even less is known about the body’s endocannabinoid system.

Not even the world’s leading medical cannabis experts can outwardly claim that CBD has a “such-and-such” effect on the immune system. It’s clear (according to several studies) that cannabinoids have some influence on the overall immune response. However, it’s unclear how we might manipulate it or administer treatments to achieve the most beneficial results possible.

While cannabinoids impact the immune response, experts are not yet sure how to use them effectively.

One thing worth researching more, however, is CBD’s potential ability to “balance” the two major arms of the immune system.

Generally speaking, there are two different ways in which the body’s adaptive immune cells can seek out and “eliminate” dangerous pathogens (foreign agents that can result in disease, infection, etc.):

  1. Cell-mediated immunity:This involves using T-cells that seek out and destroy foreign antigens on their own by inducing apoptosis, or “programmed cell suicide,” in the foreign antigen.
  2. Humoral immunity:This occurs when the body’s B-cells produce specific antibodies to seek out and destroy the dangerous pathogens.

In autoimmune diseases, one of these types of immunity becomes overactive and begins to attack and destroy healthy cells and tissues.

Final Thoughts on CBD and the Immune System

Are you considering taking CBD for immune system health or an autoimmune condition that you already have? If so, please note that there are dozens of high-quality CBD oils and tinctures available for sale online. Most companies can ship to all 50 U.S. states due to their manufacturing guidelines under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Whenever possible, however, try to speak with a physician or other clinical professional regarding the use of CBD oil for immune health. We have recently published an article relating to specific CBD dosing guidelines. However, we must reiterate the fact that we are not health professionals. Therefore, none of the information on this site should be interpreted as clinical advice.

Also, the FDA does not yet recognize CBD as a medicine. This means CBD sellers are legally obliged to market their CBD tinctures as “nutritional supplements” rather than actual medicinal drugs.

And finally, make sure you perform thorough research on your own and use CBD under your judgment. We make no outward claims or guarantees that it will be effective or therapeutic for you and your condition, regardless of data that’s available in scientific studies.

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