The Effects of Marijuana on Your Body

Over time, smoking marijuana may cause chronic cough and other health issues. Read on to see how it affects each system in your body. CBD, despite little binding affinity with cannabinoid receptors, is also considered to be immunosuppressant, reducing cytokine production3 and inhibiting T-cell function4.


Although most of the evidence for the involvement of this receptor comes from the attenuation of CBD's effects using the 5-HT1a antagonist, WAY100635, early studies demonstrated that CBD displaced binding of the 5-HT1a agonist, 8-OH-DPAT, in membranes from CHO cells expressing the human 5-HT1a receptor. The endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands, and ligand-metabolizing enzymes. Given that the majority of the in vitro and in vivo animal work was undertaken in the 1970s, we have relied upon the summary of findings provided in the authoritative reviews of this literature undertaken by the Addiction Research Foundation and World Health Organization (Leuchtenberger, 1983; Munson and Fehr, 1983).

A study that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported incredible immune system responses to regular cannabis use. In order to comprehend how a single cell reacts to these molecules, we first need to understand the purpose of ECS. ” The immune system is a huge network of various immune cell types that express many different receptors (think of them as locks), and release and respond to many cytokines/hormones (think of these as keys that help open those locks). AIDS patients and gay advocacy groups have proposed that cannabinoids should be used therapeutically to improve appetite and well-being in AIDS patients (see below p195). Unfortunately, there are some medical experts (namely with the National Institute of Health and the Drug Enforcement Agency) who don’t completely agree with the idea that marijuana can provide an overall beneficial boost to the immune system.

85 Other studies have suggested that CBD acts through TRPV1 in the immune system (Table 1). For skin disorders like psoriasis, the dermal layer is the target. Winsauer, Curtis Vande Stouwe, Robin R. There are a number of difficulties in deciding whether cannabis impairs the functioning of the immune system. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol 9: Previous research has shown cannabis can reduce cancer treatment side effects such as nausea and sickness, but it could also help to directly fight the disease, the study claims. Fourth, increasing our understanding of CBD's effects in response to a variety of immune stimuli and degrees of immune stimulation will help in interpreting effects of CBD in humans and other outbred species that are naturally exposed to a variety of pathogens.

In cases of under-activation, the immune system experiences difficulty in fighting off infections.


This study emerges as the UK Government has today inched closer to legalising medicinal cannabis in the country after years of pressure from campaigners. CBD is popular for its effectiveness as a pain reliever, mostly due to its anti-inflammatory effects. Opportunities exist in both cancer treatment and prevention, but more research is needed. I used to avoid telling people what I do for a living because I assumed that they weren’t interested, they might not understand, and that I’m not the right person to teach them about science. Sun X, Cappelletti M, Li Y, Karp CL, Divanovic S, Dey SK.

The portion of the immune system that you can actually see is called the innate defense system — this includes the skin as well as the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, ears, and mouth. The effectiveness of CBD isolate peaks at a "medium" dose and is generally less practical than full-spectrum products made from the whole plant, with the entire range of cannabinoids—including low levels of THC—and terpenes intact. A review of some diseases that are examined in the context of hallucinogenic THC and MDMA use are elaborated to provide information about the immune system suppression that may take place. 2020 December; 192(1-2): THC and CBD should be used together for most disorders treatable by cannabis because they interact with each other and terpenes, maximizing their therapeutic potential in what’s colloquially known as the entourage effect.

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Cannabis lowers levels of the inflammation-promoting protein interleukin-2 and raises levels of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-10. Once the same antigen is encountered, the memory B lymphocyte hastens a response which prevents sickness. More research is needed. The HPA is also thought to play a role in immunomodulation because of Tarr1 receptor. There is also evidence that the non-cannabinoid components of cannabis smoke can impair the functioning of alveolar macrophages, the first line of the body's defence system. There is reasonably consistent animal evidence that THC can impair both the cell-mediated and humoral immune systems, producing decreased resistance to infection by bacteria and viruses. How long do babies carry their mother's immunity? Thus, it is not surprising that medical marijuana is part of HIV/AIDS adjuvant treatment in several countries (158).

It should also be noted that there are several reports suggesting that CBD acts as an allosteric modulator of CB 1 or CB 2 receptors,61–64 although the role for CB 1 or CB 2 receptor allosteric modulation by CBD in immune function has not yet been determined.

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Cannabinoids, immune system and cytokine network. 15 ways to naturally boost your immune system this winter i the lifeco. When pathogens invade the organism dendritic cells present appropriate antigens (antigens are proteins or other components of phagocytized pathogens) to T helper cells, and thereby signal the type of pathogens involved and how to be destroyed. Overview of the most important potential targets of the pCBs.

This suggests that THC is immunosuppressant. Medical content reviewed by Dr. The fact that researchers have seen effects repeated across a wide range of studies shows the cannabis has a measureable effect that can be repeated, the study said. 83 Together, these data suggest that TRPV1 is a critical receptor through which CBD acts in the immune system. Initially, preclinical research had corroborated the view that THC was immunosuppressant in HIV, increasing viral load and worsening the disease.

Typical proinflammatory cytokines include IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-17A, while IL-10 is considered anti-inflammatory.

Author Contributions

137 When splenocytes from these mice were restimulated ex vivo, the CBD-treated mice had significantly decreased levels of IL-17A and IFN-γ, and increased levels of IL-10 in the supernatants. Cold season is upon us, here’s how to support your kids’ immune systems. Moreover, the interactions can often lead to opposing molecular biology outcomes [e. In line with these data, daily administration of compound VCE-003 [a quinone derivative of the non-psychotropic pCB (−)-cannabigerol (CBG)] from day 6 postimmunization for 21 days was able to ameliorate the neurological defects and the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE; a murine model of MS) induced by subcutaneous immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG 35–55 ; 300 µg) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (200 µg) in a 1: Confirmed marijuana use and lymphocyte count in black people living with HIV. This remains suggestive, however, because infectious and non-infectious respiratory conditions were not distinguished. Moreover, although it had no effect on Hepatitis B Virus, 10 µM CBD inhibited HCV replication by 86. Liu told Project CBD:

THC is also immunosuppressive, but only at very high doses. Inflammation is the process commonly associated with the innate immune response since pathogen destruction can also cause tissue damage, although T cells certainly are proinflammatory as well. Moreover, in a wider sense, based on structural similarities and/or partial overlaps in the ligand affinities, many other receptors [e. Autoimmune diseases: how cannabidiol (cbd) can help, and the show, which aired in August 2020, catapulted Charlotte’s story to national prominence and Figi into a new, unexpected phase in her life. Moreover, without being exhaustive, CB 1 was shown to form functional heteromers with, e. Keratinocytes are responsible for the painful inflammation and scaly buildup of skin cells experienced by psoriasis sufferers.

On the other hand, we should also keep in mind that antagonism/inverse agonism of CB 1 located in the CNS can also lead to serious neuropsychiatric side effects (including suicide), as it became evidenced by the infamous, brain-penetrating CB 1 inverse agonist rimonabant (SR141716; trade names: )There are many different types of cells that have these receptors, and they are scattered all across the body and brain. On the cellular level, it could significantly strengthen the immune system. Int J Oncol (2020) 51: They can tap into the immune system and alter its effects. Based between the UK and Spain, she is committed to accurately reporting advances in medical cannabis research.

Circulatory System

This process is much slower than the innate immune response, but the benefits of this process are invaluable. Disorders of the immune system, if your child just wants to crash on the couch and do nothing (and it’s not from staying up super late the night before), it could be a sign that his immune system is fighting off something, advises Dr. There are many varieties of cannabinoids, including [phytocannabinoids](https: )Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. Immunobiology.

Updated on January 5, 2020. Roth MD, Tashkin DP, Whittaker KM, Choi R, Baldwin GC. Trial and error is required to find what works best for an individual's unique situation. Why are there different opinions on the relationship between cannabis and the immune system? However, there are conflicting reports as research has shown that CB2 activation, under certain conditions, may aggravate inflammation. However, in light of the literature data, the situation appears to be more complex. When mice are treated with THC while infected with influenza, the number of macrophages and T cells traveling to the lungs to fight off the virus is reduced, and recovery takes longer (4).

A January 2020 review of preclinical and clinical data published in the Elsevier journal Progress in Neurobiology reported that cannabinoids can reduce pain and spasticity symptoms in multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative diseases. Br J Pharmacol 163, 1507-1519 (2020). Ulcerative colitis induces changes on the expression of the endocannabinoid system in the human colonic tissue. These disorders often respond well to treatments that suppress immune system activity. 134 Reduction in dendritic cell CD83 signaling can compromise T cell function,135 although additional studies using CBD in human dendritic cells and T cells are needed to establish the consequences of CBD-induced reduction in CD83 on HIV+ dendritic cells. If more researchers devoted time to this, we’d perhaps have a better understanding. When the immune system is under-stimulated, however, cancer and disastrous infections can easily arise. While it is difficult to detect a small increase in the incidence of infections in an individual or among a small sample of people, such an increase may have great public health significance.

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The reason for this is because inflammation in the body normally has a purpose. When you inhale marijuana smoke into your lungs, the drug is quickly released into your bloodstream and makes its way to your brain and other organs. Researchers have been limited in previous tests due to the risks posed by the psychoactive, or mental effects of consuming THC. This occurs when the body’s B-cells produce specific antibodies to seek out and destroy the dangerous pathogens. A study conducted in 2020 found that patients who are HIV-positive and consumed cannabis possessed lower viral loads compared to those who do not use the substance. Eat these foods to boost your immune system – sheknows. 2020; Karmaus et al.

Herbal medicine: 137 Finally, a recent study using an adoptive transfer EAE model showed a reduction in neuroinflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage with CBD treatment during disease onset. The true number of those affected by autoimmunity is likely higher, due to misdiagnosis and general lack of understanding about the complexity of AI related conditions. Vaping 'can damage vital immune system cells', & Pinkerton, K. But there are many things we do not.

While most work has been carried out on individual cannabinoids, in particular THC and CBD, if you’re looking for some solid conclusions about how they affect the immune system, think again.

The Endocannabinoid System: An Osteopathic Perspective

In a related study, also published in the European journal of Immunology, Dr Christian Vosshenrich from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, reveals that when cancer cells grow they produce a molecule called interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), which also triggers MDSCs. The concentration of HIV in one’s blood determines the number of CD4 cells. However, scientists studying the effects of the ECS on the immune system, neuroinflammation, inflammatory arthritis joint health, and even systemic inflammation have uncovered remarkable benefits from naturally occurring and endogenously produced cannabinoids. Immunology (2020) 144: Although it is not entirely clear why CBD produces opposing effects for many end-points, a critical part in understanding the mechanisms of CBD involves investigation of the consequences of all the changes. Foods that will boost your immune system, it's best to get these from whole foods, as your body absorbs the nutrients more efficiently than with processed supplements. Although well studied in cancer cell lines and primary tumor tissue, CBD-mediated apoptosis is also a contributor to the immune suppressive mechanism.

Chicca A, Marazzi J, Nicolussi S, Gertsch J. Meanwhile, in HIV, the immune system is hijacked and suppressed by a virus. We have recently published an article relating to specific CBD dosing guidelines, but we reiterate the fact that we are not health professionals, and thus none of the information on this site should be interpreted as clinical advice. Gertsch J, Leonti M, Raduner S, Racz I, Chen J-Z, Xie X-Q, et al. The immune system normally has the ability to let diseased cells know whether they should live or die.

Complex Immunological Effects of Medical and “Recreational” Marijuana Consumption

In contrast to the aforementioned findings, in a mice model of cerebral malaria (a severe and often fatal complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection), CB 2 antagonism, as well as the CB 2 −/− genotype were protective, and led to enhanced survival and a diminished blood-brain barrier disruption (147). Marijuana is made from the shredded and dried parts of the cannabis plant, including the flowers, seeds, leaves, and stems. In the hippocampus, THC changes the way you process information, so your judgment may be impaired. It is well known that certain active ingredients of the plants of Cannabis genus, i. In fact, chronic inflammation can contribute to a number of modern diseases, including multiple sclerosis, depression, arthritis, asthma, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes, among others. Endocannabinoids act upon immune cells directly through the CB2 receptor. This shows that some viral infections negatively impact the immune system in the presence of a hallucinogen (Kalichman et al. )

Most of the concern regarding cannabis use revolves around smoking. Autoimmune conditions are an area of medicine that remain largely misunderstood. Wang J, Xu Y, Zou Y, Zhu L, Dong B, Huang J, et al. 9 ways to boost your immune system, load up on vitamin D. 58 Similarly, CBD inhibited interleukin (IL)-1 in a hypoxia-ischemia brain insult model and this effect was reversed with the CB 2 receptor antagonist, AM630. “Does cannabis affect the immune system? It was approved by the U. It is such a deadly immunodeficiency virus that it can completely incapacitate an infected person’s immune system within just a few years of becoming active. There are also anecdotal reports from California cancer patients who maintain that they benefited by combining immunotherapy with a low-dose, CBD-rich cannabis oil regimen under a doctor’s supervision.

There are also many types and strains of cannabis, which are bred to produce different levels of THC content and possibly other contents as evidenced by marijuana dispensary selections and the creative names to accompany them. Doctors are finding the anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana could significantly boost the immune system in patients with autoimmune disorders like CIDP. Different methods of taking the drug may affect your body differently.


Cell-mediated immunity. Altogether, these data clearly indicate that memory problems can occur on the basis of both overactivation and critical impairment of CB 1 signaling. In the long term, marijuana has a possible positive effect on your circulatory system. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a plant-derived cannabinoid that has structural similarity to the primary psychotropic congener in cannabis, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Herbs and foods that work to modulate the immune system are ideal for someone dealing with an autoimmune condition. While most immune cells fight against infections and cancers to protect the host, MDSCs actively suppress the immune system. This leads to chronic inflammation and could therefore have adverse effects to one’s health. Drugs like THC and MDMA are a primary focus in this review because they are both psychotropic substances that are used recreationally and medicinally (Byock 2020; Palamar 2020).

Elia, Cannabidiol and epilepsy: Nagarkatti and his colleagues focused their study on cannabinoids, compounds found in the cannabis plant, to see how they affected immune suppression and tumor growth. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system is out of balance. The reason why the self-attack switch is turned on is relatively unknown. Both of these findings could be of potential benefit for treating autoimmune disorders one day. The cannabinoid system and cytokine network. To even scratch the surface in terms of describing CBD’s potential effects on the body’s immune system, we have to understand at least on a basic level how the endocannabinoid system works.