How Marijuana Affects the Body

It may affect any of your body systems and organs, like your joints, muscles, blood vessels, kidneys, lungs, central nervous system, heart or digestive tract. In other words, even if your memory is affected when you smoke up, after you stop it will likely go back to normal with time. Your physician will likely use a combination of symptom assessment and testing to diagnose you.

Visit our extensive site to book your consultation and allow us to help you get started in your therapeutic medical cannabis therapy as soon as possible. The following article discusses some of the potential benefits and side effects that marijuana has on the body. Marijuana is the dried and ground up or shredded parts of the cannabis plant. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British firm, has developed two marijuana-derived drugs, Epidiolex and Sativex. In it, trauma surgeon David Plurad and his colleagues did a retrospective review of 446 traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases treated at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center from January 2020 through December 2020. Well, when an individual suffers a serious traumatic event (i. )Usually cannabis is given to HIV/AIDS to help treat their pain or stimulate their appetites, but it appears it may help them in other ways too.

We know that patients that suffer from autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, frequently use cannabis as adjuvant therapy.

The current study estimates are derived by combining NHANES survey cycles 2020–6, 2020–8, 2020–10, 2020–12, 2020–14 and 2020–16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The mice injected with THC had more of the immune-suppressing cells than the mice who didn't receive THC, according to the study. Frequently, autoimmune diseases are misdiagnosed because their symptoms can mimic other ailments.

Immunobiology. Whenever possible, however, try and make it a point to speak with a physician or other clinical professional regarding the use of CBD oil for immune health. This is perhaps true; many reputable scientific studies support the conclusion that cocaine, heroine, alcohol, and even cigarettes are more dangerous to the user’s health than marijuana. Because you inhale weed smoke deeply, you may be absorbing up to four the amount of tar you would if you were smoking a cigarette. The ECS regulates a plethora of physiological processes, including immune function and inflammation. Autoimmune thyroid disease, is more common in women than men. Additional approaches one can take to lower inflammation: It's in the news as more and more states legalize it. 30 grams of shelled hempseed contains 11 grams of protein; this is a better ratio than most so-called ‘protein’ bars!

  • Today's Dietitian.
  • You can also search for medical weed dispensaries in your area to find your favorite cannabis strains and products easily and quickly.
  • These disorders often respond well to treatments that suppress immune system activity.
  • Those conditions represent a few of the 80 registered autoimmune disorders, where the immune system is triggered by the body’s healthy tissues and attacks them as invaders.
  • First, it’s important to know that the microbes living in your intestines, your gut’s microbiome, plays an important role in fighting diseases.
  • Managing autoimmune disease requires dietary and lifestyle changes, which have been reported to help reverse these conditions.

It May Affect Your Mental Health

In mice, infection with influenza leads to lethargy, anti-social behavior, and weight loss, but recovery usually happens within a week or two because high numbers of macrophages and T cells are able to fight off the virus in the lungs. Eight simple ways to keep your immune system in top shape, one type, called macrophages, inhabit all our body tissue and, says Cruickshank, “have all these weapons ready to go, but they’re not terribly precise”. They can tap into the immune system and alter its effects. CBD has been found to modulate the immune system instead of suppressing it. This suggests that THC is immunosuppressant. 8 Scientists discovered that both types of infection-fighting immune counts were higher in patients using cannabis, suggesting their immune systems had been bolstered by the plant.

2020 Jun 1; 30(6): In the late 1980s and early 1990s scientists began to identify and map two groups of molecules, known as receptors, in the central nervous system and immune system that help cannabinoids bind to cells. Endocannabinoids are produced on demand, travelling backwards across chemical synapses and modulating cell activity. Our immune system is primed to spot rogue cells and, through mechanisms such as apoptosis, eliminate any that might become tumors. (1) lymphocytes (B cells and T cells) that destroy antigens and help the body to remember previous attackers; and 2) phagocytes that absorb and neutralize foreign intruders. Today, we feature a piece by Dr. When you have an autoimmune disease, it means your immune system is no longer protecting your body, but rather attacking it. According to the NIDA, there may be an association between marijuana use and some mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.

Last year a study discovered certain cannabinoids that enhance the immunogenicity of tumour cells, rendering them more susceptible to recognition by the immune system. Simply put, the lack of an immune system would mean open season on our bodies as bacteria, viruses, and pathogens would attack mercilessly with no barrier to prevent them from wreaking havoc. Cancer patients have more of these cells than healthy people. Patients with Crohn’s disease taking medical marijuana reported that their symptoms were less severe and occurred less often, and in some cases went into remission. Your child may have trouble with memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. Immunity-boosting snacks for kids, include more sources of this healthy vitamin by choosing citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato juice or foods fortified with vitamin C, such as some cereals. There are many things we know about how marijuana affects the body. Treatments do exist to reduce the effects and symptoms of your autoimmune disease.

  • It has been established that the immune system plays a critical role in many of these neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory conditions.
  • Attention, memory and learning are impaired among heavy marijuana users, even after users discontinued its use for at least 24 hours.
  • In people younger than 25 years, whose brains have not yet fully developed, marijuana can have a lasting impact on thinking and memory processes.

Multi-disciplinary Sciences

To date, there is little conclusive data on the impact of consuming cannabis on a healthy person’s immune system. In a survey of 150 marijuana using students, 59% surveyed report they sometimes forget what a conversation is about before it has ended. Br J Pharmacol 163, 1507-1519 (2020).

Their study, reported in the journal American Surgeon, found that 82 of those patients tested positive for THC and two of them died, for a mortality rate of 2. Based between the UK and Spain, she is committed to accurately reporting advances in medical cannabis research. Marijuana use has been linked to lower IQ scores as well as poorer memory and attention. There were 609 tested miRNAs.

In the United States, marijuana use has increased over the last several years as many states have voted to legalize it for medical use and/or decriminalize (or outright legalize) it for recreational use. A second study conducted by New York City’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine discovered that cannabinoids prevented the HIV virus from infecting immune system cells. Your doctor will also need to regularly monitor things like your: Here’s some of what we know so far. Want to stay connected with #SciCommPLOS or pitch an idea for a blog post? 7 million individuals received an autoimmune disease diagnosis. See your physician if you are experiencing any autoimmune disease symptoms. For the unacquainted, viral load is a term used to describe the number of HIV’s ribonucleic acid (RNA) copied in a patient’s blood.

Since a healthy immune system reacts with inflammation to fight infection, the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis may be of little benefit.

Your Lungs May Hurt

This is called an immuno-cannabinoid modulation, and it means that once stimulated by cannabinoids, the immune cells that have cannabinoid receptors will change the way they behave and regulate how our immune system performs as a whole. There’s no cure for autoimmune diseases. Studies show that marijuana may help several conditions. However, if you have a condition that weakens your immune system (like HIV or AIDS) research has shown that using cannabis can actually strengthen your immune response slightly. Klein, lead investigator of the study. The health effects of marijuana are determined in large part by how it's consumed. Opportunities exist in both cancer treatment and prevention, but more research is needed. So, what does this actually mean?

The flu and common cold are caused by viruses and thus there’s no cure—the best way to treat these infections is to get plenty of rest. The good news, however, is infants born to women with SLE are often born healthy. Investigation has demonstrated that CB2 receptors regulate many complex pathways of the immune system. In a healthy state, naturally produced endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) interact with these receptors to keep the immune system functioning well. What does garlic actually do for the immune system? and how? Conventional medicine ideology believes that the immune system cannot be controlled and once the autoimmunity switch has been triggered, it is impossible to revert back to the body's normal state. Bear in mind, however, that as of right now all of this research is still speculative in nature. It triggers the self-destruct part of the immune response that tells a diseased cell to live or die. Your PCP can also refer you to support groups, counseling or outside treatment options if that’s appropriate for you.

  • The reason for this is because inflammation in the body normally has a purpose.
  • As such, no one – not even the world’s leading medical cannabis experts – can yet outwardly claim that CBD has “such-and-such” effect on the immune system.
  • 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.
  • Before you consider taking cannabis as a way to deal with a disease, it’s important to talk to a doctor or an expert to see if your situation warrants it and if the plant is what you need.
  • Marijuana, like some other brain-altering substances, can be addictive.
  • ‘This hypothesis, though, cannot be tested as NHANES does not collect information on cannabis use motives.

Ethics Declarations

Today, it is known that cigarette smoking generates several chemicals that are implicated in oxidative stress pathways and systemic inflammation and elevated white blood cell count in tobacco cigarette smokers have been well documented, whereas tobacco abstinence is associated with sustained decrease in white blood cell count. There’s also neonatal lupus, resulting from a mother passing autoantibodies to a newborn. With the potential for increased recreational use, knowing the effects that marijuana can have on your body is as important as ever. 3 vitamins that are best for boosting your immunity – health essentials from cleveland clinic. Various phytocannabinoids from cannabis, even within agricultural hemp, are showing enormous potential for optimizing and restoring balance to the immune system.

The ability of cannabis to strengthen a patient's immune response may therefore prove to be beneficial when it comes to treatment. Mango & sweet potato immune booster acai smoothie recipe. One such chemical receiving a considerable amount of attention is CBD (cannabidiol), because many have reported it to also be very effective in treating seizures (1). Many of marijuana’s effects are short-term, meaning that they last for only a short period.

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You can also buy it in balm form to rub on your skin or via edibles which are a convenient, and delicious, way to get enough CBD. The more HIV in the blood, the lesser the number of CD4 cells. No matter how it gets into your system, it affects almost every organ in your body. It may heighten your sensory perception and your perception of time. High amounts of THC can increase the risk for negative effects.


CB1 receptors are present in the central nervous system, and at lower levels in the immune system. Results showed that there were 609 miRNAs tested, and out of this number, THC greatly altered 12 of them. Scientists still have many questions about how marijuana affects the brain long-term. Whether from burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. You could develop short-term RA where your symptoms come and go, or you can develop the severe type that may last your entire life.

It’s also important to establish an adequate cannabinoid type for the treatment. Signs of good health from every type of doctor, here are some signs of a weakening immune system and proactive ways to support it. Let’s start with the endocannabinoid system. The category of immunomodulation rests on biphasic activity. 05 for total WBC count analyses whereas a p-value of 0.

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If someone has autoimmunity and chronic pain, steroids may not help address the root of the discomfort. Marijuana may aggravate existing respiratory illnesses, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis. But once you grasp the connection, your sense of awe for how our organism works will rekindle. The vast majority of people are born with ‘innate’ immunity, but we also benefit from ‘adaptive’ immunity as we go through life. Based on preclinical evidence, cannabinoids may help bring the system back into homeostasis, protect against damage from AI attacks within the body, slow down overactive T-cell production, and prevent the immune system from being triggered. Studies suggest chemicals called phytocannabinoids could stop cancer cells multiplying and spreading, block the blood supply to tumours, and reduce cancer's ability to survive chemotherapy. So, you’ll want to look for strains to tackle things like:

It’s now being seen as a supplement that can help fight the common cold and other illnesses that tend to crop up during the colder months. Cannabinoids are known as immunomodulators, which means they help regulate and influence the function of the immune system. Without any inbuilt defences to keep these invaders at bay, we’d all last about five minutes on this planet. Both the endocannabinoids and cannabinoids from cannabis trigger specific responses from each cell that they influence. THC, on the other hand, has shown to be an immune system suppressant only at very high doses but a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory at very low doses. A complete blood count with 5-part differential was performed in duplicate. Within minutes, your heart rate may increase by 20 to 50 beats per minute. The differential WBC count is based on Volume, Conductivity and Scatter technology.

Budget and Performance

This self-attack is known as "molecular mimicry" and is the root of any autoimmune disease. It is against many money interests that the federal government support medical marijuana. What that means is that I study how chemicals affect the immune system. Once it spots an ‘antigen’ (bacterium, viruses, pathogens, etc.) In the meantime, the patients often need substantial pain relief and support for depression and fatigue. The best immune boosting supplements, in addition, none of the webpages in the search provided negative information about vaccines. And like cigarettes, when smoked, it can hurt your lungs.

  • The mortality rate among the 364 patients who did not have THC in their system was 11.
  • Humoral immunity supports this process by using B-cells and developing antibodies that neutralize antigens or pathogens that are recognized as foreign.
  • Many people mistakenly think medical marijuana only distracts them from their severe condition.
  • What we do know, however, is they tend to be hereditary and run in families.
  • You can find additional research, news and information on autoimmune disorders and diseases on the web through the links on MarijuanaDoctors.

So, Is Cannabis Good Or Bad For Immune Health?

Marijuana has mind-altering compounds that affect both your brain and body. Conditions like arthritis or multiple sclerosis involve an overactive immune system, but there are other conditions where the body’s immune functions may have declined and are too weak, as is the case with HIV/AIDS and cancer. T cells develop in the thymus, B cells in the bone marrow. Preliminary studies have shown that cannabinoids can suppress the immune system by decreasing inflammation. ‘Several of the important study limitations merit attention. Microglia cells perform similar tasks in the brain like macrophages or dendritic cells. It has similar symptoms as SLE, and once you stop the medication, the symptoms tend to go away.


However, very little is known about the relationship between the immune system and cannabinoids in this process. In some people, marijuana can cause anxiety. Cannabis therapy and dietary changes seem to be safer, cheaper, and possibly more effective for combating autoimmune conditions than pharmaceutical medications. However, studies on the subject have had mixed results. Molina,Angela M. It’s not good, say medical experts. As you may remember, the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is a network of cannabinoids and receptors that works to regulate most functions in the human body.


What does this mean in practical terms if you regularly use cannabis, have a compromised immune system or are starting immunotherapy? To fully understand how cannabis affects the immune system, we first need to break the topic down into several important parts. ● Cannabis vs Diabetes Type 2 - The properties of cannabis can help improve the body’s metabolism and support insulin activity.

There is little known on the potential lung health effects of inhaling marijuana or products made from it through routes other than smoking. However, sometimes the body’s inflammatory response goes awry and it becomes too inflamed for its own good. In an article from 2020 published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, Dr. While the majority of Eaze customers don’t use marijuana to treat common cold or flu symptoms, a substantial 40% of them do. Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system is out of balance. Eating a baked good, or other item, may take longer for your body to absorb THC because it has to break down in your stomach before it enters your bloodstream. Like with influenza, the use of THC and CBD to suppress the immune system in the context of autoimmune disease is currently under investigation in humans (5), based on strong evidence in favor of this approach using mice (6). During puberty, heavy marijuana use can affect hormones in both males and females, and may delay the onset of puberty in young men.

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

Those chemicals include recreational drugs as well as prescription drugs, such as your HIV medications. When you come down from the high, you may feel tired or a bit depressed. Endocannabinoids and immune regulation. 9 surprising ways you’re weakening your immune system, what's more, blood acceleration was 25. You’re more likely to suffer from chronic bronchitis. Drugs, like antibiotics used to treat bacterial infections, are chemicals, as are things like pesticides, paints, solvents, and even plants and foods. Research is key, but it can’t move fast enough to unlock the genetic codes to stop, prevent or cure the increase in diagnosed cases every year. Most people agree that marijuana use hurts adolescents more than adults.

When looking at white blood cell counts the study noted that: Keep in mind that, as recreational drugs aren't regulated, you never know exactly how much you are getting. This is what Dr. For states where medical marijuana has not yet been legalized, the website regularly posts news of upcoming legislative events involving voting for or against legalizing it. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

” AREFA CASSOOBHOY: Your body’s inflammatory response is meant to prevent infection or further damage to the body. Consuming cannabis can undoubtedly help with many conditions where the immune system is plagued, but to take full advantage of the healing powers of this plant, two factors have to be followed—a personalized regiment of use, and a carefully selected strain (or some other form of cannabis), which has a desirable quantity of cannabinoids in it. Immune-boosting foods: berries, oysters, & more, in a living animal, and especially in a human being, that kind of control is just not possible, since there are so many other things happening to the animal or person at the time that measurements are being taken. In most scenarios, though, treating and reducing the inflammation is the important goal.

Cannabis, Cancer, & the Immune System

There are more than 100 autoimmune diseases. That interaction appears to play a critical role in marijuana's various effects. Research on marijuana use and its long-term effects on the human brain have shown mixed results. Not surprisingly, the DEA does not support cannabis use for people with HIV/AIDS. Medical cannabis appears to replace the missing natural cannabinoids, helping to restore balance to the immune system. But does cannabis affect your immune system?

At the federal level, marijuana is still illegal regardless of use—it is classified as a Schedule I drug (i. )‘Studies with repeated measures are needed to study immunomodulatory changes in cannabis users, and whether the mode of cannabis use can differentially affect immune responses. The ACASI approach is intended to promote accuracy and completeness of reporting on sensitive topics (Estes et al. )Proclaimed the wonder cancer treatment of the future, immunotherapy retrains white blood cells to detect and kill cancer in the body.

Guided by previous studies (Anthony et al. Can too much caffeine hurt your immune system?, the good news is that brain function and neuron formation improves after four to five weeks of abstinence. )Authors of the study state cannabis’ ability to change miRNA expression just might be the answer to successfully treating some autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, MS and arthritis. It can be taken several ways. Some harm done to the immune system or other body systems may be reversed when the person becomes sober, so prompt treatment is key.

Whereas both CBD and THC are natural marijuana-derived chemicals, CBD does not produce the high associated with THC.

Our Immune System: An Overview

First of all, let’s take a closer look at the immune system and explode some of the myths associated with it. It is also illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including marijuana. So if you live in a legal state, talk to your doctor. Very large doses of marijuana or high concentrations of THC can cause hallucinations or delusions. Research shows individuals with an autoimmune disease are six times more likely of developing a hospital-induced lung blood clot. Myths vs. facts about boosting your immune sytem. All of these things can make it easier for you to get infections.

Killing cells is a crucial element of a healthy functioning immune system, which maintains a delicate balance between growth and death.

These studies indicate that cannabidiol might be able to compensate for missing endocannabinoids and improve the regulation of the immune system in patients with autoimmune diseases. This article was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Use of "vape-pens" to inhale cannabis concentrates or liquids may have similar respiratory health effects as e-cigarette use. The body’s endocannabinoid system is known to play a role in regulating the immune system and its overall function. Many of us are familiar with T cells because of their relationship with the HIV virus, which wipes them out; this is what makes HIV patients vulnerable to normally harmless infections. While symptoms can vary depending on what type of autoimmune disease you have, the most common are mentioned a couple of times above.

Research is ongoing about utilising cannabis to treat chronic pain, improve memory function, sustain metabolic health, and regulate blood sugar, just to name a few potential applications. This class of drugs includes heroin, morphine, fentanyl, opium, and prescription painkillers. The bottom line is that much remains to be discovered about how cannabis affects our immune system. There are low levels of CB1 in the brain stem, where cardiac and respiratory functions are regulated; their relative scarcity in this region may explain why, unlike opioids, even heavy doses of cannabinoids do not pose acute threats to the heart or your ability to breathe. MS and other autoimmune disease patients restricted to a fairly sedentary lifestyle or those in wheelchairs have a higher risk of developing a blood clot in their legs potentially traveling to their lungs.

What is Lupus?

You can consume it in oil form either by dropping it directly under your tongue or adding it to food or drink. Certain autoimmune diseases can be life-threatening, and many are debilitating and call for lifetime treatment. Medications often used to treat autoimmune diseases and their symptoms include: Crippa, and Felipe Dal-Pizzol. Other studies suggest that cannabis does something else entirely, making our immune systems stronger and helping it battle infections. The body uses endocannabinoids to keep the immune response under control, but it doesn’t always fully control inflammation. Youtube, it is not always possible to avoid people who are ill. Massi P, Vaccani A, Parolaro D. But there are many things we do not.

Until recently, the only approved anticancer weapons have been treatments like chemotherapy, which destroy not just the cancer cells, but also fast-growing, healthy cells. 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. But, because autoimmune diseases are rare, many individuals spend years before receiving an accurate diagnosis. These patients can turn to medical marijuana.

For example, the National Institutes of Health Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study is gathering a large sample of data across several sites and over many years. T cells are antibodies to specific pathogens. Some of them are: Then a particular event like an infection, parasite, leaky gut syndrome, or a traumatic experience sets off the autoimmune reaction. But a few years ago, when the neurologist and epilepsy specialist surveyed his patients about their use of alternative medicines, he discovered that more than a third had turned to marijuana to try to control their seizures. While more human studies are needed, overwhelming evidence from animal studies indicates that marijuana and its psychoactive compounds, known as cannabinoids, suppress immune function and inflammation. 11 best foods for your immune system, but make sure you eat enough! For instance, how cannabis interacts with our immune system is one area that researchers have not explored in too much detail. As a result, an intense inflammatory response is initiated (reddening, itching/pain, swelling) that indicates – along with other chemotactic signals – other immune cells to migrate to the place of action for support.