The Effects of Cannabis on the Immune System

More well-designed large population studies haven’t come to the same conclusion yet. Can you boost your immune system against the coronavirus (covid-19)? As with all aspects of your health, at least some of your immune function is under your control. The study was published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. For instance, how cannabis interacts with our immune system is one area that researchers have not explored in too much detail.

Some of them are: The researchers say phytocannabinoids – chemicals in the plant – need to be explored more as a source of anti-cancer benefits. According to Sarah Russo, an herbal medicine educator, cannabis therapy offers a holistic response to complex autoimmune disorders, particularly when paired with dietary changes. Spanish researchers conducted several surveys of 56 patients, 28 of whom smoked or consumed cannabis regularly. In 2020, 6 percent or about 1 in 16 high school seniors in the United States reported using marijuana (cannabis) every day.

Are you also interested in getting a medical cannabis card for you or a loved one? One study in 2020 found that HIV-positive patients who consumed cannabis had lower viral loads[2] and a higher CD4 immune cell count as compared to a control group. One of the telltale signs of recent marijuana use is bloodshot eyes. Here are five ways marijuana affects the immune system: For some conditions, it is better to use cannabis products that contain only THC, while other conditions are much better treated with CBD. Marijuana has often been touted as one of the safest recreational substances available. As with marijuana and crack cocaine, smoking cigarettes can lead to upper respiratory problems and a lowered immune system response to infections in that area. This is welcome news, as cannabinoids can also cause apoptosis in lymphocyte cells, potentially suppressing the immune system.

This seems to be the case with patients that suffer from cancer or AIDS, where cannabis helps them cope with their symptoms and strengthens their bodies’ response to the disease. Recognized as the preferred method for cannabis drug testing, urine screenings are often used as a benchmark to detect for cannabis use. The immune system is a complex network of cells and tissues that act together to identify and remove foreign threats to the body. Do what brings you joy, whether that’s listening to music, dancing, doing art or crafts. When this happens, the organs, particularly the lungs, fail.

There are many different types of cells that have these receptors, and they are scattered all across the body and brain. Tanasescu R1, Constantinescu CS. Now, he's at home on the couch, wrapped in a comforter and fighting his way through chills, fatigue and nausea. Along this thread, many people are now turning to marijuana for cold and flu relief. Pre-clinical studies suggest that cannabinoids stimulate hematopoiesis and hence this stimulation to bone marrow tissues can be associated with increased circulating white blood cell count in cannabis users. Whereas both CBD and THC are natural marijuana-derived chemicals, CBD does not produce the high associated with THC. Find a way to process emotions.

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THC can also cause fatigue. The effects of marijuana on the body are often immediate. So, while the active form of THC doesn’t remain in your bloodstream for an extended period of time, THC metabolites can still be found in the body several weeks after use. Here are some immune system basics: It is important to check your state laws before purchasing marijuana, cannabis, or their derivatives. Our immune system also plays a key role in detecting malfunctioning cells inside our bodies, and, through the process of apoptosis or cell death, ensures that these cells do not continue to grow and become tumors. Career problems. Modulation of Gut-Specific Mechanisms by Chronic Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Administration in Male Rhesus Macaques Infected with Simian Immunodeficiency Virus:

  • At the University of South Carolina, a team discovered that THC could reduce the inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases by suppressing the activity of certain genes involved in the immune response.
  • The observational nature of the study constrained causal inferences.

Cannabis as Therapy

The most important thing to consider here is the adaptive nature of the endocannabinoid system, which directly determines the type of reaction our cells will express once they are triggered by cannabinoids. In people younger than 25 years, whose brains have not yet fully developed, marijuana can have a lasting impact on thinking and memory processes. When asked to clarify its stance on the subject, the DEA wrote, “[M]arijuana can affect the immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off infections, demonstrating that marijuana can do more harm than good in people with already compromised immune systems. Scientists are researching marijuana now, and the American Lung Association encourages continued research into the effects of marijuana use on lung health. This is an exceptionally serious and pertinent question, especially for patients who are interested in using medical marijuana to combat long-term, chronic illnesses. If you have heart disease, this could raise your risk of heart attack. THC – the chemical which gives people a high when they smoke the drug – and others like it could be beneficial, researchers say.

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Marshmallow tea keeps the mucus membranes hydrated and can be used before, during, and after the flu. Individuals with an autoimmune disease causing inflammation, such as scleroderma, lupus or RA, could end up with hardening of their arteries that may attack the muscles of their heart and result in heart disease. Treatments do exist to reduce the effects and symptoms of your autoimmune disease. In addition to these conditions, studies in animals and in cells, published in 2020, suggest that cannabinoids might eventually play a helpful role in treating three other kinds of disease. How to boost your child’s immune system and stop germs in their tracks before you get infected. Kaminski, Modulation of airway responses to influenza A/PR/8/34 by Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in C57BL/6 mice.

Cannabis May Boost The Immune System And Fight Cancer, Scientists Claim

But perhaps just as important, I hope my message will resonate with marijuana users who need to understand how this drug affects their body, for better or for worse. Immune-boosting foods: berries, oysters, & more, flatbreads topped with spinach and egg Credit :. Sativex, a mouth spray that contains THC and cannabidiol, is approved in Canada and several other countries, but not the U. Cannabis oil, fresh cannabis flower, and a pink ribbon on a white background.

  • Current treatments suppress the immune system -- thereby calming the abnormal immune response that plagues people with the conditions.
  • One study found that marijuana directly affects a type of cell called myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which suppress the immune system’s response in certain situations.

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If someone has a condition like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, marijuana can sometimes make symptoms worse. You can think of the impact of weed smoke on your lungs from a comfort standpoint as well—it hurts when you inhale it sometimes, which makes sense, because it’s an irritant. As also seen with cancer patients, medical marijuana is an effective and non-addictive painkiller. An antagonist is different as it attaches to the receptor, but blocks the action of the natural chemical. Globally, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug. Your doctor will also prescribe you treatment to relieve your symptoms. Women tend to get RA more than men, and it seems to occur more commonly in middle-aged and older adults. Last year a study discovered certain cannabinoids that enhance the immunogenicity of tumour cells, rendering them more susceptible to recognition by the immune system.

Whether you’re trying to prevent getting the flu, or if you’re dealing with cancer, a strong immune system can benefit everyone! THC may adversely affect your immune system. In the near-future, we will hopefully begin to discover more about the role cannabis plays in the health of the immune system and how it can be used to treat a truly wide spectrum of health conditions. An "amotivational syndrome" can develop in heavy, chronic marijuana users. The adaptive immune system has two key mechanisms: A precise quantity of cannabinoids to be ingested can be advised only if taking into account what’s troubling you personally. Primary immunodeficiency, foods like yogurt and sauerkraut are filled with millions of good bacteria that help replace the bad bacteria that lines our gut. Marijuana use has been linked to lower IQ scores as well as poorer memory and attention.

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The results were interesting: He and his company, Cannabis Science, hope to one day make marijuana available nationwide to kids and teens -- as well as adults -- in the form of a medicinal throat lozenge. How vitamin c affects your body, 5 A plant-based diet has also been shown to reduce inflammatory biomarkers. It mistakes different body parts such as your skin or joints as being “foreign” and releases proteins called autoantibodies to attack the healthy cells — thinking they’re outsiders. Cannabis can contain two different types of molecules that interact with cannabinoid receptors: Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system is out of balance. There are more than 100 diseases categorized as autoimmune conditions, with some of the more-often-diagnosed conditions including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn's disease. Adaptive immune responses deal with specific threats, such as certain disease-causing bacteria. The mortality rate among the 364 patients who did not have THC in their system was 11.

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Several other components have been described since, including cannabidiol, the compound used by the epilepsy patients, which does not make people high. At this point of preliminary research involving cannabis’ effects on the immune system, it is still too early to make a general statement whether it is wholly “good” or “bad” for immune health. The levels increased regardless of the amount of marijuana use, although all users in the study had a history of smoking pot several times or more a week.

  • Marijuana can be used in some states for medical reasons, and in some areas, recreational use is legal as well.
  • MarijuanaDoctors.
  • When cannabis is smoked or vaporized, THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs.
  • The new research review admits cannabis has ‘anti-cancer effects’ and says more research needs to be done in real patients to confirm the findings.
  • The primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabidinol (THC).
  • “I had no idea,” says Maa, who is chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health.


From there, it ends up in the brain and other organs. While most immune system cells are protective — fighting infections and cancers to keep a person healthy — these cells suppress the immune system, keeping it in check, according to the study. Most doctors don’t support study results because these studies do not meet minimum research standards. How does cannabis affect our immune systems? People who use a lot of marijuana are more likely to say they notice signs of depression or anxiety. Combing weed and cold or flu will not lead to some kind of bad high out of Reefer Madness. Furthermore, many people choose to smoke weed instead of drink alcohol when they’re sick.

However, CBD is just one of at least 120 substances (cannabinoids) found in marijuana.
Conversely, marijuana has also been used to ease symptoms of nausea or upset stomach.

Final Hit: Does Cannabis Affect Your Immune System?

Crohn’s disease is an attack on the lining of the intestines, and in multiple sclerosis, the immune system scars and damages the myelin sheath around neurons in the central nervous system. Washington, DC, and 33 states passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana-based products for medical purposes. Immune system, inflammation & cancer cpd conference, the targeting of IL-6 by the IL-6 receptor antagonist tocilizumab has also been shown to improve depressive symptoms (124). To restore access and understand how to better interact with our site to avoid this in the future, please have your system administrator contact [email protected]

Animal studies suggest that using a lot of marijuana might be linked to decreased sperm count in men and delayed ovulation in women. The body’s endocannabinoid system is known to occupy a central role in regulating the immune system. Although more research is needed here, the preliminary results look promising. Most studies of the effects of medical marijuana on people with diseases like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease have been small group trials or interviews of patients using medical marijuana. CB2, the other main cannabinoid receptor, is found mostly in the immune system. They found that the baseline genetic expression of precursor RNA was consistent across all age, gender and ethnic groups. Whether from burning wood, tobacco or marijuana, toxins and carcinogens are released from the combustion of materials. The number of 12th graders who think marijuana use is risky has halved in the last 20 years.

Recreational marijuana use is derived from its effects on agonists. Other studies have shown that regular cannabis use can increase white blood cell counts in immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV, suggesting an immune-boosting effect. Longer-term effects may depend on how you take it, how much you use, and how often you use it. Medical experts do not think that marijuana will significantly impact the effects of a cold or flu for a person with no other conditions.

Let Marijuana Doctors Help You Find Autoimmune Disease Symptom Relief Through Cannabis

Rogue cancer cells don’t react to triggers that are in normal circumstances enough to cause apoptosis (self-destruction) of that dysfunctional cell. In a survey of 150 marijuana using students, 59% surveyed report they sometimes forget what a conversation is about before it has ended. Marijuana activates the same pleasure centers in the brain that are targeted by heroin, cocaine and alcohol.

Health Effects Can Be Long-Term

Benefits include a possible improvement in anxiety, pain management, sleep dysfunction, weight loss and nausea. What is the science and pharmacology behind marijuana, and can it be used to treat Parkinson's symptoms? Roth MD, Tashkin DP, Whittaker KM, Choi R, Baldwin GC. In the hippocampus, THC changes the way you process information, so your judgment may be impaired. This study identifies how MDSCs produced during cancer growth also weaken the ability of immune cells to kill cancer cells. ​best supplements to boost your immune system, a 2020 study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, reported that probiotic supplements had a deep effect on the immune system function in animal models. The findings were reported in the June issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology. 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. According to early research, cannabis may have potential[1] as a treatment for cancer since it has been shown to trigger cell-suicide in cancer cells.

For patients with already weakened immune systems, this means an increase in the possibility of dangerous pulmonary infections, including pneumonia, which often proves fatal in AIDS patients. How to boost your immune system to help avoid coronavirus covid-19. ‘There is still a need for additional anti-cancer drugs. Cannabinoids are known as immunomodulators, which means they help regulate and influence the function of the immune system. ” This is considered a benefit for people being treated with chemotherapy for cancer. Cancer patients have more of these cells than healthy people. Changes in human DNA : Smoking marijuana reduces the body’s ability to resist infections from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Certain autoimmune diseases can be life-threatening, and many are debilitating and call for lifetime treatment.

Cannabinoids and the immune system: Some of the addictive substances that can damage the immune system and lead to infectious diseases are described in further detail below. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to provide data on the practices, beliefs and attitudes of expert PD physicians concerning cannabis use. The ability of cannabinoids to both suppress and bolster immune function lends credence to the idea that the endocannabinoid system is involved in immunomodulation, as Dr. Cannabis is an extremely versatile plant, but it all comes down to each patient’s unique situation. Some people mix it into food or brew it as a tea. Today, it is accepted that cannabinoids can alter the functioning of the immune system.