More people living with autoimmune diseases are turning to CBD to suppress symptoms and provide relief. But does it really work? Well, promising research into the immuno-suppressant properties of cannabinoids suggests CBD may alleviate the symptoms triggered by autoimmune disorders.

Stick around as we explore the purported role of CBD in easing the symptoms of many common autoimmune health conditions.

Why CBD for Autoimmune Diseases?

A healthy immune system defends the body against infection and disease. But when a malfunction occurs, T-cells take action as if the body’s cells were a threat to bring the body back into homeostasis – the root of all autoimmune conditions.

Science is yet to determine the reason behind this self-attack. Conventional treatments include slowing down the immune system to prevent the auto-aggressive response. Prolonged use of immunosuppressive drugs, in effect, compromises the immune system making you more susceptible to infections – a vicious circle!

This has created a dire need for holistic treatment options. And this is where CBD for autoimmune diseases comes in. So, what is the mechanism of action behind CBD’s benefits for autoimmune conditions?

How It Works

We cannot talk of CBD without mentioning the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It comprises enzymes, endocannabinoids, and endocannabinoid receptors that maintain balance within the body (homeostasis).

Even though research into CBD and the ECS is still in its infancy stages, it is believed that CBD binds to TRPV1 receptors, which are known to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature – common symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions. 

CBD’s link to CB1 and CB2 receptors is yet to be established, but it is speculated that there’s an indirect effect on these proteins.

How CBD Helps Manage Autoimmune Diseases

Cannabidiol therapies combined with dietary regulation have proved effective in alleviating symptoms of autoimmune diseases. It works in two ways:

  • Modulates the immune system
  • Decreases inflammation

Immuno-Regulating Properties

Because the ECS works on cue, it only produces endocannabinoids when the body needs them. The system, however, doesn’t store endocannabinoids after they’ve served their purpose.

CBD stimulates your endocannabinoid system to manufacture more of its own natural cannabinoids. Simultaneously, it inhibits the enzyme that breaks them down. You end up with more endocannabinoids circulating in the body for a more extended period. The body will be able to utilize them more effectively to restore homeostasis.

Even in low doses, CBD has shown immunosuppressive effects. It inspires an organic phenomenon that helps combat oxidative stress, reducing damage from AI attacks. It also slows down excess T-cell production and suppresses immune system memory, which protects against future flare-ups. 

Decreases Inflammation

Animal studies show that CBD regulates inflammation response, minimizing the likelihood of an autoimmune attack. CBD can decrease the expression of genes that trigger inflammation.

CBD is interesting because it influences the release of neurotransmitters that transfer messages between nerve cells. There appears to be a connection to CB2 receptors, which leads to an overall reduction in pain sensation and boosts the secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines.

How to Use CBD for Autoimmune Disease

CBD is available in different forms. It all boils down to your specific condition, doctor’s recommendation, and preference.

Full-spectrum CBD contains all the compounds from the cannabis plant. Broad-spectrum is THC-free but has compounds like terpenes, while isolate only has CBD. You can take either:

  • CBD oil
  • CBD capsules
  • Edibles
  • Vape pens
  • Topicals 

Begin with a low potency and work your way upwards, especially if you take CBD oil, capsules, and edibles. Follow manufacturer instructions when using a topical.

People with autoimmune diseases can live wholesome lives, but we cannot ignore how miserable it gets at times. CBD products are being proposed as healthier, more efficient treatments. And even though human studies are lacking, anecdotal evidence proves that CBD helps manage autoimmune diseases.

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