A healthy immune system is one of the most important factors to maintaining your overall well-being and living a long, productive, happy life. Unfortunately, without a properly functioning immune system, you may eventually develop certain diseases or sicknesses.
Many people don’t take proper care of their immune system, but the truth is that it’s pretty simple to maintain. And if you want a top-notch, well-functioning immune system, adding CBD oil to your daily routine can play a part in making that happen for you.
In this article, we’ll start out with the immune system basics, introduce you to the endocannabinoid system’s connection and then run through five specific ways that CBD can give your immune system a boost.
Immune System Basics
Your immune system is a vital part of your body. It is made up of many cells, tissues and organs that work together to defend against infection and diseases. Its job is to protect you from harm by recognizing and attacking foreign substances like bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites — all the nasty stuff that you need to keep out so that you can stay healthy!
What your immune system does
The immune system in mammals has two parts. There’s the innate and the adaptive. The innate system responds immediately to stimuli, while the adaptive gets going after a delay following previous exposure.
Your immune system’s job is to protect you from infection and diseases by identifying invading organisms, such as bacteria and viruses, and destroying them. It can also recognize when cells have been damaged or have changed for reasons other than being invaded. The immune system works in tandem with the nervous system to gather, process and respond to information about a potential invader.
It does so by calling on various cells, organs, tissues and molecules that work together at different times. These include white blood cells that try to fight off an infection by releasing chemicals that kill the invaders or recruit other cells to help.
Where your immune system is located
Your immune system mainly resides in your lymphatic system and throughout your body. The lymphatic system is the body’s drainage system of fluid and wastes accumulated in different tissues around the body. This fluid becomes stagnant if there are not enough nodes to drain it through lymphatic vessels, which can lead to infections or diseases. Your immune system has about 13 essential parts, including lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, thymus gland, appendix and bone marrow.
Gut microbiota also plays a crucial role in your immune system. They help strengthen your immunity by activating cells of the immune system and stimulating them to fight harmful microbes in the body. Your gut microbiota is a group of microorganisms that live in your intestinal tract. They protect you from any potential infections or diseases. Still, when there are too many harmful bacteria in the gut, they can affect your digestion, nutrient absorption and gut sensitivity.
Simple Solutions for a Stronger Immune System
Before we can understand how CBD can benefit and boost your immune system, it’s vital to ensure you’re covering the basics to set yourself up properly. Here is a list of things to consider when trying to bolster your immune system:
Rest – Make time to get plenty of rest. This will help you avoid getting sick. Ideally, you want to get anywhere from seven to eight hours of sleep per night. But it’s also essential to take breaks throughout the day so that you don’t feel rundown or overworked.
Get extra sleep when you’re feeling off – When you feel like you’re coming down with something, do everything you can to get more sleep. Resting will be the best thing for you while your immune system fights off the infection or illness.
Exercise regularly – What’s good for your heart is also good for your immune system. This means working out at least three times per week. Whether running, walking, biking or playing a sport, aim to get in 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
Eat healthily – What you feed your body is key when it comes to staying healthy. Make sure to get plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains in your diet. The old saying is true: Food is medicine.
Keep hydrated – Your body needs lots of water to fight infection. So make sure you’re drinking enough fluids every day. In addition to water, health teas like matcha can provide the hydration you need and other immune-boosting benefits.
Keep your hands clean – Wash your hands before eating, after going to the bathroom and after touching a pet or animal. Germs can spread quickly if you touch too many surfaces without washing your hands!
Your Endocannabinoid System & CBD
It goes without saying that your immune system and the endocannabinoid system are related.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) includes a network of receptors that spans the brain, spinal cord and other body parts. It can be found in our brain cells, in immune system cells and even in breast milk!
Scientists have found that the ECS is related to the immune system because it has shown the potential to regulate pro-inflammatory cytokines. In fact, some scientists believe that this relationship between pro-inflammatory cytokines and the ECS could be at the heart of chronic pain and certain autoimmune diseases like type 1 diabetes or multiple sclerosis (MS). Because these illnesses are so common today, research on how these systems are connected will continue to grow.
The molecules that activate and interact with your ECS — endocannabinoids — are remarkably similar to those found in hemp plants. The ones that come from hemp are technically called phytocannabinoids, but people usually refer to them as cannabinoids.
And just in case you didn’t know, endo means inner or inside while phyto means relating to plants. So that’s why those names are the way they are.
There are over a hundred known cannabinoids so far. Still, our favorite is, by far, CBD, and that’s the one we’re most interested in today.
Why CBD can affect your immune system
CBD works similarly to your natural cannabinoids, which are responsible for regulating many functions in your body, including some related to your immune system.
When CBD is introduced into your body, it has similar effects as your natural endocannabinoids because they interact with ECS receptors. And just like your endocannabinoids, CBD can offer benefits.
What makes CBD stand out?
CBD is different from some of the other cannabinoids and compounds found in hemp plants. We said it’s our favorite, and it’s not just because of the benefits of using it. Here are a few more:
Non-psychotropic – Unlike another well-known cannabinoid, THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, so it doesn’t produce a “high” or any mind-altering effects.
Not addictive – CBD does not have the potential for abuse, which means you won’t experience a craving to use it again and again.
Few if any side effects – CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe for most users. Side effects are rare and, when reported, not severe. Common ones include dry mouth, headaches and indigestion.
How CBD Can Boost Your Immune System
Now you understand more about how your immune system functions, what your ECS is and how they fit together. You’ve also been introduced to CBD and seen how it can work in your body. But the question remains, how specifically does CBD benefit your immune system? Here are five ways!
- Better sleep – CBD has been shown to drastically improve the quality of your sleep. By bettering your sleep cycle, CBD boosts the activity of your immune system by ensuring that you go through all three phases of sleep — REM, light and deep sleep. In fact, in one study, 66.7% of patients reported improved sleep scores after using CBD.
- Reduced inflammation – CBD has been studied for its anti-inflammatory qualities. Preventing or reducing inflammation can be vital to how your immune system functions. For example, your immune system is supposed to fight off foreign invaders that find their way into your body. If you suffer from chronic inflammation, the activity of your immune system becomes suppressed. In this way, CBD can also provide improved recovery from exercise and physical activity, which leaves your body free to manage its resources better.
- CBD acts as an antioxidant – Just like it can reduce inflammation, CBD is also an antioxidant that helps with oxidative stress that weakens your immune system. Reducing oxidative stress on your body is crucial because it means that your immune system can spend less energy fighting in this way and dedicate more energy to working in the immune system.
- Better digestion – CBD and digestive health are closely linked in several ways. And this is important because digestive health and your immune system are intricately connected. CBD has been studied in the past for its effects on intestinal functionality, and it can even help to balance your microbiome!
- Lowered stress and anxiety – Your immune system is also closely linked to your nervous system, and CBD has been shown to help with this. With reduced amounts of stress and anxiety, your immune system can function at its maximum potential without the adverse effects that come along with anxiety and stress.
How to Take CBD for a Better Immune System
CBD is available in several different forms, these days, and it’s important to know which one is right for you.
The most popular form is CBD oil, which comes in several different concentrations, generally starting out around 500mg. Lower concentrations are great for those just starting their CBD journey, while the more advanced will want to aim higher.
Also called CBD drops or CBD tinctures, they’re a popular option because they offer high concentrations of CBD that you can take sublingually (under your tongue). This is a great way to ensure you’re quickly and efficiently getting your daily CBD serving into your system.
And if the under-the-tongue method isn’t your jam, you can always put a few drops in your morning coffee, evening tea or afternoon cocktail. Don’t worry. We won’t tell your boss about the cocktail or the CBD.
Swallowing CBD capsules is another fantastic way to keep the CBD train moving throughout the week. They’re pre-measured servings of CBD oil, often combined with other beneficial ingredients that allow you to take CBD anywhere. And if you’re looking for the same portability but have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to consider CBD gummies instead.
You may also want to consider some of the more unconventional CBD products like CBD bath bombs. These are great, especially if you’re not feeling your best. A long soak in a hot bath accompanied by the relaxing and immune-boosting powers of CBD may be precisely what the doctor ordered. But you don’t have to wait until you’re on the cusp of getting sick to put these to work. They make for a great way to unwind, no matter what day of the week it is.
When it comes to using CBD to boost your immune system, it’s important to remember to be consistent. Daily, monitored use will help you achieve the best success with your CBD products of choice.
If you’re new and an absolute beginner, it can be hard to understand CBD serving sizes and how much CBD to take. Start low, go slow and gradually increase your intake. But above all else, listen to your body. It will guide you.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to fight back and boost your immune system with CBD!
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