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Cannabinoids and the immune system: Potential for the treatment of inflammatory diseases?
The term “cannabinoid” refers to one of a number of chemical compounds found in the weed plant. Cannabidiol (CBD), is the non psychoactive component of cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is another component of the cannabis plant which is in fact psychoactive. Products made with CBD are becoming ever so popular now because they have the ability to reduce inflammation in animal cells. Studies from chronic cannabis smokers has given evidence that cannabis can modulate the function and secretion of cytokines from immune cells. This means that cannabinoids may have the potential to treat inflammatory diseases. This paper focuses on how cannabinoids interact with the immune system and how they can be used for anti inflammatory purposes.
CBD administration may alter inflamed cell function
Cannabinoid receptors, a place where cannabinoids function in the body, in inflamed cells can be targeted by an acute dosing of CBD and this allows immune cells to function and secrete cytokines more efficiently, and hence reduce inflammation. The relationship between the immune and cannabinoid system is still unclear however this study suggests that channeling cannabinoids in the inflamed tissue could possibly provide normal functioning to immune cells and stop spontaneous activation of inflammation functions of immune cells.
CBD could treat inflammation with minimal side effects
CBD’s transient nature in the regulating normal immune cell functioning suggests that it has to be administered over a long term to have a therapeutic effect with minimal side effects.
Recent studies have suggested that CBD’s and endocannabinoids, CBD’s that naturally occur in the body, have different effects on the immune system. This means that the right dose of CBD’s will need to be administered to the inflamed body so that it can mimic the process of the natural release of endocannabinoids in the immune cells. In a recent study, a synthetic CBD, HU-210, has shown promise in providing therapy for neuroprotection following head injury and stroke.
CBD’s have demonstrated that they can be effective as therapeutic agents for animals with a range of inflammatory diseases. Although recent studies point out that CBD’s can be used for anti inflammation, further research will need to be carried out to thoroughly evaluate the immunomodulatory effects of cannabinoids.immune system