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Can You Strengthen Your Immune System With Cannabis?

April 8, 2020

(Photo Credit - Bruno /Germany from Pixabay)

 

There is no denying that over the years, even if anecdotally, cannabis has proven itself to be one of the most effective ways of treating many diseases, even potentially strengthening the immune system of a person using it. 

 

The legalization of cannabis granted widespread access to a highly medicinal plant that was doing for many what traditional medications and prescriptions could not. With a variety of ailments now accepted by most states' medical marijuana programs, there are an ever-growing number of people qualifying to get a medical marijuana card.  

 

Because of this widespread legalization in the U.S., nowadays, in most of the states across America such as Nevada dispensaries can be found at every corner. 

 

So how exactly does cannabis affect the immune system, and for what diseases can it potentially be used as a treatment? Keep reading if you want to find out. 

 

Cannabis and the Immune System 

 

While there's still little research regarding the effect cannabis has on the human immune system, the one that has been done up to date is quite optimistic. 

 

The main subject of cannabis and immune system research is how cannabis affects people with HIV, which causes AIDS disease. AIDS attacks the person's immune system, which is why it is suggested that the way in which those people react to cannabis will be how everyone's body will respond. If people with weak immune systems can use it, others can too. 

 

A study performed in 2003 by Annals of Internal Medicine, which is one of the academic medical journals, revealed that "Patients receiving cannabinoids had improved immune function compared with those receiving placebo. They also gained about 4 pounds more on average than those patients receiving placebo." 

 

This, as well as two more studies performed, later on, seems to confirm the claim that cannabis has a positive effect on the human immune system. While all this looks promising, further research is still needed. 

 

Cannabis Used as a Treatment

 

While no study has fully confirmed the effect cannabis has on an immune system, it has been proved that it can be used as an effective treatment of many diseases. This, in a way, also helps people strengthen their immune system and improve their overall health - both mental and physical. 
 

Chronic Pain and Inflammation 

 

Cannabis's ability to relieve pain, as well as to reduce inflammation are two primary reasons as to why the use of marijuana is so popular. The term 'chronic pain' is used to describe the pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. It can affect anyone, any part of the body, and makes everyday activities feel like torture. It can also affect one's psychic. 

 

Since cannabis reduces inflammation, many brands started to make beauty products infused with it, which are meant to help with acne - an inflammatory skin condition. 

 

Cancer 

 

While further research regarding this topic is still needed, several studies have shown that cannabis can be an effective treatment for cancer. Not only does it stop the side effects of chemotherapy like loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting, but it also can slow down the growth of cancer cells in the lungs, brain, and breast. 

 

What's more, one of the studies showed that cannabis is even able to stop cancer by turning off the Id-1 gene. 

 

Seizures

 

For years, people were trying to figure out whether cannabis actually helps with epileptic seizures or not. Its usefulness was proven in 2017 when children with epilepsy who were given CBD experienced a reduction in a number of seizures of at least 50%. What's more, 5% of them became utterly seizure-free! 

 

Crohn's Disease 

 

A study performed in Israel has shown that cannabis can be used as an effective treatment of Crohn's disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disorder. The study consisted of 11 patients. Ten of them experienced a reduction of symptoms, while of them have been cured completely. 

 

You might think that it's just one study. However, other studies dealing with this subject have confirmed the results. 

 

PTSD 

 

Cannabis has been proven to be effective when it comes to treating symptoms of PTSD, especially the nightmares and improving the quality of sleep of those who suffer from it. While further research is still needed, it is already being used by many military veterans experiencing PTSD. 


 

Anxiety and Depression

 

Cannabis increases the production of anandamide, which is a body's natural antidepressant. As it turns out, its elevated level results in a better mood and reduced anxiety. Smoking or taking cannabis also increases the sense of calm. 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Unfortunately, there isn't yet a specific study that would fully confirm that cannabis has a positive effect on the human immune system. However, research has shown that it can still be used as an effective treatment of many diseases, such as chronic pain, cancer, and epilepsy (seizures). 

 

The legalization of marijuana has not only made access to it easier for people who need it but also opened the door for more research. All we have to do now is wait for the results.

 

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