Currently, the entire world is focused on one thing — COVID-19. The unprecedented scale of infections, deaths, and economic fallout has turned the world upside down.
Instead of summer plans and winter holidays, individuals are becoming increasingly concerned about their overall immune system. The demand for building a robust immune system is sending consumers and retailers into a frenzy. With so many options, it’s difficult to gauge which products work best.
However, an increasingly popular candidate to boost the immune system is cannabis. Although this may come as a surprise to many, cannabis is regarded by the scientific community to play a significant role in the endocannabinoid system. Read along to understand everything there is to know about cannabis, the immune system, and the relation to COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
As you may know, COVID-19, also known as the novel Coronavirus, is a virus that’s swept across the globe in the last 6-months. With millions of infections and nearly half a million deaths, the Coronavirus is a serious threat to the world at large.
Important factors regarding COVID-19 are that it’s a respiratory illness, and it’s highly contagious. In this case, some of you may scratch your heads when cannabis is mentioned as a possible supplement to boost the immune system to fight against COVID-19.
What Is The Immune System?
The immune system is composed of cells and proteins that fight against viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections. The immune system is a complex network that’s your body’s first and only defense when it comes to foreign bodies and diseases.
The immune system isn’t just the body’s defender — it’s also a recordkeeper. The immune system can tell what belongs where, and if something is out of place, it springs into action.
However, the immune system isn’t something you can see, such as the heart or lungs. The immune system is found within the bone marrow and the thymus.
Inside of the bone marrow and thymus, which makes up the primary lymphoid organs, defense cells are produced. The defense cells, commonly known as T-cells, are created to find antigens within the body. Antigens are foreign substances and toxins that can harm the body.
Once the immune system recognizes a problem, T-cells (antibodies) are ordered to fight against the antigen. Once defeated, the immune system understands how to quickly overcome the specific antigen, which is why it can build immunity to various illnesses.
What Is The Endocannabinoid System?
The Endocannabinoid system is a recently discovered network of neurotransmitters and receptor proteins that bind with cannabinoids. Surprisingly, the endocannabinoid system is found throughout the body, such as the brain, spinal cord, white blood cells, various organs, and the overall central nervous system.
The endocannabinoid system is broken into two primary categories — the CB1 and CB2 receptor groups. The CB1 receptor group is found primarily in the central nervous system, such as the brain and spinal cord. The CB2 receptor group is found throughout white blood cells and the immune system.
Research shows that cannabinoids from cannabis stimulate the endocannabinoid system. Once stimulated, the endocannabinoid system signals to the central nervous system and the immune system to produce a positive response.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of stimulating the endocannabinoid system with cannabis, and how it can positively boost the immune system in the face of COVID-19.
Cannabis Increases Serotonin Levels
If you experience anxiety, depression, or low energy levels, it may be because you have a low concentration of serotonin. Researchers point towards anxiety, depression, and fatigue to a weak immune response.
In other words, if you experience any of these issues, your body is more likely to be compromised in the event of an exposure to an antigen.
Studies show that cannabis that’s rich in CBD can effectively stimulate the central nervous system by normalizing the rate of serotonin production. By normalizing serotonin levels, individuals are likely to experience a decrease in anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
It’s no wonder why serotonin is known as the happy chemical, and cannabis, along with the endocannabinoid system, is directly linked to its production.
Cannabis Assists With a Good Night’s Rest
There are no two ways about it – getting a good night’s rest is essential for a robust immune system.
Sadly, millions of individuals experience mild to severe levels of insomnia daily. The inability to sleep leads to many problems, which accumulates into a weak immune response.
Cannabis contains beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes that effectively promote a healthy night’s rest. Terpenes, such as myrcene, linalool, and bisabolol, play a direct role in helping you fall asleep. Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, help your body to stay asleep. By consuming a cannabis strain that’s rich in cannabinoids and terpenes, your body will get the rest it deserves.
As long as your body is well-rested, your immune system can be ready for anything that stands in its way.
What Is The Best Method to Consume Cannabis?
If your goal is to stimulate your immune system with cannabis, there are multiple methods that don’t involve smoking.
- Vaporizing cannabis concentrates and dried flowers
- Topical creams and oils
- Cannabis oil
Can Cannabis Cure The Coronavirus?
It’s important to understand that consuming cannabis cannot cure the Coronavirus. No evidence supports claims that marijuana can be used to treat COVID-19. However, cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis can support the immune system.
By decreasing the severity of depression, anxiety, pain, insomnia, and general stressors, cannabis is a useful substance to boost the immune system. Furthermore, daily exercise and a healthy diet are necessary when building a strong immune system.
Currently, there isn’t a vaccine for COVID-19. Until there’s a vaccine, a healthy immune system is the best defense that you can rely on.