The versatility of use is one of the most valued features of cannabidiol (CBD). This – it is always good to note – does not mean that hemp oil is the panacea for every disease.

However, CBD works where an imbalance occurs, including in the immune system, and helps restore the original balance. Therefore, the indirect effect of CBD flower on the  immune system  may lead to an ‘increase in the defenses’ or, conversely, to its partial suppression in the case of, for example, autoimmune diseases: changes in the immune system that cause abnormal immune reactions to the detriment of organism. 

Therefore, in order to interpret the effects of cannabidiol on the immune system, initial health should always be considered. 

Does CBD strengthen or suppress the immune system?

It depends on the same immune system on which cannabidiol acts.
In some cases, research has shown that cannabis can boost immune function, as is the case with those fighting cancer and HIV / AIDS.

Unlike autoimmune diseases, both cancer and HIV are associated with a progressive decline in immune function. Decreased defenses and a weak immune system make our body no longer able to fight off any infection and expose us to a very high health risk. 

Currently, some preclinical studies clearly show  that the active ingredients of cannabis significantly enhance the immune response  in some particularly severe cases, such as people with cancer or HIV. 

A 2015 study found that HIV-positive patients who were given certain active ingredients of cannabis had lower viral loads than those in the control group.

Patients with cannabis also had a higher number of CD4 cells, immune cells that fight the HIV virus. CD4 is a type of T lymphocyte. In 2003, a study conducted by UCSF researchers (University of San Francisco – California) described how HIV / AIDS patients given cannabis showed a 20% increase in T lymphocytes.

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These lymphocytes are cells capable of searching for, identifying and destroying pathogens: at least a major component of our immune response. 

On the other hand, there are diseases and conditions in which the inflammatory response is activated “inappropriately” by our immune system. These are autoimmune diseases in which the immune system begins to attack the patient’s body. 

Chronic inflammation underlies many conditions, including depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, asthma, arthritis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, obesity and more.

Cannabidiol has been proven several times to be beneficial for those who have health problems associated with chronic inflammation. In these cases, CBD is considered an immunosuppressant capable of reducing cytokine production3 and inhibiting T lymphocyte function.

The ability of cannabinoids to strengthen or suppress immune functions adds confirmation and invites us to look even deeper into the mechanisms that regulate the endocannabinoid system, directly involved in the modulation of the immune system. 

Previous studies, both preclinical and clinical, as well as direct evidence, show how cannabidiol (CBD) can be a valid ally if you want to act to strengthen your defenses, both in therapeutic and preventive function.