How Medical Marijuana Affects the Immune System
Our body’s immune system is very important to sustain a healthy life.
It is our main defense from all the viruses, parasites, and contagions that are out there. These organisms are waiting for the right moment to invade our body and make us sick.
Without the immune system, we would be susceptible to all the diseases around us.
Our immune system keeps us safe and healthy. When we take good care of our bodies such as eating well, sleeping right, and exercising regularly, we keep our immune system in tiptop condition.
But not everybody has a good immune system.
There are people suffering from various diseases brought about by the irregularities of their own immune systems.
Believe it or not, medical marijuana can help people with these conditions. It can serve as a treatment for their illnesses, offer pain relief, and help in more areas for the body’s health.
This blog post will show you how medical marijuana can do this and more.
Medical Marijuana Effects on the Immune System
Medical marijuana works with these patients’ immune systems naturally.
Its compounds interact with the patients’ immune system cells seamlessly and organically. This is the key as to how medical marijuana manages to direct the immune system functions of these people.
We will explain more in this blog post how medical marijuana works with the body’s immune system.
What Is the Immune System?
Our immune system is comprised of biological structures and processes designed to protect us from diseases caused by external organisms.
These same organisms evolve continuously and come in different forms. And this makes it very important for our immune system to be adaptable in meeting these challenges.
There are two major conditions when an immune system is not fully functioning.
First, there is autoimmunity.
This is the condition when the immune system is targeting the body’s own cells and tissues as if they are external threats. A fully functioning immune system can easily differentiate organisms coming from an external source or part of the body’s own tissues.
Eliminating the body’s own produced cells can cause certain sickness to happen. Diseases such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the illnesses attributed to this autoimmune condition.
Treatment for this condition warrants the use of steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs.
Immunodeficiency, on the other hand, is the condition where the immune system is less active than normal. A weakened immune system can easily bring about sickness and infections.
HIV patients are suffering from this condition.
Now that we have an idea as to how the immune system works, let us know more about medical marijuana and how it affects this system.
How Does Medical Marijuana Interact with the Immune System?
Our body has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS) which produces cannabinoids. Cannabinoids work with the body’s cell receptors and control processes such as appetites, pain sensation, memory, and moods among others.
Medical marijuana’s own cannabinoids act similarly to what is being produced by the human body.
Immune system cells of the body have CB1 and CB2 receptors where cannabinoids attach to.
When cannabinoids attach to these CB2 receptors in the digestive tract, nervous system, and brain, abnormal immune activity is suppressed.
Why Suppress the Immune System?
Earlier, we mentioned that the overactive immune system condition, autoimmunity, attacks the body’s own tissues and cells.
A severe case of inflammation happens when the body’s immune system behaves like this. This is what patients with Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions suffer from.
Medical marijuana own cannabinoids, which can come in and suppress the body’s immune system from being overactive. It can then reduce the inflammation felt by these patients.
This is an alternative treatment considered aside from the usual immunosuppressive drugs and steroids typically given for these medical conditions. It helps by bringing pain relief to those affected with autoimmune disorders.
It is possible that suppressing the immune system may lead to increased chances of catching a disease. However, there is insufficient data showing whether a reduced immune system will lead to illnesses for patients with these conditions.
Other Medical Marijuana Benefits for Patients Taking Immunosuppressive Drugs
Patients that are on immunosuppressive drugs can realize other benefits when taking medical marijuana.
First, medical marijuana can be cheaper than these same immunosuppressive drugs.
It also provides multi-symptom relief whereas additional medicine needs to be taken for other symptoms that immunosuppressive drugs can’t handle.
It also has safer side effects since taking immunosuppressive drugs can lead to infections and illnesses.
Lastly, medical marijuana can relieve anxiety and depression symptoms.
What About Patients with Weakened Immune System?
Initial studies show that medical marijuana strengthened the immune system of these affected patients.
A 2015 study conducted on HIV patients showed that lower viral loads and higher CD4 immune cell count were attained when medical marijuana is taken. CD4 cells job is to inform other immune cells of infections present so that these other cells can eliminate them.
Another study conducted showed a raised T-cell count in patients taking medical marijuana. T-cells are vital components of the immune system for they destroy harmful pathogens.
Final Thoughts on How Medical Marijuana Affects the Immune System
It is clear that medical marijuana is a medicine that can help patients with immune system imbalances.
We showed you what happens when this immune system is not working properly by detailing the autoimmune and immunodeficiency conditions.
Medical marijuana works well with these two conditions.
For patients with a weakened immune system, medical marijuana improves it by reinforcing the CD4 and T-cell counts.
For patients with autoimmune conditions, medical marijuana acts as a suppressant by controlling this overactive immune system. It helps protect the body from itself.
Aside from being prescribed as a treatment, medical marijuana offers pain relief to these same patients. It is cheaper to purchase and a safer prescription to use, in terms of side effects compared to prescription-based ones.
AccuDoc Urgent Care clinic offers health services using natural medicine and medical marijuana for patients suffering from cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, fatigue, lupus, autoimmune, and more. They also accept appointments to patients qualified for medicinal cannabis at our Harrison, Ohio location.
For more information, you may visit AccuDoc Urgent Care clinic official website.Back to Home