Cannabinoids Effects on the Immune System

The immune system’s job is to protect the body from bacterial and viral invaders through the multifaceted interactions of a complex system of cells and organs. There are plenty of CB2 receptors on the various cells that are involved in such defense network and because of this, cannabinoids are oftentimes thought to play a part in the immune response. The role of CB2 in immunity continues to be a mystery, however, especially that researchers are yet to discover a natural cannabinoid that does something on immune cells.

Cannabinoids appear to influence components of the immune system in varied and occasionally opposing ways in conducted experiments on animals and isolated cells. Cannabinoids increase and lessen particular responses to infection although it would need up to 10 times more drugs to make these effects than the normal to modify the nervous system functions.

Intriguing findings arose in basic researches on the immune system and cannabinoids that encourage further studies. Many reports centre on the effects of THC on one of numerous species of white blood cells which are the immune system’s workhorses. White blood cells serve different purposes but all work in the goal of defending the body in opposition to diseases. It was found out that cannabinoids can cause immune suppression yet in some cases the immune system must be suppressed in order to cure diseases. Cannabinoids also appear to reduce inflammation and tissue damage in rat brain models of head injury, meningitis, and multiple sclerosis.

Mack, Alison, Joy, Janet. “Front Matter.” Marijuana As Medicine?: The Science Beyond the Controversy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.

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