Effects of CBD on the immune system: treatment of Autoimmune Inflammatory Diseases
Autoimmune inflammatory diseases [AIDs] are diseases in which immune cells lose tolerance and attack cells and tissues of the body itself.
These diseases can erupt due to hormonal changes after a severe emotional event, as a result of exposure to certain medications and foods, and due to climate change and excessive sun exposure.
Cannabidiol (CBD) & The Immune System
In autoimmune diseases, the main problem is the out-of-control of the immune system cells and its over-activity. CBD manages to suppress increased immune system response that is out of control and does not impair the action of the immune system against harmful factors in general. CBD is not a general suppressant of the immune system but a substance that suppresses the system only after it is out of control.
Treating Immune Diseases using CBD provides 4 Benefits:
Regulating the immune system
Gastrointestinal help and assistance
Strong antioxidant activity
In addition to these medical, benefits, CBD can treat symptoms unique to Autoimmune Diseases such as:
Reduction of seizures and convulsions that characterize diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Lowering stress and anxiety
Protection of nervous system cells
Help with sleep problems
Immune diseases are very common among the population, they are irreversible and their symptoms can change the end-to-end lifestyle and make the patient’s quality of life intolerable. Currently, recognized treatments and medications usually lead to additional side effects, dependence, and a need for adaptation of the dose of the drug. In the past two years, a stream of new reports has begun.
Crowds of people in the United States and Europe are already experiencing CBD and their admiration is real. CBD oil derived from the cannabis plant (hemp) can be a very significant supplement for immunodeficiency sufferers because of its high safety, its many positive mechanisms of action as a natural and non-synthetic supplement. CBD has no intoxicating and mind-altering effect like the THC molecule, making it a molecule that a large new population can experience without changing daily routines.
Read about CBD’s mechanisms of action and its effect on immune cells
Autoimmune Diseases in which CBD Is effective
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis has no real link to atherosclerosis, both diseases are supposedly related to damage caused by the disease to the organ in which they cause damage (sclerosis = degeneration). The name multiple sclerosis describes a phenomenon of attacking multiple nervous systems by the immune system. The attack itself is carried out by white blood cells – cells designed to fight diseases and infections in the body, and therefore belongs to the family of autoimmune diseases. Sclerosis is a chronic disease of the nervous system, which impairs the proper functioning of nerve cells in the central nervous system [CNS] by reducing myelin production by Swan cells. Myelin insulates the nerve cell envelope.
Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibres (axons) and it mainly helps to transmit electrical currents between nerve cells. In case the myelin sheath has been damaged the transmission of currents is impaired making it difficult to function properly in the brain & CNS (based on the transmission of electrical currents) and on the functioning of the entire body. This process causes damage to various organs, and usually the spinal cord, brain, and optic nerve. The disease has a wide range of symptoms, including blurred vision, difficulties walking, dizziness, and muscular dystrophy. Many patients live with the disease for many years, but in the more severe cases, the disease causes impairment of movement and the patient may even have a disability.
CBD is known for its ability to balance the immune system and lower the severity of symptoms in cases of Multiple Sclerosis.
The first studies in CBD treatment in humans were conducted on patients with multiple sclerosis. The volunteers were given a daily high dose of 600 mg of CBD per day and after a few days, the tremors characteristic of the disease stopped almost completely. CBD also has a strong anti-inflammatory action in the entire body and it protects many kinds of cells in the nervous system.
Studies dealing with CBD and multiple sclerosis:
Cannabidiol provides long-lasting protection against the deleterious effects of inflammation in a viral model of Multiple Sclerosis: a role for A2A receptors
Meta-analysis of cannabis-based treatments for neuropathic and Multiple Sclerosis-related pain
Oromucosal delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol/cannabidiol for neuropathic pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis: an uncontrolled, open-label, 2-year extension trial
Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis
A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of Sativex, in subjects with symptoms of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis
Clinical efficacy and effectiveness of Sativex, a combined cannabinoid medicine, in multiple sclerosis-related spasticity
Sativex for the management of multiple sclerosis symptoms
Tetrahydrocannabinol: Cannabidiol Oromucosal Spray for Multiple Sclerosis-Related Resistant Spasticity in Daily Practice
Cannabinoid-induced effects on the nociceptive system: A neurophysiological study in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease, that is, a disease in which the immune system, which is supposed to protect our body from infections, accidentally attacks the body itself. The main injury of RA is to the small joints of the fingers of the palms and feet, but other joints can also be damaged, as well as other systems in the body such as the lungs and heart. RA is the most common inflammatory joint disease that affects 0.5%-1% of the general population. In 75% of RA patients, you can find an increased level of Rheumatoid Factor [RF], an antibody that is involved in the development of the inflammatory process. The typical course of the disease is periods of relative followed by periods of the onset of inflammation.
During an outbreak, pain, redness, and swelling of joints will usually appear, especially in the palms of the hands and feet. The disease is usually “symmetrical”, that is: if a certain joint is involved in the right palm, it will almost always involve the same joint in the left palm. Another characteristic of the disease is morning stiffness, that is: the joints involved are especially stiff and painful in the morning. Later in the day, after activating the joints, they are less painful. The disease is accompanied by other physical symptoms, including fatigue, fever, and weakness. The common complications in RA patients are episcleritis, scleritis, and dry eye syndrome that may appear as part of the syndrome.
CBD has been found to have many benefits in treating arthritis-related pain.
In the late 1990s, some of the CBD’s mechanisms of action were discovered in suppressing the release of cytokines. This mechanism was thoroughly studied in the years that followed in tissue culture and animals. In an animal model for RA cannabidiol was found to suppress the release of the TNFα (tumour necrosis factor) that is involved in increasing inflammation in the joints. Sedation and lowering of inflammatory symptoms also cause relief from the pain associated with inflammation. Reports from people online worldwide indicate that beyond the pain relief that CBD gives at the time of worsening of the disease, regular and continuous ingestion of CBD may prolong the duration between one outbreak and another.
Read more about CBD and arthritis:
Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis
The abnormal cannabidiol analogue O-1602 reduces nociception in a rat model of acute arthritis via the putative cannabinoid receptor GPR55
Study of cannabinoid receptor 2 Q63R gene polymorphism in Lebanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus type 2, or as it was previously called: “adult diabetes” or insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) is the most common form of the disease and constitutes about 90% of diabetes cases. Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disease characterized by high concentrations of blood sugar, lack of insulin in the body, and a condition called insulin resistance, which is expressed in a less sensitive response of the cells to insulin alongside its excess production. Common symptoms of the disease include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger, unexplained weight loss, and blurred vision. Possible complications from high blood sugar include heart disease, stroke, and diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to blindness, severe kidney failure, and poor blood flow to the extremities that can lead to amputation. The main causes of the appearance of type 2 diabetes are obesity and lack of physical activity. Some people are at high risk of getting sick from others because of hereditary predisposition.
CBD as a treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
A recent study has found that CBD may decrease the incidence of diabetes from 86% to 30% in diabetic rodents, due to the anti-inflammatory abilities of CBD that mitigate the onset of diabetes. The Endo-cannabinoid System [ECS], the CB1 cannabinoid receptors, the endogenous ligands – anandamide, and 2-AG are involved in all aspects of controlling the balance of energy metabolism in mammals. Until now, it has been assumed that the ECS is only intended to facilitate energy consumption in the body, but it is now estimated that this system has several more important functions, including improving energy storage within the adipose tissue and reducing energy expenditure by affecting the metabolism of fat and glucose compounds. Although usually the ECS, both central and peripheral, is activated by hormones and neuropeptides, certain aspects of the system may get out of control and contribute, among other things, to the effects of obesity, diabetic dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes. These observations lead to the assumption that Phyto-cannabinoids, the external cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, such as CBD, can significantly help in the treatment of these metabolic disorders.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic autoimmune disease in the liver, during which the immune system identifies the healthy liver cells in our body as foreign, attacks them inadvertently, and causes the liver to become inflammatory. Autoimmune hepatitis has many different symptoms depending on the progression phase of the disease (such as exhaustion, muscle pain, pain in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, and jaundice, although many of these symptoms are similar to the symptoms of other diseases, which makes it difficult to diagnose the disease. In addition, the course of the disease may be very slow, and it can develop inside the body for years without any signs or symptoms appearing.
CBD as a treatment of Autoimmune Hepatitis
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have received a lot of attention in recent years in research as key cells in the immune system. They are observed at sites in the body that suffer from inflammation and can suppress T-cell activation. In a recent study, researchers examined how CBD activates the TRPV1 receptor (ion channel), causing the activation of MDSCs that inhibit the destructive action of T cells, and thus CBD helps treat liver diseases.
In 2018, the US government introduced CBD to “orphan drug status” to treat autoimmune hepatitis. CBD wins orphan drug status for autoimmune hepatitis
Autoimmune diseases related to the skin
A rare cancerous skin disease that was first defined in 1872 by Austro-Hungarian Jewish dermatologist Moritz Kaposi (originally Cohen). Until the 1980s, the disease appeared mainly in old men of Jewish or Mediterranean origin. In the last decades of the twentieth century, the disease began to appear in populations suffering from suppression of the immune system, such as patients undergoing organ transplantation or AIDS patients. In these populations, the disease also appears in women. With the introduction of new treatments for AIDS, the incidence of Kaposi sarcoma decreased by 85%. The disease is of great importance because it illustrates the relationship between immune damage and the development of cancer. Until the discovery of the link between AIDS and Kaposi sarcoma, the role of the immune system was known only in the fight against external pathogens. The fact that the disease is manifested in patients that their immune system is depressed indicates that this system plays a role in controlling the development of certain cancerous tumours. Pathology: the disease is a tumour of the type of sarcoma that appears in the subcutaneous tissues or mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, and anus. The lesion (abnormal tissue) appears to be bright, purple, brown, or red. Sometimes the disease manifests itself in painful swelling mainly in the eyelids, groin, mouth, and throat. Despite the discomfort of mild Kaposi Sarcoma, the disease is usually not life-threatening. However, the disease becomes life-threatening when it spreads to the lungs, liver, or digestive system.
Kaposi’s Sarcoma skin lesions
CBD for the treatment of Kaposi Sarcomas
A 2012 study found that CBD inhibits the growth of cultured Sarcoma-Kaposi cancer cells (in vitro) and enhances malignant cells programmed cell death (apoptosis). That way, the cancer cells die by themselves.
Cannabidiol inhibits growth and induces programmed cell death in Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-infected endothelium
Immune Thrombocytopenic Crimson – Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
An autoimmune disease in which platelets are lacking causes subcutaneous hemorrhages. ITP can appear in two types: Acute, which is less than 6 months long and appears almost exclusively in children, and chronic, which can take years. This type of disease appears mainly in adults and attacks unexpectedly and without a history of the previous infection. ITP is characterized by a low count of platelets. The symptoms that accompany it are bruising of various sizes, petechiae, purpura, severe menstrual bleeding, and bleeding from the nose and gums. Less common symptoms are blood in the urine, gastrointestinal bleeding, and intracerebral hemorrhage which is a rare symptom.
Platelets are tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding. If one of your blood vessels gets damaged, it sends out signals to the platelets. The platelets then rush to the site of damage and form a plug to fix the damage.
A megakaryocyte “large-nucleus cell” is a large bone marrow cell with a lobulated nucleus responsible for the production of blood thrombocytes (platelets), which are necessary for normal blood clotting. In humans, megakaryocytes usually account for 1 out of 10,000 bone marrow cells, but can increase in number nearly 10-fold during certain diseases.
CBD as a treatment of ITP
In a 2014 study, researchers showed how the endocannabinoid [eCB] 2-AG increases platelet production in megakaryoblastic cells. Since CBD inhibits the FAAH enzyme from its action to break down 2-AG, the duration of the endocannabinoid’s action lengthens, and as a result, new platelets are formed in the bone marrow.
This mechanism of action of cannabidiol is extremely important for all sufferers of Anandamide deficiency diseases like
ITP2-Arachidonoylglycerol enhances platelet formation from human megakaryoblasts. In the past year, there have been anecdotal reports that can be found online and in academic articles, about patients suffering from ITP that started self-treatment with CBD oil and felt significant relief in symptoms.
Scleroderma (Connective Tissue Sclerosis)
A chronic autoimmune disease that mainly damages the skin and may also damage blood vessels, internal organs, and joints. Scleroderma is characterized by an excess of collagen, which is the main supporting protein of connective tissues. The term scleroderma means “hard skin”, in the Greek language (scleros = stiff, drama= skin). The term comes to indicate the hardness and condensation of the skin, which is a prominent sign of the disease. Scleroderma has two main forms: Localized Scleroderma or Morphea – cutaneous scleroderma, a milder disease, which mainly affects the hands, arms, and face, and sometimes also includes pulmonary hypertension. The second and more pathogenic form is Simplified sclerosis or systemic sclerosis – a rarer disease, characterized by rapid development and affecting large areas of the skin as well as internal organs such as the kidneys, oesophagus, heart, and lungs, and can be fatal. There is no specific treatment for Scleroderma, but rather a treatment for complications caused by it. The cause of Scleroderma is unknown. It exists in families, but the genes involved have not been fully identified. The disease affects small blood vessels – arterioles – in all organs. At the beginning of the disease, the endothelial cells that coat the arteriole die (in the process of apoptosis) along with smooth muscle cells that form part of the blood vessels. These cells are replaced by collagen tissue and fibroblasts. Inflammatory cells, especially CD4+ Helper T cells, infiltrate the affected area, causing further damage. The drugs used in the disease block harmful inflammatory processes that are generated by this mechanism.
CBD as a treatment for Multi-Systemic Sclerosis
There are recent studies on the subject that have found that activating the CB2 receptors and the PPARγ nuclear receptor causes a decrease in the inflammatory response and the process of creating scar connective tissues (fibrosis) that are two main processes in multi-systemic sclerosis. CBD can activate indirectly the CB2 receptor and may reduce symptoms of Sclerosis.
Chronic autoimmune disease is in which skin cells change at an increased rate due to mistaken identification as a pathogen. The disease manifests itself in cutaneous layers, usually red-purple, covered in scale. About 30% of psoriasis patients also develop psoriatic arthritis.
CBD as a treatment for Psoriasis
CBD suppresses the activity of T cells that are immune cells that provoke inflammation and in the case of psoriasis disease are the main causes of the body’s attack on itself. In addition, cannabidiol soothes inflammation with the help of suppressing the release of additional cytokines. CBD relaxes and heals blood vessels, which in many cases in psoriasis is the source of pain. CBD is an excellent antioxidant involved in the processes of cleaning “waste” from the various body systems.
Learn more about CBD and treatment of psoriasis and other skin diseases: CBD and skin problems treatment
CBD as a treatment of IMMUNE DISEASES of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Crohn’s disease that damages the digestive system is an autoimmune disease.
Ulcerative inflammation of the colon (ulcerative colitis).
Learn more: Gastrointestinal therapy: The healing abilities of CBD and its properties
OTHER DISEASES ON WHICH TO FIND AN INDIVIDUAL REPORT ON CBD TREATMENT
Sjogren Syndrome [SS]
An autoimmune disease that damages salivary glands mainly and is characterized by feelings of dry mouth and eyes as well as other complaints related to the involvement of other organs in the body.
A significant complication of the disease is the development of lymphoma. The disease is chronic, developing slowly, with the ability to pass several years from the onset of symptoms to a full clinical sign of the disease.
The disease attacks more frequently in middle-aged women, although the disease can be found in all age & gender groups.
Systemic Lupus erythematosus [SLE]
An autoimmune disease that involves a large number of self-antibodies such as ANA, DNA, Sm, ANTI-RO, ANTI-LA. The disease is 10 times more common in women than in men. Lupus disease is divided into 5 main subgroups that include: 3 subgroups of which have multi-systemic manifestations, and 2 subgroups of them mainly have dermal manifestations.
Obaites – Eye disease.
The immune system attacks the gut cells due to the penetration of gluten protein into the bloodstream. IgE & IgM antibodies are created against gluten protein and an acute inflammation arises that causes serious problems with digestion and causes abdominal pain.
Behcet’s Disease [BD]
Oral and genital ulcers
Grave’s Disease [GD]
It results from the linking of antibodies to acetylcholine (Ach) receptors in the postsynaptic part of the nerve-muscle connection. As a result, the muscle weakness often develops that involves the eyelids, swallowing muscles, respiratory muscles, and limb muscles.
In response to a foreign antigen, the immune system attacks the nervous system. In this disease, the myelin of the nerve cell envelope is damaged.
The immune system attacks the small blood vessels that lead to the auditory system, eyes, and nervous system, and especially to the brain.