Autoimmune diseases are those conditions that develop when the body’s own immune system malfunctions and attacks body tissues instead of attacking bacteria, cancer cells, and parasites causing damage and affecting the functionality of organs and body parts.
So far, more than one hundred autoimmune diseases have been identified. Some of the common ones are multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Hashimoto’s disease. The real trigger of autoimmunity is not known but what is known is that inflammation is involved when the immune system attacks an organ, a body part or a whole system. When the immune system attacks the intestines, one gets Crohn’s disease, when it attacks joints one gets rheumatoid arthritis, and when it attacks the pancreas one gets type 1 disease, etc. As other parts of the body keep being attacked, the medical community comes up with new names for the new diseases but not cures.
How are Autoimmune Diseases Treated?
The real cause of autoimmune reaction is not known though it is suspected that some people have a genetic tendency to develop the problem and others are triggered by toxins. Because the causes are not known, the development of appropriate drugs has been slow. Current treatments focus on using immunosuppressant drugs to control the autoimmune reaction.
Doctors also use corticosteroids to control inflammation and to suppress the immune system functionality. Other drugs, such as biologic drugs, may be included as well especially for rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis.
Treatment is long term and it requires high doses of drugs to control the symptoms of the diseases. Chronic medication does not aim to heal but to suppress the symptoms of autoimmunity. Unfortunately, the suppression of the immune system means that the patients are subject to opportunistic infections and malignancies since the immune system can no longer fight the invaders. There are also a number of adverse side effects that make the medications unattractive to patients. New drugs are being sought in order to avoid suppression of the immune system. This is where natural remedies, such as CBD, should be considered.
Is CBD Effective for Autoimmune Diseases?
While conventional medicine seeks to suppress the immune system, natural approaches seek to restore balance in the immune system. One natural and safe remedy that has been found to be effective for the control and reversal of the autoimmune response is CBD.
In works in several ways such as reducing inflammation, regulating the immune system and repairing the digestive tract.
CBD is an Adaptogen
CBD is a non-specific remedy that balances physiological processes, including the immune system, to restore overall balance in the body. It is biphasic, therefore if the immune system is too active, CBD regulates it downwards and if the immune system is too slow CBD increases its activity. Either way, it modulates the immune system rather than suppress it. Preclinical trials have found that for people with autoimmune diseases, the immune system is too active and CBD works by modulating it downwards. It increases resistance to stress caused by different factors. It works best in conjunction with other natural approaches such as dietary and lifestyle changes.
CBD is Anti-Inflammatory
Inflammation is a normal reaction of the body when there is injury or infection but when it happens unnecessarily it tends to harm the body’s own tissues. CBD removes the causes of inflammation and brings balance to the overactive immune system with little or no side effects. Preclinical trials found that it works by hindering the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while increasing production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. The result is reduction of inflammation and better balance in the immune system. (1). In a study involving multiple sclerosis in animals, CBD was found to reduce gene transcription that added to inflammation. Further studies are called for because other studies found that activation of CB2 receptors may increase inflammation.
CBD Modulates the Immune System
CBD also works by slowing down the production of T-cells and by reducing immune system memory, and that way it cuts down on autoimmune attacks. Though it suppresses the immune system like that, it does not completely shut it down and the system can still send out some immune cells and users can still heal from injuries while inflammation goes down. It is almost an ideal immunosuppressant.
CBD is an Antioxidant
Oxidative stress caused by excessive free radicals in the body is now known to be a major contributing factor for inflammation. Oxidative stress and inflammation are both closely linked to autoimmune diseases. One Japanese study on patients with lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis found that the patients had very high oxidative stress. Obviously, the treatment of autoimmune diseases must include the treatment of oxidative stress. Fortunately, CBD is a much more powerful antioxidant than vitamins C and E that combats autoimmune diseases by reducing oxidative stress.
CBD Restores Digestive Tract Health
Part of the problem with the immune system lies with imbalances and leaky gut syndrome in the digestive tract that may have occurred because of the intake of gluten and other irritating foods. CBD heals the digestive tract and prevents further autoimmune response that is associated with leaky gut syndrome. This can be enhanced through the intake of probiotics and prebiotics in order to restore balance in the gut flora. It helps to avoid further intake of gluten and dairy products.
Real People Are Using CBD to Treat Autoimmune Diseases
Many people with autoimmune diseases are turning to CBD and they are managing to improve their health. Some even manage to stop taking pharmaceutical drugs and rely solely on the use of CBD, stress management, dietary changes and fitness exercises. It is unfortunate that the federal government in the US at one time forbade clinical research on the use of CBD for autoimmune diseases. Still, studies involving animals and preclinical studies have found CBD to be and effective remedy for autoimmune diseases. CBD is potentially the new remedy for a long list of autoimmune diseases.
- Elliot DM & Others. (2018, Aug). Frontiers in Immunology. Cannabidiol Attenuates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Model of Multiple Sclerosis Through Induction of Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells.
- NOTE: It is important to understand that Kushly.com does not support wild, unverified claims that CBD is a “magic cure” for any illness. Instead, we refer everyone to academic research on CBD, carried out by medical professionals and credible institutions.