Hemp-based CBD oil may have both direct and indirect mechanisms for maintaining immunity. This article covers four ways in which pairing CBD and the immune system may support immune health. (1) Increasing natural killer cells. In animal studies investigating autoimmune health, CBD has been shown to reduce the activity of T cells, B cells, and both T helper and T cytotoxic lymphocyte subsets. Outside of an autoimmune arena, CBD supports the activity of natural killer (NK) cells, a type of white blood cell, a major player in the body’s response to the presence of viruses. (2) CBD is well known for its ability to maintain a healthy inflammatory response. In animal studies, CBD supports a healthy inflammatory response in the lungs and improves lung function in mice exposed to a lung irritant.
(3) Maintaining a healthy gut microbiota. A large proportion of the immune system is located in the GI tract. The gut microbiota, the collection of organisms — good and bad — found in the intestines play an important role in helping the body have a balanced immune response. (4) Ongoing psychological stress is linked to a decline in immunity. CBD is involved in a healthy stress response. Unlike endogenous cannabinoids, which work on the CB1 receptor, CBD supplementation leads to direct activation of the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor.
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