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How Does Cannabis Affect the Immune System?

The human immune system is an extraordinary network made up of specialized cells, organs, and endogenous chemicals that work together. In doing so, this sophisticated network protects against pathogens and infections. It even remembers pathogens and other illnesses it fought previously, so that it can mount a quick response against anything that tries to reinvade the body. 

With its ability to protect the body against disease and infection, the human immune system is essential to our health and well-being. But how does cannabis affect this important system? In this article, we’ll explore the effects of cannabis on the immune system and discuss the potential implications for overall health. 

Can Cannabis Trigger Autoimmune?

Both of the major chemicals in cannabis that affect the human body, THC and CBD, are seen as immunosuppressants. THC dials down the inflammatory response, and has also been shown to alter how immune cells function for antimicrobial activity. Meanwhile, CBD suppresses the inflammatory response and may induce cell death in immune cells.

This may seem like it casts cannabis in a poor light but, especially for patients grappling with an autoimmune disorder, it can be quite useful. The naturally-suppressant activities of CBD and THC may be very useful to autoimmune patients.

That being said, it can subdue healthy immune function in patients with healthy immune systems. This means that cannabis users have decreased amounts of natural killer cells, as well as a reduction in white cell function.

Does Cannabis Reduce Inflammation in the Body?

Cannabis does show a reduction in proinflammatory cells and an increase in anti-inflammatory cells. Its effects on people who have HIV and AIDS have shown that neither CBD or THC adversely affects immune function in these patients who are particularly sensitive to infection risk.

However, in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, cannabis may decrease infection-fighting cells significantly.

How Does CBD Affect the Immune System?

Like any system in the human body, the immune system doesn’t function on its own. It relies on contributions from many other systems to function fully and properly. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions in concert with the immune system.

People who suffer from autoimmune disorders have the misfortune of having an immune system that sees the body it’s part of as its worst enemy. As such, the immune system attacks itself in various ways, depending on the disorder. Common autoimmune conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.

CBD has been shown to suppress certain inflammatory responses in the body, it may be a welcome addition to the tools that doctors have to help their patients fight autoimmune disorders. Primarily, it helps protect autoimmune patients by alleviating inflammatory responses. 

Does Cannabis Damage the Immune System?

External cannabinoids, like CBD, have the potential to bind to ECS receptors, which helps influence enzyme activity and generally imitate endocannabinoids. When the immune system goes haywire, like when an autoimmune condition is triggered, CBD may hold significant influence over the immune system, quieting the immune response and suppressing inflammation.

This also means, however, that it could cause problems for those with normally-functioning immune systems. That being said, while immune system suppression is a known concern in the medical community, there simply isn’t enough data to support a firm stance on cannabis with regard to the human immune system.

What Vitamins Does Cannabis Deplete?

Cannabis has been shown to deplete various vitamins and minerals needed by the body’s many systems. Among these are antioxidant vitamins C & E, vitamin B12, GABA, magnesium, and potentially more. While you may be ingesting these vitamins and minerals, your body is blocked from absorbing them by the ECS.

Studies are not fully conclusive, but most scientists and MDs believe that they are conclusive enough that they will recommend taking supplements to counter the effects of the cannabis in your system.

Likely, they will recommend that you eat a wide variety of healthy foods and not rely on vitamin pills for nutrient intake. Supplements are supposed to be just that: supplemental. They are not a panacea for all of your nutritional woes and supplement needs.

Discover the Effects of Cannabis With Euphoria Wellness

For more information about cannabis and its many and varied effects on human health, head over to your trusted source for cannabis concerns at Euphoria Wellness, where the knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to assist you. 


This content is not intended as medical advice. The information provided is meant to encourage cannabis education, not replace direct patient-healthcare professional relationships. Always consult your primary care physician or other healthcare provider prior to using cannabis products for treatment of a medical condition.  Any statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Products are only available where the consumption of cannabis is legal.