5 Facts You Should Know About Cannabis to Boost Your Immunity During COVID-19

5 Facts You Should Know About Cannabis to Boost Your Immunity During COVID-19

By Cynthia Thaik, M.D., FACC

Cannabis has proven to be quite a potent treatment for many ailments and conditions. It’s become renowned for its abilities to reduce and alleviate cancer symptoms, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, and more. 

Since it’s almost regarded as a miracle cure for a variety of different conditions, it’s only natural to wonder whether cannabis can help to fight off the pandemic that we’re all facing today – coronavirus. 

The answer’s not simple. The novel coronavirus is just that – novel. It hasn’t been around long enough for adequate studies to be done that can provide conclusive answers as to whether cannabis can help fight it off. 

However, cannabis has been around long enough to conclude that it can be highly beneficial to your health. You can use cannabis to boost your immunity, which should, in turn, help you to stay healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

So with this in mind, let’s see what it is that cannabis can do. 

Its Interaction with the Endocannabinoid System 

Before we get into the specific beneficial properties and abilities of cannabis, it’s important to know why we respond to it so well and why its effects are so diverse. After all, there are many cures and treatments for various ailments, yet cannabis is often regarded as the most potent one. 

This is all due to our innate endocannabinoid system (ECS)

All vertebrates, including humans, have the ECS with cannabinoid receptors that are found all throughout the body – in the skin, bones, muscles, fat tissue, even in the immune cells. It’s been suggested that the ECS may be crucial in regulating both physiological and cognitive processes, including pain sensation, mood, appetite, sleep, and immune responses. 

Since our innate endocannabinoids are so similar in structure to cannabis molecules, cannabis can mimic them and boost the effectiveness of the ECS. 

Cannabis as an Immuno-Regulator 

The relationship between cannabis and our immune system is unique. On the one hand, you can use cannabis to boost your immunity and fight off certain conditions. On the other, you can use it to slow down your immune responses, effectively suppressing your immunity. How is this possible? 

Put plainly, cannabis is neither a suppressant nor an excitant. It’s an immuno-regulator

What this means is that using cannabis can help you put your over or under-reactive immune system under control. 

An overactive immune system can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases, while a suppressed immune system can make you more susceptible to certain conditions and illnesses. Cannabis helps your immunity achieve a better balance, thus helping you maintain your overall wellbeing. One great thing about it is that it is not only filled with health benefits but comes in different marijuana strains like a sour tangie that people love.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabis 

Cannabis has proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent

Inflammation is a crucial immune response to injury and infection, and it helps to protect the body and promote healing. However, the immune system can, at times, overreact, causing the inflammation to last too long, or triggering the inflammatory response when it’s not needed. 

It can have great repercussions, which is why using cannabis can be extremely beneficial when you’re dealing with inflammation. 

If inflammation is necessary for a virus, for example, to invade the host, using cannabis can help you fight it off. However, if inflammation is necessary to defend the body from foreign invaders such as viruses, then using cannabis should be avoided.

Cannabis for Bronchodilation 

Many bacteria and viruses can cause breathing difficulties – one of the commonly reported symptoms of the novel coronavirus, for example, is shortness of breath. As suggested in some studies, cannabis may even help to alleviate such breathing difficulties by dilating and relaxing bronchial muscles

Bronchodilation clears up the airways and promotes easier breathing, but this doesn’t mean you should immediately take your CBD vaping device. Vaping can irritate the lungs, so it’s best either to take CBD in the form of tinctures or edibles or to use cannabis as aromatherapy if you want to clear up the airways and relax your bronchial muscles.  You can make use of this benefit by smoking medical marijuana regularly at home. 

 

Suggested Anti-Viral Properties of Cannabis 

More research needs to be done to find out just how effective cannabis can be against viruses. So far, it’s been shown that cannabis is an antimicrobial, helping to eliminate bacteria and fungi, but little is known about its anti-viral properties. 

However, some emerging research suggests that it can be an antiviral agent and can help treat viral conditions such as hepatitis B

The Bottom Line 

Although we cannot tell just yet whether cannabis can be a treatment for the novel coronavirus, we know that it can help to boost the immune system and promote overall well being. 

But for now, to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19, follow expert recommendations, wash your hands, stay home, and stay safe. 

About the author

Dr. Cynthia Thaik, M.D., FACC is a Harvard-trained cardiologist serving the greater Los Angeles community at her holistic health center in Burbank and Valencia, CA. Dr. Thaik is the author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength, and Spirit from the Body’s Core. To learn more about Dr. Thaik or the Holistic Healing Heart Center, or to schedule an appointment, please contact info@drcynthia.com or call (818) 842-1410.