Cannabis effects on infectious disease and the immune system
With COVID-19 raising questions on medical treatments for infectious diseases, it’s no surprise that cannabis is being looked at for its medicinal properties. The questions, ‘can cannabis cure infectious diseases’ or ‘what are cannabis’ effects on the immune system?’ have been raised more than ever. Even though it’s been found that cannabis can not aid in the treatment of the coronavirus, this unprecedented time is shining a light on viral infections and immunity, overall. For medical marijuana Orlando users and across the globe, it’s important to understand the relationship between cannabis and the immune system. Here we’ve compiled what researchers know so far, on how medical marijuana interacts with infectious diseases and affects immunity.
Getting to know the endocannabinoid system
Medical marijuana effects are felt by consumers through the cannabinoids’ interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a group of receptors that act as messengers between varied parts of the body. It helps in regulating a number of processes including sleep, immune responses, pain, amongst others.
Researchers are increasingly looking at the connection between cannabis and immunity, as the immune system has an abundance of CB2 receptors. The CB2 receptor is one of the most notable messengers that CBD and THC can influence. Conversely, the endocannabinoid system also plays a role in the body’s response to pathogens. Let’s cover what we know so far, in reference to cannabis’ effects on the immune system and overall immunity.
Medical marijuana and immunity
So far, what researchers can tell for certain is the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in controlling and eliminating infectious agents likes bacteria and viruses. With cannabis interacting with this system, medical marijuana Kissimmee users may be wondering if it hinders or helps.
Unfortunately, studies are so minimal that there isn’t a clear-cut answer. But early evidence does show THC may make the immune system less effective at fighting off viruses in general. Even though cannabis has proven to relieve neuropathic pain, epilepsy, and Multiple Sclerosis its modulation of the immune system, actually might weaken it.
One study has explored medical marijuana for the immunity-related diseases, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The results proved cannabis shows promise in acting as an inhibitor of the disease’s progression. When using Denbinobin, a marijuana derivative, the study showed the slowing of HIV replication.
Beyond the immune system, what many researchers are finding interesting is the role of the endocannabinoid system in supplementing the body’s response to foreign pathogens like viruses or infectious diseases. As it’s been shown that medical marijuana and THC can be antibacterial in nature. Next, we’ll explore medical marijuana and infectious agents more closely.
Medical marijuana and infectious disease
The spread of COVID-19 has shined a new light on cannabis and its antibacterial cannabinoids that have shown antibiotic resistance. With the recent spread of medical marijuana legalization, luckily a few studies have been conducted on the topic. One specifically in reference to cannabis’ antibacterial activity versus normally resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. We’ll take a look at that evidence, first.
Cannabis contains a plethora of cannabinoids with medical effects, including the most well-known THC and CBD. But a lesser-known cannabinoid CBG was found to be responsible for antibiotic like effects against the MRSA infection. CBG like CBD is non-psycho-active and is found in smaller amounts in marijuana and hemp plants.
Researchers found that when testing cannabis for the treatment of MRSA, CBG was the most effective. In fact, when treating mice with the infection, CBG was just as effective as the powerful antibiotic vancomycin. This has led many to wonder if cannabinoids can have other positive effects on infectious conditions.
Medical marijuana’s reaction with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors is also being explored for other types of infections. Like, sepsis, legionella pneumophila (Legionnaire’s disease, and listeria monocytogenes which can cause meningoencephalitis. Through cannabinoids stimulating, promoting, inhibiting agonists and altogether affecting receptors in the endocannabinoid system they in turn affect the immune system and specifically these conditions. Of course, these relationships will require extensive research to continue figuring out.
Now that we know there’s limited research on marijuana’s effect on immunity and infectious diseases, let’s focus on some things we do know. How can medical marijuana Delray Beach users and others around the state use cannabis safely in light of coronavirus concerns? We’ve compiled a few tips for practicing precautions.
Using medical marijuana safely amidst COVID-19
COVID-19 has forced many citizens and medical marijuana users to look at their cleanliness and cannabis use a little more carefully. For the most part, dispensaries have been considered ‘essential’ business across the country. Many have implemented additional measures to ensure sanitation and safety for distributing medical marijuana. This includes delivery and curbside service for those who are adhering to gathering limitations in-person.
Because the coronavirus is a respiratory condition, it’s made many cannabis consumers ask…is it safe to smoke? For now, many are recommending to choose edibles versus smoking or vaping if you have an underlying immunocompromised condition. This precautionary measure can help protect you from additional irritants to the lungs.
Other than that, ensure you’re sanitizing the outside packaging of any purchased medical marijuana products when possible to avoid any possible contact with the virus. Cannabis sales have surged recently due to the helpful effects that marijuana can provide especially in a time of crisis. Especially feelings of euphoria and focus, with stress and anxiety relief.
Final thoughts on cannabis, immunity, and infections
Like much of the research for cannabis, the studies on immunity and infections are still in their infancy. But there is definitely a connection whether positively or negatively. While more studies compile, medical marijuana Orlando users can continue to use cannabis for treating the symptoms of their conditions during the pandemic. Stay tuned to our blog for updated cannabis research and information as it gets discovered and confirmed.