It is a fact that autoimmune diseases in the United States have dramatically increased since World War II. Autoimmune diseases like lupus affect women more than they affect men, and according to the National Institute of Health, 23.5 million(1) Americans have an autoimmune disorder. Researchers are sure that the actual incidence of autoimmune disorders is much higher, because autoimmune disorders are very complex and often mimic other diseases and are misdiagnosed, or take years to diagnose.
The definition of an autoimmunity is when the body attacks itself(2), as in the immune system is triggered by something, usually extreme chronic stress, and begins to think that its own tissues are the enemy. Consider lupus(3), in which the body attack the connective tissues, which means the skin, tendons, ligaments, bursa, joints, fluids and other cells involved in the joints, and the linings of any organ. Lupus can manifest as kidney disease, or meningitis, or arthritis, or pleurisy, etc. This means a lot of inflammation and pain. Pain to walk and move around, to hold things, or bend, twist, or turn, or to breathe, or urinate. What lupus manifests as in patients often is in widespread, chronic pain that gets worse when the body or mind is stressed.
Other autoimmune diseases include Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Multiple sclerosis (MS), Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and the like.
As far as how CBD can affect autoimmune disorders, according to Sarah Russo(4), a writer and cannabis consultant for Fundacion Canna, “Cannabis therapy and dietary changes seem to be safer, cheaper, and possibly more effective for combating autoimmune conditions than pharmaceutical medications.” This, she says, is because Cannabis is an adaptogenic herb that is “…known to be immunomodulating.” Immunomodulators generally level out the immune system in the event that it is over- or under-reacting. If you want that in medical terms, Kevin Spelman, faculty member in Botanical Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine, says, “Immunomodulatory herbs offer a very beneficial strategy to treat autoimmune conditions. If someone’s immune response is overly vigilant, there would be a down regulation of immune response. If someone’s immune response is ‘deficient’ there would be an increase of immune activity.”
The bottom line about CBD and autoimmune disorders and immune function, more research is needed, so that doctors can be sure of how to use the available products to treat the symptoms of autoimmune disease and heal the immune system. In response to this need, the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), out of the United Kingdom, has announced that it will “lead a consortium to study the safety of CBD and decide the ingredient’s recommended daily dose.” The ACI says that this decision was made in response to a worldwide outcry for more official studies and testing by regulators around the world.
In the rest of Europe, however, is conflicted (5) at the moment. Spain and Austria have removed all CBD products from the shelves, while Germany seems undecided, and has been more inconsistent. The bottom line is that the information that we have looks good, and now we have scientists who are willing to spend the time and money to back it up, so the future of CBD and cannabinoids is looking good.
FDA Disclaimer – These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or prior to using any CBD products.