How hemp interacts with the human body and ways to support your immune system
Now more than ever, with the onset of the COVD-19 pandemic, we are hyper-focused on our health and immunity. In the absence of a vaccine, it is important for each of us as individuals to do what we can to support our own immune systems. Though we in no way are suggesting hemp extract has any correlation to or ability to protect you from the coronavirus, or any virus or disease, here is what we know about how hemp extract interacts with the body, and a few things to keep in mind to support your immune system and overall health.
Our immune system is composed of cells, tissues, and organs that are constantly working to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses that enter the body in order to keep us healthy.
What we know about hemp is that it contains over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are similar in structure to the endocannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce and which interact with and influence our endocannabinoid system (ECS).
When hemp extract is consumed, the cannabinoids, particularly the well-known cannabidiol, interact with the ECS through its receptors. Where in the body and what receptors these cannabinoids bind to can catalyze any number of reactions.
The discovery of the ECS is fairly recent, and there is a lot we still don’t know. However, evidence suggests that the ECS may regulate a vast number of systems throughout our body related to sleep, metabolism, chronic pain, as well as our inflammation, stress, and immune responses.
When it comes to staying healthy, our daily lifestyle choices can make all of the difference. Here are a few reminders of how to support your immune system while it works hard to keep you well.
Proper sleep allows our body to rest, rejuvenate and significantly supports our ability to fight disease, and other vital functions. There has yet to be conclusive evidence regarding hemp extract's effect on the human body and sleep. However, this study on the sleep-wake cycles of rats showed those treated with cannabidiol stayed asleep significantly longer than those that were not treated.
Relieving stress is vital to proper immune function. Studies have been conducted on the interaction of hemp extract and the endocannabinoid system and shown correlations between consuming hemp extract and feeling relaxed, or experiencing a calming effect on the nervous system.
White Blood Cell Count
White blood cells are in a way the “first responders” of our immune system. Though there are no studies that can confirm hemp extract has any direct effect on white blood cell count, this study noted increased white blood cell count in heavy cannabis users compared to nonusers.
Who is consuming hemp extract and why
Current research points to hemp extract having potentially anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, analgesic (pain relief), and antiemetic (prevents nausea and vomiting) properties, though further evidence will be needed to confirm its efficacy.
This study of cannabidiol users showed 62% were consuming hemp extract products with the intention of treating a medical condition, the most prominent being pain, anxiety, or depression. As many as 36% of survey responses said cannabidiol worked "very well by itself," in treating their desired target condition.
There is a lot of exciting research on how hemp extract interacts with the endocannabinoid system, its potential wellness applications, as well as the implications of this relationship on our immunity. Though much has yet to be discovered to provide any conclusive results, we are optimistic about what future results these studies hold.
Note, it is always important to consult your doctor before integrating any new supplements into your routine. We are in no way suggesting hemp extract replaces professional medical attention or treatment. Always consult your doctor before combining hemp or any supplements with medication.