Most reporting done on the immune system has focused on ways to strengthen or stimulate immunity. The hope is if you bolster the immune system, you can fight off illnesses better or avoid getting sick altogether, especially during cold and flu season. The full story on immunity is more complex.
A healthy immune system is a balanced immune system, one that is not too weak and not too strong. In reality, it’s important to regulate immune function, not just strengthen it.
Just like the immune system can become weak—making you susceptible to getting sick—it can swing in the opposite direction and become overstimulated, leading to an attack on your own body. A hyperactive immune system is just as dangerous as a weak immune system, but for different reasons.
Effects of an Overstimulated Immune System
When the immune system becomes overactive, it can start indiscriminately attacking your own healthy cells leading to autoimmune issues (1). An overactive immune system can damage the body and result in a wide range of concerns, including…
- Joint pain
- Achy muscles
- Hair loss
- Digestive distress
- Skin rashes
- Swollen glands
Calming an Overactive Immune System with CBD
Early evidence suggests that a compound extracted from hemp called CBD (cannabidiol) oil can exert immunomodulatory effects on the immune system. In doing so, CBD may balance the immune system and help prevent it from becoming overactive (2, 3).
CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Research shows that cannabinoids have many beneficial effects on the body, including sleep, stress, joint discomfort, and immune health.
While scientists still haven’t entirely figured out the details, they believe that CBD exerts this immune-regulatory effect and other benefits by acting on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).