Cannabis, in the form of CBD oil (Hemp) is known, especially more and more now, ass a powerful herb that has a wide variety of effects on the body. It is being used to treat cancer, many auto-immune diseases, anxiety and many other nervous system and immune system disorders. The active components in the plant, called cannabinoids, are immune-modulators. This means that they connect with your the immune system and the receptors you already have there, altering its effects. One of the main questions now is….does cannabis weaken or strengthen immune function?
Cannabis and the immune system?
I can’t answer that more truthfully than…I don’t know, it depends. It has been found that cannabis can suppress the immune system, meaning decreases inflammation, and inflammation is the bodies main response to infection. White blood cells are produced as soldiers to combat foreign entities, aka, germs. No human would be able to survive without it. However, sometimes the body’s inflammatory response goes crazy and inflammation gets out of control making it “chronic.” This is the case with autoimmune disease, in which the immune system begins to attack a person’s own body. Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to many modern diseases, including depression, anxiety, Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, asthma, arthritis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and more.
As a powerful anti-inflammatory, the immune suppressant qualities of CBD Oil in addition to a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating regime, needed supplements and gut health overhaul, may be useful for those who have health problems associated with high levels of inflammation. We can't talk just CBD Oil. Vitamin D, Omega's, licorice, Glutamine, Selenium....these all have a role in healthy immune systems and chronic inflammation. Taking it for no reason whatsoever, may, and I say only “may” not be beneficial because we don’t want to hinder a perfectly fine working immune system.
So, is cannabis good or bad for immune health?
It’s important not to jump to conclusions when it comes to cannabis and the immune system. All current research indicates that the herb can modulate the immune system. Whether that is for better or for worse likely depends on your unique situation. If you have a chronic illness associated with your immune system, or a chronic sleep/anxiety issue, joint pain issue, back pain etc. associated with your nervous system (that’s another article) than CBD Oil can do nothing but help at the least, or practically cure at it’s best.
For a healthy person, the anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis may be unnecessary. Inflammation is a natural response of the immune system and is vital if you want to stay healthy and survive.
However, chronic inflammation is detrimental to health. Those with autoimmune diseases and conditions like allergy, asthma, and depression may benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of the herb.
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You might be surprised to find that many immune boosting foods are already in your kitchen. While some immunity boosting ingredients are difficult to come by, there are plenty of dishes that are already household favorites.
Don’t forget to always stock your cupboards with these staples. Here are a few foods you should never be without and how to use them for maximum benefits.
Garlic could really be in your meals every day. This superfood is a cousin of the onion and has three immunity boosting qualities you need in your diet: antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. The main component in garlic is allicin, which fights bacteria and infection with a packed punch. And as a bonus, bugs don’t develop an immunity to garlic like they can with antibiotics, so it works every time, no matter how much garlic you eat.
2. Chicken Soup
Turns out that chicken soup is more than simply soothing when you’re under the weather Cooked chicken also contains the amino acid cysteine, the same chemical found in some bronchitis medications. And the warm broth does more than sooth sore throats. The salt in chicken broth helps to thin mucus the same way most drugs do. For added benefit add immune boosting spices such as garlic, oregano and black pepper.
Tea doesn’t just feel good on sore throats, it also fights viruses and contains free-radical destroying antioxidants. In both black and green teas is a compound called interferon, which contains the amino acid L-theanine. This amino acid rages war on viruses, killing them twice as fast. Teas also contain antioxidants, which repair and maintain cell health, helping you get back to normal faster than ever.
Beef has a lot of immunity boosting vitamins, such as vitamin A and E, omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene. But most importantly, beef contains a high amount of zinc, which helps develop white blood cells. When your body gets a virus, white blood cells are the defenders sent to destroy it.
Not all beef is created equal. Cows that are fed corn instead of grass lose a lot of their natural vitamins and minerals, and that depletion is transferred into your food. Instead, opt for grass-fed beef whenever you can, and finding organic meat doesn’t hurt as well.
Another white blood cell booster, mushrooms help to produce and keep white blood cells active. This is because mushrooms contain strong compounds called beta-glucans, which increase immunity by binding to macrophages and other scavenger white blood cells, activating their anti-infection properties. On top of supercharging your virus-fighters, mushrooms contain protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and B vitamins. Mushrooms that pack the most punch are shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms. Just like garlic, these immunity supporters should be added to every meal and eaten on a daily basis
Natural immunity boosters are powerful tools you should keep in your kitchen year-round. Besides adding these delectable foods to your daily diet, you should keep them on hand in case you feel the sniffles coming on.
If you’re prone to coming down with colds, learn a few recipes that contain a handful of these ingredients. Create your own magical cure through the power of nutritious foods. You’ll have neighbors knocking down your door for the secret recipe in no time!
In addition to using the foods mentioned in this article, we’d like to introduce you to our immune system supplements.
If cannabinoids for migraine sufferers produced relief, how would it work? The human body produces its own cannabinoids within our nervous system as well as our immune system. Together with the cannabinoid receptors, they make the endocannabinoid system. This regulates many processes in the body, such as blood vessel dilation (which in turn causes or abates, inflammation.) When cannabinoids interact with their receptors, they reduce blood vessel dilation, which is important in migraines because the expansion of blood vessels in an area with no extra space (i.e. the brain) creates pressure, and therefore pain.
The endocannabinoid receptors known as CB1 receptors are also present in higher than usual levels in an area of the brain strongly associated with migraines. While our own cannabinoids regulate our bodies in ways that prevent migraines, levels of one kind of cannabinoid have been found to be lower in people who suffer from migraines. Also, women with migraines may have higher levels of the enzyme that degrades this.
Cannabinoids may help reduce Glutamate
Cannabinoids such as CBD may also directly relieve the pain seen in migraines. The stimulating neurotransmitter known as glutamate is responsible for the secondary and tertiary (horrible) pain in both migraines and fibromyalgia, but cannabinoids can block the release of glutamate from nerve cells. Cannabinoids may also stabilize the platelets responsible for blood clots and inhibit serotonin release, which in excess can amplify pain.
Hemp medicine has a long history
Although the scientific evidence behind the use of hemp and cannabinoids for migraines is largely from lab studies, hemp medicines have a long history in migraine treatment. Dr Clendinning in London was the first Western physician to prescribe cannabis (which had a much lower THC content back then) for migraines in the 1840s. In the 1870s, another doctor, Dr R. Greene, was recommending daily doses of cannabis to prevent migraines. In 1890, Sir John Russell Reynolds, physician to the British royal family, highlighted migraines as an indication for the prescription of cannabis in a review of his 30 years of clinical experience.
In more modern times, a case was reported where a patient suffering from migraines found relief in small doses of smoked cannabis, after failing conventional therapies. The author had previously encountered multiple patients with migraines who had failed pharmaceutical drugs, but responded positively to cannabis. Other case reports described patients finding relief from other types of chronic headache. Overall, the evidence behind using CBD-rich hemp oil to manage migraines needs clinical trials, but laboratory studies, historical use and case reports do show a potential benefit.
On the other side of this, there are other reasons for migraine occurrence. Magnesium deficiency along with B vitamin deficiency, hormones dysregulation, food sensitivities. We must explore these scenarios as well. I had a wonderful conversation (as I usually do) with someone who came in for CBD oil the other day, and we agreed though we make take CBD for one specific known reason now…. cancer, pain, intestinal distress…. we know that it is working through the system on other general health issues that may not even be being addressed. I’m a big believer.
SAM-e is a natural compound manufactured by the body and present in all living cells. It is required in over 40 biochemical reactions, helping with a variety of functions, including mood regulation, cognitive function, general nerve conditions, a healthy inflammation response, and liver and heart health. People who are deficient in this nutrient or who cannot tolerate antidepressant drugs might benefit from supplemental SAM-e. It is necessary for manufacturing important brain compounds like neurotransmitters and phospholipids. It is also involved with the production of hormones (like serotonin and melatonin).
St. John’s Wort is an important herb for elevating the mood and acting as a mild calmative. Recent scientific studies have shown St. John’s Wort to contain more powerful mood-enhancing, spirit-lifting properties. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in 1998 showed that patients who received the highest amounts of hyperforin-containing St. John’s Wort scored highest on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. (A high score on the rating scale indicates lower levels of depression.) Remember, St. John’s Wort should not be used by anyone on oral contraceptives.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that affects the central nervous system by reducing the number of neurons firing in the brain, thus calming brain activity. This can benefit people with overstimulated nervous systems who find it difficult to relax or who have trouble focusing on one task. Other ingredients in GABA Plus builds the blood, supports brain function, boosts immunity and supports cholesterol and blood sugar levels already within the normal ranges.
Valerian has been used for occasional sleeplessness for over 1,000 years. Its ability to help relax the central nervous system, promote feelings of calm, decrease levels of anxiety and stress, and enhance sleep are known to millions the world over. Unlike some prescription sleep-aids, valerian is not known to cause morning grogginess and is non-addictive.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a precursor to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter that helps regulate appetite, mood and sleep. 5-HTP is converted into serotonin in the body, which may help elevate mood, assist in controlling hunger and promote restful sleep. 5-HTP Power blend helps the body adapt to stress.
And my personal favorite:
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1. Intestinal problems
A standout amongst the most well-known signs are stomach related issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea. People who have IBS find that their symptoms vanish when they stop eating gluten meals.
People feeling fatigued subsequent to eating gluten foods are gluten intolerant, so removing wheat or some other grains that contain gluten would be a sure mean to lift their levels of energy.
One 2001 research has confirmed that consuming gluten could cause headaches to the gluten intolerant people. MRI scans approved that the greater part of them had irritation in their sensory systems, most likely made by reactions to gluten.
4. Behavior problems
Loads of mental issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and mood swings can be improved by expelling gluten from your eating routine.
5. Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris is a skin issue that shows up by the presence of small red bump on the skin. This issue is linked to improper absorption of fatty acids and vitamin A because of the extensive period of being exposed to gluten.
Specialist aren’t clear on what the reason for the persistent aching is, however, taking out gluten from your eating regimen can help.
7. Joint issues
Inflammation, aching and swelling in the joints range can be caused by gluten intolerance.
8. Neurological Symptoms
Side effects like vertigo, shivering or prickling may all cause a swelling in the sensory system potentially caused by an influence that is gluten-based inside the immunity.
9. Autoimmune Diseases
Immune system illnesses normally happen to people that are intolerant to gluten because of swelling and also because of consistent gluten consumption. These conditions incorporate rheumatoid joint inflammation, lupus, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, scleroderma, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
10. Hormone Imbalance
Gluten intolerance is commonly connected with uneven periods, and infertility, because the inflammation caused by it positions an astounding measure of weight on the adrenal glands, which could disrupt their functioning, irritating the entire endocrine framework.
The health and function of the entire body is dependent on the health of the nervous system. A variety of factors, including diet, environmental toxins, stress and emotion can affect the nervous system.
Understanding the Nervous System
You are electric! Everything in your body is connected through nerve cells, electrical impulses, and chemical messengers. You could say that the nervous system “wires” us together. The nervous system consists of conscious and unconscious areas:
This is divided into the Sympathetic , which gets us charged or “wired up” and the Parasympathetic, which helps us wind down and relax.
The Sympathetic Nervous System
When we’re excited, stressed or scared, the sympathetic nervous system:
You are What You Eat
This phrase particularly applies to the brain. A “junk food” diet short-circuits your mental attitude and your emotional responses creating a “trashy” brain. With the poor diet of most Americans, nervous system disorders like stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia are on the rise.
Care For Your Brain and Nerves
The nervous system is probably the most nutritionally sensitive system in the body. Long before you feel physical conditions, you’ll notice mental and emotional conditions from poor nutrition, such as:
Other Facts about the brain:
Your brain consumes the most glucose of any organ. But, if you get too much sugar, you might experience:
It’s the holiday season and that means cookies and butter and pie, yay!
It’s hard to imagine depriving yourself of those delicious holiday treats, but with so choices around, it’s hard not to overindulge.
The morning after a holiday is rough, and usually promise ourselves, never again. But…tis the season. So how do you detox after holiday feasts?
If you’re having a hard time committing to your diet over the holidays, you’re not alone. Food is a lifestyle not a diet. The good news is you don’t have to be perfect to maintain your weight over the holiday season. Try following these simple detox tips after each yummy holiday meal and start the new year fresh and ready to finally achieve your health and fitness goals.
How Detoxing Works
There are a lot of misconceptions that surround detox diets. From crash diets that freak your body out and only make the problem worse to flushing without replenishing the system, fad detox diets are everywhere.
It’s important to note that detoxing doesn’t mean starving, nor does it mean you’re performing a flash sale on your digestive system. For a detox to be successful, you have to remove the bad toxins, keep the good bacteria, and fill the freed spaces with nutrients.
Completely cutting fats and sugar after feasting all holiday season can hurt you more than help you. In fact, research has shown that our body can get addicted to these components and go through withdrawals when we quit cold turkey.
Fasting has been used for centuries to help people “lighten up” after a long winter and has been known to give the faster some mental clarity akin to enlightenment. Although we can’t promise a spiritual experience, we can assure you that a few days of careful fasting will help you detox after that big Thanksgiving dinner.
There are over 100 trillion microorganisms from about 400 different species living in a healthy gut, and maintaining them and their environment helps your body efficiently absorb all of the good stuff and eliminate the bad.
Though you can get a lot of probiotics from food sources, it might be worthwhile to take a probiotic supplement over the holidays to give your body that extra boost.
When this reaction happens without an actual threat—which occurs a lot in today’s safe but stressful society—your body simply stores fat and stops burning calories. Yikes! To get your metabolism back on track after a stressful situation, take some deep breaths.
Breathing deeply activates the vagus nerve, which calms the body and brain and jumpstarts those fat-burning processes again. Just five slow, deep breaths can help to reignite your metabolism.
Also, sugary drinks don’t make you feel full, even though they’re the single biggest source of sugar calories in most people’s diets. Not only do you never fill up on sugary drinks, your body craves it more and enters a vicious cycle of sugar indulgence.
Skip the sodas and fancy coffees this holiday season and switch to water, tea, and black coffee to help your body detox after a sugar-filled season.
Try going for a walk after meals to help clear glucose from the bloodstream and help oxygenate your organs so digestion goes smoothly.
Reach for healthy fats, such as those found in protein-rich foods like nuts and omega-3-rich fish. Other fat-smart foods include avocados, coconut butter, and extra virgin olive oil. When you feel a sweet tooth craving coming on, try to satiate it with these alternatives and you can keep the pounds from piling on over the holidays
Autoimmune diseases on the rise
Something strange is happening to our immune systems. Over the last fifty years there has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of autoimmune diseases, conditions in which the body’s immune system begins to attack itself. Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Diabetes Type 1, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus are just the more well-known of over one hundred autoimmune diseases, all of which are reaching record levels.
In the US alone approximately 24 million people have an autoimmune disease of some kind.
What causes autoimmune diseases?
Theories abound as to why these conditions are getting such a stranglehold on the developed world. Chronic inflammation is a possible cause. It would be wrong to say that inflammation per se is bad as it forms a crucial role in the body’s immune response to viruses and bacteria, and healing injuries. The problem occurs when this inflammatory response is called upon unnecessarily and its action is directed towards the body’s own tissues, as in the case of autoimmune disease. The result is the body literally destroying itself. So where does inflammation come from, and what do we do about it?
Chronic inflammation a contributing factor
So why does the inflammatory response get out of whack in the first place? It would seem for many autoimmune conditions a contributing factor is an overproduction of cytokines, which are small proteins released by cells affecting the inter-cell communication. The cytokines trigger inflammation and respond to infections. So the next question is why are too many cytokines produced? A major cause is something called oxidative stress. Today we are bombarded by chemicals, pollutants and free radicals. When the body doesn’t have enough antioxidants to counteract them, oxidative stress is caused, making the body more likely to develop age related illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Cancer, and of course autoimmune diseases. So where do antioxidants come from? Food. Non-processed, organic fruits, vegetables and herbs.
Could cannabis provide an answer?
But what if there were a substance that were both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent? Well it just so happens that the cannabis plant does both.
Biochemist Dennis Hill, who himself used cannabis to treat his prostate cancer, describes how compounds within the cannabis plant called cannabinoids ‘have the ability to suppress the inflammatory cytokine response. It’s no surprise that plant cannabinoids can have an anti-inflammatory effect when we consider how they work in the body. The CB1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and therefore correspond to functions such as memory, mood, sleep, appetite and pain sensation. Whereas the CB2 receptors can be found in the periphery, modulating the immune system and includes the inflammatory response.
As it happens, plant cannabinoids can work in a similar way to the body’s own endocannabinoids, with two in particular standing out as having particular therapeutic potential.
CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect without the high
THC, the compound in cannabis that gets you stoned, has been shown to be a powerful analgesic. But it is its non-psychoactive cousin Cannabidiol (CBD) that scientists believe could have particular benefit for inflammatory conditions due to its interaction with the CB2 receptors. This is because CBD stimulates the vanilloid pain receptors and inhibits the breakdown of the body’s own cannabinoid Anandamide by suppressing the Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH). All of which elicits an anti-inflammatory effect.
But there’s a further string to Cannabidiol’s bow. Remember how the body’s out of whack inflammatory response can be caused by excessive oxidative stress? Well it turns out that CBD is also a powerful antioxidant, something discovered by scientists as far back as 1998 and even recognized by the American federal government who hold a patent saying as much. It should be pointed out that THC is also an antioxidant, but many people find its psychoactive effects difficult to manage, so CBD offers a more palatable, non-mind-altering alternative.
However, for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease, it’s all well and good quoting scientific studies that have never made it outside of the laboratory, when what you really want to know is if it works in real life. Increasingly, many autoimmune patients are taking the first option and finding great results.
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One of my favorite things, especially starting this time of year is a warm cup of tea. Not only is it comforting, but, while the advantages of green tea are many, and well noted, there's another type — black tea — shown by recent research to positively impact not only your quest for weight loss but to lead to a healthier gut microbiome in the process. What can be better than that?
The precise benefit stems from the way black tea (and green tea, too) can change the ratio of gut bacteria, decreasing the percentages of a type previously linked to obesity, and increasing bacteria associated with lean body mass, Prevent Disease reports.1 Research from the University of California published in the European Journal of Nutrition,2 revealed that not only may drinking black tea change your gut microbiome for the better, it may also improve your gut function.
It now appears that both green and black teas have metabolism-boosting effects, with green tea working by way of your bloodstream and black tea by way of your gut bacteria. In addition, antioxidant polyphenols in both green and black tea fight against free radicals, (major anti-oxidant, aka anti-aging) helping to ensure proper function of DNA and cell membranes.
Researchers showed that mice that ingested green or black tea extracts exhibited a change in the ratios of two significant microbiome family groups, recording a decrease in bacteria linked to obesity and an upsurge in bacteria associated with lean body mass.
If you are dedicated and serious about healing leaky gut and autoimmune disease you need to take a look at food additives that trigger or contribute to leaky gut. So, what, exactly, is leaky gut? Known in the medical literature for more than 100 years as “intestinal permeability,” and in my opinion, many modern doctors don’t know how to ID and treat it. It is increasingly prevalent and complicated especially given the array of “food” choices we have today. It is however, believed to be at the root of many diseases.
Signs and symptoms, you have leaky gut include inflammation, joint pain, inflammatory skin disorders and rashes, food allergies and sensitivities and all sorts of other health problems.
Processed foods are easily accessible, but mounting research shows some of the most common additives on ingredients lists could be unleashing digestive destruction. Here are a couple we should talk about:
1. “Meat Glue” - Otherwise known as microbial transglutaminase, this special enzyme serves to hold proteins together. (Hence the name meat glue.) It’s often used in imitation crab meat, for example, California sushi rolls, to improve the texture in meats like ham (processed meats) and surimi.
Thankfully, this food additive that triggers leaky gut is required to be on the label, although it is sometimes called TG enzyme. Another label warning sign? Products formed from pieces of whole muscle meat, or that have been reformed from a single cut, must disclose this fact on their label, as part of the product name, for example, “Formed Beef Tenderloin” or “Formed Turkey Thigh Roast.”
2. Sugars - Glucose was found to increase gut permeability and produce changes in distribution of the main protein of the tight junction in the lining of the intestine, causing leaks. Americans, especially since the “low-fat” craze have eaten an increasingly high amount of sugar. This has increased the amount of inflammation in the body and the digestive track, further exacerbating leaky gut. Unfortunately, the “low-fat” craze tricked people into thinking sugar was healthier than fat leading people to eliminate healthy fats and increase sugar in processed foods.
3. Sodium -A high-salt diet does more than affect your heart. Turns out, it’s also blamed for loosening up those tight junctions that keep your gut function strong and healthy. Interestingly, a high-salt diet could be behind a spike in autoimmune diseases. Excess salt can impact your innate immune system. We need some salt to live, but in general, Americans are getting way too much. I know for me…. I can immediately feel the effects of sodium.
4. Emulsifiers - You may have heard that a common food additive is tied to colon cancer. Emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose (often known as cellulose gum) are used in things like nonorganic dill pickles, frozen baked goods, non-dairy creamer and more. They’ve also been linked to metabolic dysfunction, obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.
Emulsifiers are added to most processed foods to improve food texture and extend shelf life. But it also throws off healthy levels of intestinal bacteria, triggering chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes colorectal cancer and leaky gut. It seems emulsifiers act like detergents to disrupt the mucous layer that lines the gut
5. Gluten - When I work with clients, I tell that it’s imperative that they remove gluten and grains from the diet. (Once your gut is healthy, you can add back in some grains occasionally.) (Glutagenics can help wth this)
Researchers of the food additives that trigger leaky gut study also say gluten is a no-no. They noticed increased gut permeability when immune cells are exposed to gliadin. (Gliadin is a class of proteins in wheat and are a component of gluten. It helps give bread the ability to rise during baking.) Gluten often hides out in unexpected places, including sauces and gravies, where wheat flour is used as a thickening agent.
Foods & Supplements that Counteract Intestinal Permeability Luckily, there are food ingredients and supplements that can help soothe and heal a gut that’s fallen victim to intestinal permeability, AKA leaky gut. Here are a few:
Has had Hashimoto's for 13 years. I am passionate, I live and breathe, helping you to overcome your struggles with weight, stress, and chronic health issues.