The role of the endocannabinoid system in inflammation and immunity has to do with your body’s response to the hormones released by the immune system.
As a gross generalization, endocannabinoids potentiate the effects of most immune hormones. This means they can amplify or dampen the effect of the hormones, and in this manner, homeostasis is maintained even throughout an attack on the body from a foreign substance. However, many chronic pain, neuropathic, and autoimmune disorders occur because there is an imbalance in the endocannabinoids which carry out the effect of the immune system signals.
Inflammation is the process by which the body isolates and heals an injured or infected part of the body. It is a complicated process that involves the release of hormones, the activation of immune cells, and their recruitment to and subsequent activity at an affected area. The hormones that trigger this process are called cytokines. Cytokines are hormones including interferon and histamine which trigger the various aspects of an immune response depending on the combination of those released. Some cytokines are nerve cell agitators, and they produce the aching pain associated with swelling at an injury site or the common cold and flu.
One of the most important scientific discoveries in health research in recent years has involved the realization that inflammation plays a role in not just a few disorders, but many disease conditions that cause substantial morbidity and contribute to early mortality (Couzin-Frankel, 2010). Included in this list are several psychiatric conditions, such as anxiety, unipolar and bipolar depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as numerous physical disease conditions including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, certain cancers, and stroke (Miller et al., 2011; Slavich and Irwin, 2014).
“All told, inflammation is involved in at least 8 of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States today,” writes Dr. Slavich. “Understanding how inflammation promotes poor health, and how and when we can intervene to reduce inflammation-related disease risk, should thus be a top scientific and public priority.”
Phytocannabinoids from cannabis, like CBD, are potent anti-inflammatory agents. Cannabidiol and cannabichromene, in particular, have a strong effect not only on cannabinoid receptors in the immune system but on vanilloid receptors which mediate pain and on glycinergic receptors, which are also involved in the pain reflex and in the release of chemokines which agitate nerve cells to promote favoritism. CBD is not only able to raise the threshold at which a nerve cell will fire a “pain” message to the brain, but it also decreases the release of the chemokines which cause aches.
CBD is a strong inhibitor of COX-2, which is the main enzyme that initiates the most common inflammatory response. It activates the cox-2 gene which codes for the precursor of immune system hormones, cytokines, and chemokines. In other words, this enzyme is like the factory that produces all of the agitating substances and CBD disconnects it from the power grid, rendering it useless.
What am I getting at here?
CBD IS A GREAT PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE! It inhibits the enzyme that initiates the most common inflammatory response – meaning it stops the inflammatory response, and we just learned, inflammation leads to disease and death. That’s the breakdown folks!
It helps create homeostasis, or basically, it helps your body function at a higher level.