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How Cannabinoids Impact the Immune System

Based on research, the ECS plays a vital role in homeostasis. Therefore, the ECS carries both the ability to inhibit immune functions, as well as stimulate them: How Cannabinoids Impact the Immune System

Cannabinoids do contain an ability to immune suppress when required. However,

Cannabinoids. How Cannabinoids Impact the Immune System

Some studies have revealed that regular cannabis use may actually increase white blood cell count in disorders like HIV, potentially boosting immunity. In this blog we will show how Cannabinoids Impact the Immune System

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A key player in the power of the immune system is leukocytes that seek out and destroy unwanted visitors.

Additionally, the immune system detects malfunctioning cells and through apoptosis ensures they don’t spread. Killing cells is a crucial aspect of a healthy immune system, and that’s where cannabinoids can also play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system by acting as immune modulators by causing cell death.

Cannabinoids have shown in research in regards to cancer that they are rather adept at modulating their ability to either suppress or activate when required.

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In regards to immunity, cannabinoids seem to have “an adaptive immunomodulating effect, rather than just suppressing activity.” (

Some research has proposed that cannabinoids, such as THC may upregulate the immune system. In one study done on HIV patients, THC seemed to demonstrate a protective effect and to reduce viral load.

In addition, some other studies went even further and discovered an increase in T-cells. A sample done on 95 HIV patients also showed that the blood count for CD4

T-cells. and CD8 white blood cells had also increased.

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As mentioned, cannabinoids have the ability to cause cell death in lymphocytes, which suppress the immune system. However, research also revealed that through its antioxidant properties, protective role on cells, ability to increase white blood cell count, reduce viral load, and its immune-modulation adaptive ability enables cannabinoids to provide a boost to the immune system when compromised.

Dr Liu believes that cannabinoids may “enhance immunity by suppressing those immune cells that serve to hold back the immune-based killing cells.”

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Doctor Garcia de Palau goes one step further in hypothesizing that cannabis can suppress the immune system when there is a hyper-immune response. However, in other circumstances it functions similar to that of the ECS by regulating and correcting the immune system, potentially assisting the ECS with equilibrium.

The majority of studies investigating the association between cannabis or cannabinoid use and effects on human immunity have assessed one or more immunological parameters in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or viral hepatitis C (HCV). For example, in the case of HIV patients, who are extensively studied within the context of cannabis exposure, these investigations have evaluated only a small number of immunological endpoints, the most common being the number of certain types of T cells (i.e., CD4+ and CD8+ T cells) in circulation and also the viral load. The limited measurements provide little information about the effect of cannabis use on overall immune status among individuals with HIV. Other studies have evaluated the effects of cannabis on immune endpoints in healthy individuals or on their susceptibility to infectious agents. In healthy individuals, these evaluations have focused primarily on the effects of cannabis use on circulating cytokines concentrations, principally inflammatory cytokines. Again, these examples emphasize the very limited and extremely narrow scope of assessments that have been conducted to examine the effects of cannabis on immune competence in humans to date.

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