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How Lupus Is Affected By the Endocannabinoid System and CB2 Receptors

Posted by administrator on 11/23/2016
We know from extensive scientific research, starting in the 1990s, that the endocannabinoid system is integral to the normal operation of the immune system. Specifically, CB2 receptors are found in high concentrations throughout the immune system and the modulation of these CB2 receptors regulates the immune response in the body. When the immune response is too weak or too aggressive, it is now thought that the endocannabinoid system which regulates the immune system is out of balance.

Lupus is a desease where the body's immune system becomes out of balance and begins attacking its own cells and tissues. Most doctors explain lupus to their patients as having an "overactive immune system." Doctors usually prescribe drugs that are supposed to to suppress the immune system but often end up causing the immune system to become even more out of balance.

Now, given the information above, you may be asking yourself logical questions like: 
How are CB2 receptors "modulated?"
How are CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system turned on and off or instructed to perform in a certain way?
Wouldn't it be better to get the CB2 receptors back in balance than suppressing the immune system with drugs when someone is diagnosed with lupus?

There are naturally occurring chemicals in cannabis and other plants called cannabinoids that can interact with the CB2 receptors that essentially instruct them what to do and in what sequence to do it. These naturally occurring cannabinoids are virtually identical in structure to the cannabinoids that a healthy body can produce. So, it seems that cannabinoids that are ingested can act the same on the immune system as those that are produced internally. You can think of the CB2 receptors as a type of biological lock and the cannabinoids that instruct them as the keys to these locks.

CBD (cannabidiol) and its chemical cousins (CBCA, CBG, CBGA, CBN, CBD and CBDA) are all non-psychoactive cannabinoids that are thought to interact with the CB2 receptors in varying degrees. It should be noted that CBD is by far the most studied of these cannabinoids and by far the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in high quality full spectrum CBD oils. It should also be noted that THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol), the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana that gets you "high," does not interact with the CB2 receptors. Instead, it interacts with another receptor in the endocannabinoid system, the CB1 receptor. Further, the CB1 receptor does not seem to be active in modulating the immune system.

Given the information above, it makes sense that people with lupus would benefit from taking non-psychoactive CBD oil that is high in CBD and extremely low (only trace amounts) of THC, as the CBD has been proven to help regulate and balance out the immune response of the body by interacting with the CB2 receptors in the immune system. 

Furthermore, it makes sense that people with lupus would benefit more from taking FULL SPECTRUM CBD oil rather than synthetic CBD which contains not only CBD but other closely related cannabinoids that seem to also be involved in regulating the immune system, although the exact science of this is not yet completely understood.

This is an exciting time to follow the research into how the endocannabinoid system controls the immune system and how it can help those with lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Many scientists believe there are more cannabinoid receptors yet to be discovered. Once they are discovered, and the DNA coding for these additional endocannabinoid system receptors can be sequenced and our understanding of how the immune system works and the endocannabinoid system works will likely grow by orders of magnitude. 

In the meantime, it has become obvious that the CBD in CBD oil can help to modulate the CB2 receptors, and in turn, help balance the immune system in people with lupus. In fact, many people have already reported excellent results after taking high quality CBD oil, like we sell. Within weeks, they often start to feel much better and their lupus symptoms often subside.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was determined that cannabinoid receptors were extremely abundant in the brain of humans and other mammals. In 1990, research on the endocannabinoid system took a leap forward. Dr. Lisa Matsuda, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), announced at a National Academy of Science (NAS) meeting that she and her team had determined the precise DNA sequence of a cannabinoid receptor in a rat's brain. Furthermore, this cannabinoid receptor, which became dubbed the CB1 receptor, seemed to be modulated by THC (tetrahydrocannabidiol), the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. 

One of the reasons the receptor for THC was discovered first was people were so focused on THC as the "primary active ingredient" in cannabis. However, that all changed when a SECOND receptor was discovered, dubbed CB2, and determined to be very connected to regulating the immune system!

So, now we know that you don't have to get high to get the immunological benefits of the cannabis plant! In fact, it is the other cannabinoids like CBD, not THC, that offer these benefits.

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