Immune System – Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

Immune System Research Dashboard


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CannaKeys has 452 studies associated with Immune System.

Here is a small sampling of Immune System studies by title:

Components of the Immune System Research Dashboard

  • Medical conditions associated with Immune System
  • Synopsis of cannabis research for Immune System
  • Chemotype guidance for Immune System
  • Individual study details for Immune System

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Overview - Immune System

Description of Immune System

The immune system is a complex host defense mechanism that protects the body from external (e.g. pathogens) and internal threats (e.g. disease). It is comprised of a number of sub-systems (e.g. innate immune system, adaptive immune system) that when healthy work in concert to protect the body from harm. These sub-systems system are supported and defended by an army of immune cells (e.g. white blood cells) and other immune supportive compounds found in extra-cellular fluids (humoral immunity). In addition, immune responses can also include the use of elevated temperature (fever) to enhance proliferation of immune cells (e.g. T-cell), to enhance the ability to engulf and destroy pathogens (e.g. phagocytosis), to facilitate the speed with which immune cells can travel to affected sites, and to weaken the portions of the outer layer of certain gram negative bacteria (endotoxins).

Immune System and ECS-Based Interactions

After the discovery of the endocannabinoid system in the early nineties researchers learned that endocannabinoid receptor sites (CB2) appear in high concentration in the membranes of a diverse group of cells of the immune system. To-date understanding of ECS involvement in immunity has grown to include other receptor sites (e.g. TRPs, 5HT1A, PPARα). ECS-based activation of immune cells such as white blood cells (e.g. B-cells, T-cells, monocytes, microglia), or astrocytes (CNS support cells) for instance modulate the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6) and as such play a significant role in the healing of chronic local, organ system, or general inflammatory states. Chronic conditions such as various auto-immune disorders (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, IBS) or neurodegenerative conditions (e.g. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or Multiple Sclerosis) with common comorbidities such as oxidative stress and neuro-inflammation benefit from CB2 receptor genesis, activation, and subsequent upregulation.

Immune System Medical Specialists

Immunologist, Infectious Disease Specialist, Rheumatologist

Also Known As:

Lymphatic System

Drug Interactions

THC Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • THC can enhance the effects of drugs that cause sedation and depress the central nervous system, such as benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and alcohol, for example. 
  • THC is metabolized by and an inhibitor of a number of enzymatic liver pathways referred to as cytochrome P450. There are more than 50 enzymes belonging to this enzyme family, a number of which are responsible for the breakdown of common drugs such as antidepressants (e.g. amitriptyline, doxepine, fluvoxamine), antipsychotics (haloperidol, clozapine, stelazine), beta-blockers (e.g. propranolol), bronchodilators (e.g. theophylline), or bloodthinners (e.g. warfarin).  Thus patients taking these classes of medication may find that THC increases the concentration and effects of these drugs as well as the duration of their effects.
  • Clinical observation suggests no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 20mg THC.

CBD Interaction with Pharmaceutical Drugs

  • CBD may alter action on metabolic enzymes (certain drug-transport mechanisms), and as such may alter interactions with other drugs, some of which may produce therapeutic or adverse effects. For instance, CBD interacts with the enzyme cytochrome P450 3A4 and cytochrome P450 2C19, increasing the bioavailability of anti-epileptic drugs such as clobazam (a benzodiazepine). This makes it possible to achieve the same results at significantly lower dosages, reducing treatment costs and risks of adverse effects. 
  • Groups of drugs affected include: anti-epileptic drugs, psychiatric drugs, and drugs affecting metabolic enzymes, for example.
  • Clinical observations suggest no likely interactions with other pharmaceuticals at a total daily dose of up to 100mg CBD

Dosing Considerations

THC Dosage Considerations

  • THC micro dose:  0.1 mg to 0.4 mg
  • THC low dose:  0.5 mg to 5 mg
  • THC medium dose:  6 mg to 20 mg
  • THC high dose:  21 mg to 50+ mg

CBD Dosage Considerations

  • CBD low dose:  0.4 mg to 19 mg
  • CBD medium dose: 20 mg to 99 mg
  • CBD high dose:  100 mg to 800+ mg (upper limits tested ~1,500mg)

Disclaimers: Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a health problem or disease. If using a product, you should read carefully all product packaging. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.

Information on this site is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented health care practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.