Thanks to the flu season, we all start to think about immunity come winter, and this season getting our bodies running optimally feels more crucial than ever. To that end, there has been a recent surge of products like Miraflora Naturals’ new Immunity HempFlora Gummies that incorporate cannabidiol (CBD) along with other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help fine-tune your immune system. While the field of CBD research is young, here’s what we know about the hemp derivative and why it may be a valuable ingredient in immunity-boosting products.
Here’s some background: Cannabinoids are compounds that sync up with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system, which, according to Mayo Clinic’s Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils, is known to be “globally involved in maintaining homeostasis in the body, connecting all of the body’s organs and systems” and is “implicated in a variety of disease states and important regulatory functions, from chronic inflammatory conditions and regulation of immune homeostasis in the gut to anxiety and migraines.”
By helping to bring this system into harmony, believers feel CBD helps the body—and its immune system—run more smoothly. The immune system, as you might remember from health class, is your body’s defensive line against illness. Its calling card is inflammation, which occurs when cells travel to the site of injury to go to work on it. An under-reactive immune system leads to sickness because your body doesn’t fight viruses well enough, and an over-reactive immune system causes problems because it thinks everything is dangerous and can even attack your own healthy cells.
While we await more info on the workings of hemp derivatives, some researchers are optimistic for usage as a wellness booster. In fact, authors of a research review published earlier this year in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research concluded the data overwhelmingly demonstrates that CBD supports the body’s inflammatory response, suggesting that CBD can boost an underperforming system while easing the effects of an overacting one.
One way it’s thought to do that is by modulating or suppressing cytokines, proteins important in cell signaling in the immune system. That’s why researchers at the Medical College of George looked into the possibility of using it to treat patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome by suppressing the so-called “cytokine-storm” it triggers.
And then there’s also the fact that cannabidiol is linked to supporting a positive mood (as 2019 research in The Permanente Journal showed), which could provide an assist indirectly by alleviating the impact of chronic stress.
Thanks to these findings and the surge in CBD products, more and more people are turning to the ingredient for support, especially in combination with other health-enhancing ingredients. In the case of Miraflora’s Immunity HempFlora Gummies, the compound is blended with vitamin C, which research shows “contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system,” zinc, which may shorten the duration of sicknesses, and fend off colds and/or shorten their duration, and elderberry, which may help with fighting the flu.
For anyone up to give CBD a go, note the short list of potential CBD side effects includes dry mouth, diarrhea, a reduction in appetite, and fatigue. And it’s important to look for full-spectrum CBD, which includes all the compounds of the plant which then work together in an entourage effect that boosts its benefits. And, finally, when in doubt before adding any product to your wellness regimen, always consult your doctor—especially for those going through immunotherapy or who are on medication, as CBD has been suggested to be counterproductive in some cases.