How CBD Helps Treat Autoimmune Diseases

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An autoimmune disease is a condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body. Autoimmune diseases simply refer to illnesses or disorders that occur when healthy tissues or cells get destroyed by the body’s own immune system. The immune system plays the crucial role of guarding the body against bacteria and viruses by sending an army of cells to attack these foreign invaders. This is often possible because everything being normal circumstances, the immune system can tell the difference between foreign cells and the cells of the body. However, with an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes parts of the body, such as the joints and skin as foreign. It then proceeds to release proteins known as autoantibodies to attack the healthy cells of the body.

There are over 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Grave’s disease, etc. Some autoimmune diseases target only one organ, whereas others could target multiple organs or the entire body. For instance, Type I diabetes is known to damage only the pancreas, whereas other diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) affect the entire body. Doctors do not yet know the cause of autoimmune diseases, even though some people are more likely to get it than others. Women, for instance, are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases than men. Similarly, lupus affects more African-American and Hispanic people than Caucasians. In the same vein, Multiple Sclerosis and lupus runs in certain families and even although not every family member will necessarily have it, they are more susceptible to it.

Due to the increasing rate of autoimmune diseases, researchers are beginning to suspect environmental factors like infections as well as exposure to chemicals and solvents. The early symptoms of many autoimmune diseases are similar and they may include fatigue, achy muscles, swelling and redness, low grade fever, troubles concentrating, hair loss, skin rash as well as numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. It should be noted that autoimmune diseases cannot be cured, although certain medications can control the overactive immune response, thereby bringing down inflammation and reducing pain. That said, the common medications used in treating autoimmune diseases include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and immune suppressing drugs.

Many scientific evidences have pointed out to the fact that CBD could be effective in the treatment of autoimmune diseases. A medical report from 2010 revealed that an important benefit of CBD in reducing inflammation and stimulating appetite could go a long way to improve the symptoms in people suffering from autoimmune conditions. This assertion can be explained by the fact that most of the conventional painkillers used in treating pain associated with autoimmune diseases often result in adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and even difficulty to eat. CBD is however reported to be effective in treating autoimmune diseases by helping in the reduction of pain and discomfort, without disrupting sleep or eating circles.

Even though research on CBD in treating autoimmune diseases is currently minimal, there is scientific data indicating that it can treat some autoimmune diseases. For instance, CBD is reported to treat Type I diabetes, which occurs when the immune system attacks the pancreas, thereby hindering it from producing insulin. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD have however been proven to combat these attacks and the findings from one study revealed that CBD oil slows the development of both diabetes and diabetes complications.

CBD is also effective in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a debilitating condition whereby the body’s immune system attacks the cartilage in joints, thereby doing irreparable damages as the body ages. This assertion can be explained by the fact that CBD helps in slowing down the pains as well as aches caused by rheumatoid arthritis, while stimulating the receptor in cells that are needed to aid in cell growth and cartilage repair. Moreover, CBD does not result in any adverse side effects like the conventional pharmaceutical painkillers that are used in treating the condition.

Fibromyalgia is another autoimmune disease that can be treated with CBD. It should be noted that the most common symptom of fibromyalgia is inflamed connective tissues that prevents people from getting rest as a result of the constant pain. Of course, fibromyalgia patients are also likely to develop insomnia and other sleeping disorders as result of constant pain. That said, a plethora of studies has proven that CBD is effective in relieving pain and improving sleep quality.

Even though research has revealed that CBD is effective in the treatment of an array of symptoms of autoimmune diseases, there is a need for more research on the effectiveness of CBD in treating specific autoimmune diseases.

Sources:

Healthline
Diabetes.co.uk
Cannabis MD
Endoca

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