How Medical Cannabis Can Boost the Immune System

Although doctors aren’t completely sure what causes chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy(CIDP), a prevailing theory is that the disease is an autoimmune disorder. Inflammation is your immune system’s response to help heal wounds or infections. However, in those with autoimmune conditions, the immune system begins attacking healthy cells, and inflammation harms the body.

Cannabis is gaining attention in the medical world for its ability to slow the progression of autoimmune disorders. This should come as a relief to those with CIDP, as medical marijuana could be used to prevent the body from attacking healthy cells and destroying them. Combined with its pain-relieving properties, cannabis allows CIDP patients to live fuller, happier and healthier lives.

 

How Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy Affects Healthy Cells

Patients with CIDP struggle with a variety of symptoms because the body’s immune system has turned against healthy cells. Myelin is the insulation that protects nerve fibers. In CIDP patients, inflammation occurs at the roots of sensory, motor or autonomic nerves, destroying their fatty protective coverings.

This causes many painful and debilitating symptoms to occur, including:

  • Nerve pain

  • Weakness

  • Paralysis

  • Impaired motor function

  • Leg and arm cramping

  • Numbness or tingling sensations

  • Fatigue

  • Burning

  • Clumsiness

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Double vision

  • Extreme pain

 

Improving the Immune System With Medical Marijuana

For patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, it’s crucial to find a treatment plan that manages the inflammation associated with the disorder. Not only will this reduce pain, but it will help slow the progression of the disease.

There is no cure for CIDP, but the most common treatments deal with its effects on the immune system. These include corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, plasma exchange and immunotherapy. However, each of these varies in effectiveness and has the potential to cause adverse side effects that could impair a patient’s health.

Doctors are finding the anti-inflammatory properties of medical marijuana could significantly boost the immune system in patients with autoimmune disorders like CIDP. The cannabinoids in marijuana mimic receptors located in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which allows them to influence many different bodily functions and leads to significant benefits.

For patients with CIDP, cannabis helps the immune system in the following ways:

  • Reduces inflammation, which in turn helps reduce the pain associated with the condition

  • Stabilizes the immunes system’s response

  • Represses the immune system’s attack on healthy cells

  • Prevents the destruction of healthy cells, thus slowing the progression of the disease

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