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CBD, Free Radicals, And the Flu

CBD and fever

**Updated 5/8/20 **

In this article we will go over ways that CBD could support the immune system’s response to flu. While CBD cannot cure the flu it may provide relief from some symptoms caused by the body’s response to influenza. We must also clarify that we are not, and cannot give medical advice, we are not medical professionals and the following is for informational purposes only.

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a molecule from the cannabis hemp plant. It is one of thousands of cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It is widely taken for pain relief, sleep, anxiety and arthritis. One of the many ways CBD helps with these health issues is that it lowers inflammation, inflammation is a large contributing factor to the discomfort, pain and physical damage we experience from a myriad of life’s issues.

When we become sick or injured part of our body’s immune response is to cause inflammation, when you were a child and fell from your bike the area of your body that impacted the ground most likely became inflamed and swollen. Why is this? Metabolic changes in the body cause inflammation to occur in order to help the body fight infection by raising the temperature of the surrounding tissue and by drawing blood cells, leukocytes, plasma proteins and more to the area. Here is an excellent short video explaining the process. Temporary inflammation is a positive effect of the immune system but when the inflammation becomes chronic it can start to cause damage and pain. Chronic inflammation is the culprit behind rheumatoid arthritis, fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, alzheimers and more.

When we contract an illness like the flu, which is a systemic viral infection, our immune system starts it’s response. Our body sends cytokines to the lungs as part of this response. It also sends cytokines to the brain, this causes our body to raise a fever. Why does our body want us to get hot? The heat can help to create an environment that is hostile to the virus multiplying in our system. Much like inflammation can be helpful in the short term, a short term fever is actually beneficial to our health. Be aware, if you get too hot or your fever lasts too long it can be life threatening. Please call your doctor for guidance with any fever.

In rare cases our body can over produce cytokines, which causes the destruction of healthy cells through the free radical process. In flu situations, it can damage healthy lung tissue which in turn become infected with bacteria leading to bacterial pneumonia. This is extremely rare with the common flu but it is an illustration of an example where our out of control immune response can over produce free radicals and end up causing us harm. How do we assist our body in dealing with “Free Radicals”?

At this point we must emphasize, there are NO studies on CBD and fever. ( 5/8/20 A study has JUST been released out of Canada that backs up the speculation in this blog for CBD and corona virus damage mitigation) We can speculate based on CBD’s anti-oxidant effect and ability to reduce inflammation that it may provide some assistance in preventing out of control inflammation or helping to repair damage after an overactive inflammatory response, but studies are lacking few.

How can CBD help? and what is a free radical? A free radical is a chemical species that is missing an electron,  it is made through various ways, one of which is in the process of our immune system fighting infections and also in repairing cells. These free radicals are missing an electron, so they will steal an electron from any neighboring cell, further damaging more cells. It is a complicated process, here is a video explaining Free radical damage.

Antioxidants are able to interrupt this process by “donating” an electron to the lacking free radical without having to damage a healthy cell. That is the magic of antioxidants. CBD has been shown to be a potent anti-oxidant(1,2,3) as are berries, citrus and beef liver. Update 5/8/20: a recent study out of the University of Lethbridge Canada has found “it’s generally the anti-inflammatory properties of high-CBD content that have shown most promise (in mitigating damage caused by viruses and preventing viral proliferation), Dr.Kovalchuck added.” While drinking a beef liver smoothie may not be a pleasant idea to most, taking a CBD supplement is an easy way to get a high amount of antioxidant into your system quickly and easily. During cold and flu season we at Jambo often increase our CBD intake as a way to reduce existing inflammation, helping our immune system stay strong, and as a way to assist our immune system in fighting the free radicals caused in its battle against the seasonal bugs. CBD does not kill the cold or flu, it supports the immune system. Anyone telling you otherwise is misinformed.

While there are NO studies  is only one study on CBD and flu, and we are not giving medical advice, we hope this was informative and helped you understand the role of free radicals and antioxidants in the immune response process.

If you are a medical professional and can contribute more information to our article please contact us! We would love to provide more information to our customers.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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