How CBD Can Help During Cold and Flu Season
Infections are caused by microscopic organisms known as pathogens that enter the body, multiply and interfere with normal functions. For most healthy people, following a few basic hygiene principles (i.e., frequent hand washing and not sharing personal items) can go a long way in helping to prevent infections. But what about those individuals whose immune systems are weakened by an underlying disease? Today’s blog will discuss tips for staying healthy during cold and flu season and how CBD can help. If you’re interested in learning more keep reading!
The Endocannabinoid System
To review, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a regulatory system made up of endocannabinoids that help promote equilibrium through modulating several bodily functions. There are two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, located throughout the body and are a part of the endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are present in high levels in several brain regions, mediating many of the psychoactive effects of cannabinoids. CB2 receptors are found in a number of immune cells and few neurons. And because cannabinoid receptors are present on immune cells, they can modulate the function of the immune system by helping the body maintain homeostasis and ultimately preventing disease.
Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season: As Recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Clean your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits. These include disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, get plenty of sleep, exercise, manage stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods.
How CBD Can Help
Stress is something everyone experiences from time to time however chronic stress can have a greatly negative impact on one’s overall health and wellbeing. Healthline reports, “If you’re under constant stress, rather than short-lived or occasional stress, the hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, triggers an alarm that stays on.” When this occurs, your body becomes overexposed to cortisol and other stress hormones, allowing it no time to reestablish equilibrium thus weakening your immune system and making you more susceptible to illnesses. And when your equilibrium takes a hit, so do your endocannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Research suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays an integral role in the regulation of stress response, so by adding CBD to your nighttime routine, you can help your body maintain equilibrium and reduce stress, leading to a stronger immune system.
Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep quality is thought to be an important predictor of immunity and, in turn, susceptibility to the common cold. In fact, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine explored this statement. Researchers concluded that poorer sleep efficiency (total time spent asleep compared to the total amount of time spent in bed) and shorter sleep duration in the weeks before exposure to the common cold were, unsurprisingly, associated with lower resistance to illness. And because cannabinoid signaling is vital to your organs and systems, it makes sense to wonder how large of an impact the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and cannabinoid receptors play in the regulation of sleep. The central nervous system (CNS) is essential for regulating sleep and wake cycles, so much so that sleep disorders like sleep apnea are common in people with diseases of the CNS. Interestingly, throughout the CNS, there are a large amount of cannabinoid receptors, and because your body requires sleep to effectively ward off viruses, adding CBD to your nighttime routine may help you feel more rested and healthier.
The hemp plant not only contains over 110 known cannabinoids but is also full of essential nutrients including terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, vitamins, plant sterols, chlorophyll and Gamma Linoleic Acid. Nutrients play an important role in supporting normal growth, development and ageing, helping to maintain a healthy body weight, and reducing the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being.
CBD may help lessen your chances of becoming sick but, taking other precautions, like those listed above, in addition to exercising, getting vitamin D, avoiding alcohol and unhealthy foods will improve your chances of staying healthy.