Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that features symptoms that last for months or years. In some cases, a sufferer may attain remission for years before the disorder reemerges. With lupus, the sufferer’s own immune system turns on the body. The immune system starts to create antibodies that normally attack germs, bacteria, or viruses, but instead, start to turn on the body’s healthy tissues. The pursuit of treatment options for lupus is limited but cannabidiol (CBD) has shown great promise.
Symptoms of Lupus
In many sufferers, lupus develops in their teens, but other individuals may not become ill until their thirties or older.
The symptoms of lupus include:
- Lack of strength
- No energy
- Painful and swollen joints
- Unexplained fever
- Skin rash
- Ankle swelling
- Purple extremities such as the toes and fingers
- Hair loss
- Mouth and nose sores
CBD and the Body’s Endocannabinoid System
The body’s endocannabinoid system is a key player in the sufferer’s immune system. The endocannabinoid system has receptors known as CB1 and CB2. The receptors interact with the nervous system, brain, gastrointestinal tract, and immune system. The cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant bind with the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors. When cannabidiol (CBD) is given to a lupus sufferer, the CBD merges with the receptors and has a direct effect on them. It is believed that CBD effectively reduces inflammation and relieves swelling. Cannabidiol also appears to have a positive effect on the body’s immune system.
Cannabinoids and the Immune System
Researchers at the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, at the University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, in Columbia found that cannabinoids such as CBD play a crucial role in the body’s immune system. The cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa also significantly reduce inflammation throughout the body and help alleviate pain. Researchers state,” Cannabinoids have exhibited significant potential to be used as novel anti-inflammatory agents and specific targeting of CB2 receptors holds the promise of mediating immunosuppressive effects without exerting psychotropic side effects.”
Synthetic Cannabinoids for Lupus
The Lupus Foundation of America has called for further research into the effectiveness of cannabis for lupus sufferers. Currently, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research on Long Island, New York has announced the start of a clinical trial that will investigate the efficiency of synthetic cannabinoids to treat lupus.
Purchasing CBD Products
Many sufferers of lupus may seek to self-medicate with CBD. Cannabidiol is available in capsule/caplet form, as an oil that can be vaped or ingested, or in the form of a cream to be rubbed on sore joints. Users can even opt to take a daily infused gummy candy. CBD can be purchased online or at numerous retailers throughout the United States and Canada. However, prior to buying cannabidiol, you should always check the product for purity by examining third-party laboratory results.
Lupus sufferers often seek any available means to treat their chronic conditions. Currently, cannabis shows a great deal of promise at alleviating symptoms and calming and normalizing the immune system.