All information below was taken from
  the CDC’s report on coronavirus. 

Am I at risk for getting the coronavirus?

The CDC reports that serious illness is occuring in 16% of  coronavirus cases. These cases tend to be older people or those  with underlying health conditions (i.e., immune deficiencies).  As of March 5th 2020, the virus is not spreading widely and most  people in the United States have little immediate risk of  exposure.

What about “pandemic” talk?

There are three criteria for a new illness to be considered  a “pandemic”; currently, coronavirus only fulfills two.  Coronavirus causes illness resulting in death and it has been  sustained via spreading from person-to-person, but it is not yet  worldwide. Based on how fast it is spreading from country to  country, many are assuming that it is just a matter of time.

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The REAL coronavirus risk:

While the immediate health risks are low at this time, if  the transmission increases, what we need to consider is this:  what happens when mass amounts of people are in need of medical  care simultaneously? This is a virus with no vaccine or  antibiotics. Overloaded hospitals with overwhelmed healthcare  workers inside an inundated healthcare system are the results,  and by extension, patients are less likely to receive proper  treatment, if treatment is available to them at all. The CDC  reports “Other critical infrastructure, such as law enforcement,  emergency medical services, and transportation industry may also  be affected.”

Can CBD keep me from getting coronavirus?

There is no medicine that will keep you from getting  coronavirus, but CBD can strengthen your immune system and  decrease your chances of serious illness, especially if you are  older or have immune deficiencies. The endocannabinoid system  (ECS) is one of the most basic systems of the body and it is  involved in nearly every process of the body, yet it was only  discovered in the 90’s! The receptors of the ECS are the CB  receptors,the most abundant receptors of the body. CBD works  with the CB2 receptors—these are specifically the receptors of  the immune system!

Endocannabinoid System (ECS) Basics:

Think of it like this: the immune system is a fire  burning—when the immune system is dealing with stress on the  body/mind due to the constant stress of modern life, the fire  burns for much too long, and the immune system runs out of its  fuel. Endocannabinoids fan the fire of the immune system,  reducing the heat, and restoring homeostasis. This is very  useful for those dealing with ischemic, age-related,  inflammatory and autoimmune issues, as well as those with  neurological concerns. Endocannabinoid signalling across the  synapses is extremely critical for long term human health and  for retaining the effectiveness of the immune system.

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Using the ECS to bolster the immune system:

By modulating host resistance to materials in the body,  endocannabinoids bolster the immune system and regulate immune  responses via the CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors were discovered  in 1993 and have been identified as the critical regulators of  immune homeostasis. These receptors are found throughout the  organs and within the immune system’s white blood cells. CB2 receptor activation is also crucial for the activation  of the microglia in the brain. The microglia are the cells that  mediate immune responses in the central nervous system by  cleaning cellular debris and dead neurons from the nervous  tissues through the process of phagocytosis (cell eating). CBD works to stop the enzymes that degrade the endocannabinoids that activate the CB2 receptors specifically.

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The immune system, the gut, and CBD:

80% of the immune system is located in the gut. CB  receptors, mostly CB2 specifically, are present throughout the  GI tract, and the synthesizing and degrading of cannabinoids is  essential for nearly every part of gastric function.  Additionally, an important part of immune function that the ECS  takes responsibility for (in the gut) is increasing the amount  of beneficial microbes, while at the same time, inhibiting  undesired strains of gut microbes. The gut microbiota are the  tens of trillions of microorganisms living in the gut. This is  the new superstar of medical research and for good reason—a  plethora of research has indicated that a disrupted gut  microbiome is not only responsible for problems of the gut, but  also for disruptions in brain functioning and mental health as  well.

What does balancing the immune system mean?

Internal Threats:

Immune Overreaction = Autoimmune problems

Immune Underreaction = Illness

External Threats: 

Immune Overreaction = Allergic Reaction

Immune Underreaction = Infection

BALANCED IMMUNE SYSTEM = OPTIMAL EFFECTIVENESS

In replenishing the Endocannabinoid System, there is no  simple answer for what it will do for the individual. The ECS is  involved in basically all the processes of the body. Physically,  the ECS calms inflammation. Mentally, the ECS suppresses the HPA  pathway (our main stress response system) via distinct action  within the prefrontal cortex, the hypothalamus, and the  hippocampus. Some people experience the healing/fueling of the  ECS in the form of less pain, less stress, less inflammation,  better digestion, or a better immune system. It all depends on  what your specific body needs—once the system has fuel, it knows  what to do.

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An Article By Evie Louise

Evie Louise is a recent psychology graduate from New York University. She is a certified in International Cannabinoid Clinical Therapy. Evie sees all forms of the cannabis sativa plant as the future of psychiatry, and hopes to use it in her therapy practice as a full spectrum approach to mental health and wellness.

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