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Can CBD Protect You from the Flu?

Studies are promising about how CBD works with the immune system.

This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast

There have been a number of studies surrounding immunity, the flu and how the body responds to infection. These studies have also looked at how CBD and other cannabinoids could impact that response. Could CBD help people to feel better more naturally and possibly not feel as sick when they get sick.

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Cannabinoids Suppress the Production of Cytokines in the Body

Cytokines are interleukin tumor necrosis factor. These are the chemicals that affect you when you get sick with a virus. Cytokines create body aches, nausea, headache, loss of appetite, all of the symptoms that make you feel terrible.

In one study involving mice, mice were either pretreated with CBD or they were left without any treatment with cannabinoids. Mice that were pretreated with CBD were then exposed to the flu virus. They had reductions in certain immune responses by up to 87 percent. The number of cytokines were significantly reduced. The mice didn’t feel as sick as their counterpart mice who weren’t pretreated with CBD.

It looked as though treatment with CBD in this model reduced the response to the viral infection. This allowed the mouse to continue to operate through his usual activities instead of becoming terribly sick with the flu virus.

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This May Have Significant Implications in How We Might Manage Ourselves During Cold and Flu Seasons

With a few larger studies, we can look at human models and see how we could compare in a randomized trial. We could look at humans that are treated with CBD or other cannabinoids, and some that aren’t. Then analyze their response to colds or other infections. In the future, we may place CBD in the medicine cabinet right next to the probiotics. We could try to control our immune response to the diseases that affect our community in the fall and winter months.

When these epidemics hit your community, you’re almost certainly going to get 3-4 colds or flu symptoms a year. Managing how your body responds to those infections is a really important part of staying productive, healthy, and happy during cold and flu season.