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Winter Wellness: CBD and Immunity

Flu Blog

Flu Season is Coming! 

It’s that time of year when the colder season starts rolling in. And with it, comes the notorious flu season. Last year, the flu affected more than 15,000 individuals, with over 5% of Canada’s population experiencing this seasonal illness annually. You never know if it’ll be you, so it’s better to stay warm, safe and take measures to avoid the flu completely.  

It’s a good idea to start strengthening your immune system as we settle into the winter season. Everything from what you eat, what you wear, and how you sleep, play a factor in your body’s strength and powers. People typically start to prepare medications or start getting vaccinated. However, recently, a new defense has become a prominent opponent in the battle with the seasonal flu; CBD. Learn more below! 

The Immune System  

The immune system is our body’s frontline of defense. Its primary role is to protect us from invaders that pose a threat to our bodies, such as bacteria and viruses, including the flu. When the flu virus infiltrates our bodies, the immune system leaps into action, and mobilizes an army of cells, antibodies, and other defenses to combat the intruder. Specifically, a type of white blood cells called macrophage, are the ones to first identify the intruders in your body. The immune system then prepares for battle by sending out a chemical messenger called cytokines, which coordinates the plan, and tells the body the battle plan.  

As a result of the battle that is occurring inside your body, symptoms such as coughing, a runny nose, fever, and fatigue are often accompanied. That’s why it’s ever more important during this time to support your body by providing it with enough nutrients, comfort, and medication, if needed, for the battle. 

Inflammation & The Flu 

Releasing cytokines is an essential part in the battle plan. Cytokines initiates an inflammatory response as a protective measure against the flu virus. However, often, when producing more immune cells, there can also be an overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are the root cause of your flu symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, aches etc.…). So, now along with the flu, your body is extra inflamed. 

CBD vs The Flu 

Recently, CBD has gained popularity in the healthcare and wellness industry and is mostly known as a suppressor for pain and aches. CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in our bodies, which acts as a regulating system for our sleep, mood, immune system, cardiovascular system, among others.  

Upon entering the body, CBD targets the ECS receptors. One particularly is the CB2 receptor, which is known to influence the immune system functions. CB2 receptors are widely distributed in the immune system and are known to play a pivotal role in regulating the immune system’s responses to inflammation. Studies suggest that when CBD interacts with these CB2 receptors, it may help in tempering the inflammatory response by signaling pathways that reduce inflammation. By influencing these receptors, CBD potentially exerts a calming effect on the immune system, aiding in regulating the body’s inflammatory responses, which then can mitigate pains, a fever, coughs and more.  

Buckle Up and Stay Warm! 

Of course, CBD isn’t a magic cure, but it may help you improve your symptoms. Remember it’s always smart to prepare for the colder weather and prep your body’s health and strength. Alongside traditional precautions such as vaccinations, hygienic practices, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the potential role of CBD in supporting immunity during this time offers an intriguing defense worth exploring. If you do end up getting the flu, or catching a cold, make sure to stay well-rested and hydrated, so your body has enough strength to fight off the viruses.  

And remember, before integrating CBD or any new supplements, consulting a healthcare professional is always advisable. As we navigate through the brisk days ahead, combining responsible measures with the potential benefits of CBD could be a proactive step towards a healthier and more resilient body. 

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