While having a strong immune system has always been key to good health, the focus on immunity has intensified as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is no one immunity definition, simply put, immunity is the body’s defense against viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, and other foreign objects. Specific antibodies or white blood cells are critical to the body’s defenses against these invaders.
The different types of immunity
Immunity is essential to survival. There are three types of immunity, including innate immunity, which is also called natural immunity, adaptive and passive. You are born with innate immunity, a type of general protection against germs or foreign invaders that affect other species but don’t harm you. Adaptive immunity occurs when your body, in response to being invaded by a disease or as a result of a vaccination. produces antibodies to destroy the invader. Your body acquires passive immunity by receiving antibodies to a disease that were produced by another person.
A look at exactly what is CBD
As people look for ways to boost their immune system, they are looking at the potential of cannabidiol (CBD). The first thing to understand is what is CBD? Throughout your body there is an endocannabinoid system (ECS) made up of endocannabinoids or neurotransmitters that send chemical messages between neurons, which are cells that transmit nerve impulses. These endocannabinoids are located in the brain, organs, glands, immune cells, and connective tissue to help regulate sleep, appetite, mood, immune function and pain, as well as many more functions. For example, at the site of an injury, a cannabinoid will decrease the release of activators and sensitizers to the injured area, stabilize the nerve cells, and calm the nearby immune cells.
CBD is one of the over 60 cannabinoids or naturally-occurring chemicals found in industrial hemp, as well as marijuana, that work with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which also includes cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, two G protein-coupled receptors that are located in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Cannabinoids interact with these natural receptors to affect pain, among other effects.
All CBD products, from topicals to tinctures, capsules and gummies, contain CBD oil. There are a number of ways to extract CBD oil from hemp. The three most common use carbon dioxide, steam distillation or natural solvents.
CBD oil and immunity
While there is a need for more in-depth research on the impact of CBD oil and immunity, it appears that the two are interrelated. “…communicative molecules in the ECS can work as a signaling mechanism and provide instructions for the functional machinery involved in the immune response.” 
Some of the specific ways in which CBD oil benefits immunity include:
Autoimmune conditions: CBD oil from hemp has been shown to reduce the activity of natural killer cells, such as T or B cells, an essential part of the immune system. By slowing down T and B cell production, CBD could reduce future autoimmune attacks in diseases such as lupus, HIV AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
CBD and inflammation: Inflammation is your body’s natural response to “danger.” When presented with foreign or harmful substances, including bacteria, viruses, fungi or even a foreign particle, such as a splinter, your body’s immune system goes into action to try to destroy them. When inflammation is persistent, it’s considered chronic. Your body thinks that it’s under constant attack. In response, your immune system fights the foreign invader by continually pumping out white blood cells, which release chemicals into your blood and tissue. The problem is that the white blood cells may begin to attack healthy tissue and organs and that can cause a number of health issues.
Research on animal models suggests a connection between CBD oil and inflammation. “...the cannabinoid seems to be able to interact with the immune system, reduce inflammation and reduce pain from a number of conditions.” In this way, CBD maintains a balance between the functions of the immune system, preventing inflammation from weakening it.
Maintaining healthy gut floral or microbiota: The organisms found in the intestines, both good and bad, help balance the immune system. Excessive inflammation in the gut can lead to bowel inflammation, microbial imbalance, and an impaired intestinal immune response. One way the body counteracts excessive gut inflammation is through the endocannabinoid system, CBD also has been found to support a healthy intestinal inflammatory response in human trials. So, maintaining good gut health supports overall immunity.
Better and deeper sleep: Lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Research indicates that not getting enough sleep or quality sleep can increase chances of getting sick after exposure to a virus. When you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines. When you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress, your immune system needs to increase production of these cytokines. However, sleep deprivation may decrease cytokines production.
Some research on CBD and sleep indicates that CBD may interact with specific receptors in the endocannabinoid system to potentially affect the sleep/wake cycle. Furthermore, by reducing the symptoms of pain and anxiety, CBD may also contribute to a more restful sleep.
Explore Lab+Blends CBD products from topicals to tinctures to relieve pain, getter a better night’s sleep and achieve a greater sense of calm and boost your immune system at the same time. Find out more at: https://lab-blends.com/products
 WayOfLeaf Staff, medically reviewed by Dr. Mike Bohl, “Does CB D Have an Effect on Your Immune System,” Way of Leaf, March 9, 2020. https://wayofleaf.com/cbd/ailments/cbd-and-your-immune-system
 “CBD Oil for Inflammation,” Weedmaps, accessed July 18, 2020. https://weedmaps.com/learn/cbd/cbd-oil-inflammation#
 Meletis, Chris, “CBD and the immune system: 4 ways CBD provides a virus-season boost,” Chiropractic Economics, March 23,2000. https://www.chiroeco.com/cbd-immune-system/
 Olson, Eric J., M.D., “Lack of Sleep: Can it may you sick,” Mayo Clinic, accessed August 13, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757
 “CBD: For Sleep and Insomnia, American Sleep Association, accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep-treatments/cbd/