Cannabinoids and the Immune System

Cannabinoids and the Immune System

Cannabinoids are immune system modulators

Cannabinoids are immune system modulators, with the specific CB2 cannabinoid receptor found on most cells on the immune system, promoting the Th2 response while inhibiting the Th1 response.  The Th1 immune response is critical for fighting infections caused by specific infectious agents while the Th2 response promotes the humoral arm of the immune system.  It turns down the Th1 immune response, is characterized by antibody production, and is typically anti-inflammatory.  The Th1 and Th2 pathways are functionally balanced to optimally meet the survival needs of an organism in its environment.  Many autoimmune and other age-related diseases (such as MS, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and diabetes) are characterized by an excessive Th1-driven immune response at the site of the tissue damage involved.

Sources

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Nature 1993, 365:61-65. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text

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