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The Potential of CBD for Autoimmune Disease

Updated: Feb 24

By Keith Alban




Autoimmune disease is a relatively new category of disease that has seemingly come out of nowhere. It seems like every few months there's a new type of autoimmune disease being added to the perpetually expanding list of diseases that have never been seen in history. While the exact reasons for this alarming increase cannot be pinpointed to any one thing, it is most likely due to the rise of certain toxic compounds that have been steadily increasing in this modern world. Some researchers strongly believe that we live in the most toxic times in human history. We interact with more toxins and EMF’s (electromagnetic fields) on a daily basis than ever before. Fertility has gone down significantly, sperm counts have plummeted in most men, disease rates are still rising, and after thousands of years recorded in history, new diseases are being discovered. What the heck is going on?

Most scientists and researchers are a bit perplexed at how autoimmune conditions got so out of hand so quickly. In the last 30 years, the number of people suffering from autoimmune conditions has increased exponentially. Some of the most well known and widespread autoimmune diseases in the world include Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, Grave's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, and so many more. According to The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, there are currently more than 100 autoimmune diseases. (1) This is a staggering statistic considering autoimmune disease has never really been recorded in human history until fairly recently.




Does the Immune System Really Attack the Body?



​While the causes of autoimmune conditions are fairly well established, many believe there are underlying causes that aren’t being properly identified. The body is programmed not to attack itself, so why does this occur? What causes the confusion and betrayal of your incredibly intelligent and loyal immune system? There are some people that don’t buy into the notion of the body attacking itself.


A small segment of researchers in the health field believe that the dysfunction stems from a combination of toxins, heavy metals, viruses, and pathogens that are deeply embedded within different cells and tissues that the immune system is perpetually trying to remove. Since the number of toxins has increased so dramatically, this is an uphill battle, which appears as if the immune system is attacking the body. Between the damage that’s being done by disease-causing compounds, the immune system being out of balance from being overworked, and these compounds attempting to disable and weaken defenses, it appears as if the immune system is attacking the body.


It’s plausible that certain toxins, pathogens, and viruses can reprogram certain types of immune cells, but more research is needed to confirm a theory like this. Gut dysbiosis has been implicated in a number of autoimmune disorders. Certain viruses that remain in our bodies have been shown to deactivate and alter certain genes that can cause autoimmune diseases. This evidence is pretty much unheard of in the medical community and never addressed. There is a protein called EBNA2 within the Epstein-Barr virus that has been shown to switch on certain genes that increase the susceptibility to different autoimmune diseases. (2)



The Issue of Heavy Metals & Toxins



The immune system is dedicated, loyal, and very intelligent. It doesn't just automatically turn on us and attack our own tissues like what's portrayed with autoimmune diseases. It becomes damaged, overworked, and certain types of immune cells may become reprogrammed in certain ways. Our immune systems are overburdened more than ever before with the amount of toxicity we're faced with on a daily basis. Studies show hundreds of toxins that are stored within different cells and organs of the body. Autoimmune diseases have risen quite dramatically after more heavy metals and man-made toxins started increasing in society, which is unlikely to be a coincidence. Although heavy metals have always existed, there wasn’t the level of exposure through the food and water supply until recently.


The industrial revolution is partially responsible for increasing the concentration of heavy metals within modern society. Certain inventions in the last 75 years have increased our exposure even more. The National Academies confirmed a disturbing piece of research that the average level of lead in people today is 300-500 times higher than before the industrial revolution! It’s unbelievable how something as toxic as lead could increase so dramatically in such a short period of time. Just that one heavy metal can wreak so much havoc in the body. There are so many others such as mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, thallium, cesium, aluminum, antimony, tin, and others that we have stored in different tissues in surprisingly high amounts.


These heavy metals can cause dysfunction at every single level of our being. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are all deeply impacted by them. Heavy metals are perhaps the biggest threat to good human health that we face today, yet doctors rarely address, consider, or are even trained to work with them. The impact that they have on every single type of cell in the body automatically puts them at the top of the list. Mercury alone can severely impair the body’s ability to detoxify toxins and cause profound dysfunction in the mind and body. Despite years of intense medical training and studying, most doctors aren’t aware of the links of heavy metals to pretty much every disease in the world today. This doesn’t mean that they’re the only cause, but they almost always play a prominent role in a disease forming within the body.


The immune system has a very tough time removing heavy metals, perhaps more than almost any other compound. Viruses are rather difficult and strange in how they operate, but most pathogens and toxins aren't a huge problem for the immune and detoxification systems. Heavy metals, on the other hand, are so toxic and dangerous to all types of cells that the body tries to store it out of harm’s way. This is why external support is needed, heavy metals need to be wrapped up or paired with different molecules so they can be escorted out without interacting with cells. Otherwise, we’ll feel their wrath on the way out. It is also very easy for heavy metals to be recirculated during a detoxification program, which produces awful symptoms at times.



The Desperate Need to Detoxify



People are sold lies that a three-day juice cleanse or colon cleansing pills will detoxify years of toxicity from their bodies. Or some may believe going vegan or eating a diet in whole foods and vegetables will be enough to excrete these deep-seated toxins, but nothing could be further from the truth.


Many of these juices, vegetables, and supplements are actually quite high in heavy metals, including two darlings of the natural health world, kale, and broccoli. Many samples of kale and broccoli tested very high in several very toxic heavy metals including thallium and cesium. (3,4) This is but one example of the type of toxicity going around, there are hundreds of others. The majority of rice on the market is high in arsenic, while potatoes are high in cadmium. Certain types of fish have high levels of heavy metals, although others are perfectly safe and beneficial to eat.


The same shocking findings of toxic compounds would occur with much of the products and foods found in supermarkets. The problem is that soils aren't very clean anymore, even with organic produce. Farming practices have significantly changed and been streamlined for the fastest production possible. That's not to say we shouldn't eat any produce, but getting healthy can be a complicated task that needs to be done very carefully. A recent study showed that over 95% of baby foods were contaminated with heavy metals! (5) This is a shocking and detestable look into the world we currently live in. It’s deplorable that such items are regularly allowed on the market for babies.


It seems obvious that trusting the FDA and other overseeing boards that are supposedly looking out for us is a mistake. In the research with baby foods, only 4 heavy metals were tested for in the study. I can only imagine if dozens of others that exist were tested as well. In over 60 brands of baby foods tested, lead was found in almost 100% of the samples tested, mercury was found in over 30%, cadmium in 75% and arsenic at almost 75%! (5) This is how babies with extreme sensitivity to heavy metals and toxins are starting out their lives. That's not even counting pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and toxins within the food or packaging.


Many behavioral, cognitive, and physical issues that have increased in children over the last 20-30 years are directly linked to heavy metals. There are many other risks and potential causes of autoimmune conditions as well such as viruses, pathogenic bacteria, candida, over-exposure to electromagnetic frequencies, and more. Candida and viruses are very insidious, yet common causes of many diseases that aren't able to be effectively improved by mainstream medicine. Besides the damage that candida itself can cause, it produces over 70 toxic byproducts that can damage different cells and organs! In its benign form, candida is fairly harmless and serves a purpose, but it can easily morph into a pathogenic form that wreaks havoc in the body. Candida is an opportunistic organism that can easily change into a virulent form that causes many diseases.



Viral Infections in Autoimmunity



Viruses are extremely strange, microscopic segments of genetic material encased within a protective coat. This is not genetic material that should be mixing with our own DNA. Who knows where the origin of viruses or what they truly are, but mainstream medicine pretty much has no answer for them. Viruses can cause toxic alterations to our DNA and cellular functioning. After we catch a virus, we start feeling better at some point within a week or two usually. Most people believe that since we fought off the immediate symptoms and no longer feel sick, the virus is completely out of our bodies. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

Retroviruses and viral particles can remain in the body for years and even decades. They wait for different times in our lives when the immune system is weak and then spread to other parts of the body. It sounds like a sci-fi plot to a movie, but it's absolutely true! Heavy metals, viruses, candida, mycotoxins, parasites, and other man-made toxins can cause or contribute to just about every disease, no matter what the name of it may be. These are some of the main causes of autoimmune disorders that aren't often acknowledged or addressed in mainstream medicine.



CBD should be considered a small portion of a program rather than a total solution. Having said that, CBD has seen some success in preliminary research for balancing and regulating aspects of the immune system that may be going haywire with autoimmune disease. In one experiment in mice with type 1 diabetes, 10 weeks of CBD supplementation showed promising results at reducing certain markers of inflammation within the microcirculatory system of the pancreas. The mice treated with CBD showed less leukocyte stimulation and improved capillary density. This pathology is involved in the development of type 1 diabetes, which would deem this study an overwhelming success. (6)



Research with CBD & Autoimmune Disease


CBD should be considered a small portion of a program rather than a total solution. Having said that, CBD has seen some success in preliminary research for balancing and regulating aspects of the immune system that may be going haywire with autoimmune disease. In one experiment in mice with type 1 diabetes, 10 weeks of CBD supplementation showed promising results at reducing certain markers of inflammation within the microcirculatory system of the pancreas. The mice treated with CBD showed less leukocyte stimulation and improved capillary density. This pathology is involved in the development of type 1 diabetes, which would deem this study an overwhelming success. (6)


Another study that was done with mice showed that CBD supplementation led to healthier pancreatic islet cells. These pancreatic islet cells are crucial to healthy pancreatic functioning. The mice given CBD actually showed a significantly lower rate of development of the disease, which is a fantastic result. (7) This doesn't mean that the same thing will occur in the human body, but it's still encouraging. An experiment that was done in mice with a condition called autoimmune myocarditis showed promising results as well. This is a condition that causes damage, scaring, and dysfunction to the heart. Long term treatment with CBD helped to significantly reduce the inflammatory response and fibrotic scarring that was done to the heart. (8)


A study with patients diagnosed with Crohn's disease showed that supplementing with CBD helped to improve the overall quality of life. CBD helped to move the trend towards an improvement of the inflammation associated with the disease, although it wasn't enough to improve all aspects of the underlying condition. (9) Overall this study is considered a success though and helped with many of the symptoms that lowered the quality of life for those with Crohn's disease. Biopsies that were taken from the intestines from people actually showed that CBD reduced some of the intestinal damage that occurred. (10) Another study with the same condition showed that perhaps the dose was too low to achieve the same type of benefits seen in other research. CBD also helped to slow down the progression of multiple sclerosis within mice. (11)


CBD may not have comprehensive clinical studies on most autoimmune conditions, but the examples above with several autoimmune conditions show that there is potential. CBD seems to help balance and regulate certain aspects of physiological functioning within the body, including the immune system. The activity within the immune system occurs because we have cannabinoid receptors within immune cells. The endocannabinoid system plays a large role in immune activity and expression. CBD and other cannabinoids have the ability to modulate high levels of inflammation that can sometimes occur with autoimmune disease. Certain pro-inflammatory interleukins and cytokines start causing damage in the body and CBD may help to balance them.



Electromagnetic Frequencies



EMF's, or electromagnetic frequencies may also play a hidden role in autoimmune disease. We're all exposed to these nefarious frequencies for hours upon hours every single day from cell phones, computers, TV, microwaves, the atmosphere, and more. These EMF’s cause damage to DNA and the immune system over time. Cell continually being bathed in these frequencies in such high amounts isn't natural in any species. It wasn’t until recently that this became a reality for human beings. There are certain tips that may help to lower the amount of exposure you receive on a daily basis if you’re looking to go the extra mile.


Using a landline instead of always using a cellphone can be helpful when at home. This will help to decrease the amount of radiation to the brain and body quite significantly. Unplugging the power cord on a computer when online can lower the amount of exposure. Sitting further away from a computer can help as well. Throwing out your microwave is a great idea if you own one, and sitting at least 8 feet from the TV is helpful. There are radiation and EMF blocking devices that supposedly help to block some of the radiation, although there’s some skepticism about how well they work.


The immune system is constantly burdened and perpetually fighting an uphill battle with all of these toxic compounds. Over time, this causes an imbalance in different branches of the immune system. Sometimes help from an outside source is needed when it comes to disease, There may be several safe, natural options that can contribute to a better balanced immune system. One such option that's emerged recently is CBD, or cannabidiol. Most people have heard of CBD after its near meteoric rise in the last few years. It’s important to know that CBD won't do much for detoxifying heavy metals, viruses, candida, pathogens, or EMF's. While it may possibly protect against some damage caused by these offenders, battling all causes will require a comprehensive, long term protocol.



Heavy Metal Detoxification


For those that are interested in heavy metal detoxification, nutrients such as zeolite (clean cage powder, not liquid), carnosine, cilantro, bioavailable selenium, MSM, lipoic acid, EDTA, apple pectin, barley grass juice powder, chlorella, liposomal glutathione, burdock root, and others will help you tremendously in detoxification. Choosing at least 4-5 of these products rather than one will give you the best chances of removing a large portion of these heavy metals over time. Studies show that all of us are loaded with high amounts of heavy metals. These toxic compounds are stored within different tissues and affect every aspect of our health, even stem cell production.


Stem cells are produced by the bone marrow, which is one of many places that heavy metals are deposited. These stem cells are crucial in repairing nearly every cell and organ of our body. Evidence has shown that a higher burden of heavy metals leads to a lower amount of circulating stem cells. Heavy metals are a tremendous burden on the immune system and just about every organ and system in the body. Be patient and very careful with heavy metal detoxification. It's a slow process and can be a bumpy road if toxins are recirculated into the system. The functioning of the entire body will significantly improve after a long term heavy metal and pathogen detox program.


It takes a good 3-4 months to really make a large dent in the body’s heavy metal load, and even longer to truly detoxify the metals in the deeper tissues like bone, bone marrow, and certain organs. Going slow with any heavy metal detox will help minimize harsh side effects. CBD combined with herbs such as guduchi (tinospora cordifolia), cooked or prepared rehmannia glutinosa (can buy online), red reishi (grown on duanwood logs), hydrangea extracts, and dichroa febrifuga would be valuable supplements to go along with a deeper, more thorough detoxification. The herbs and supplements mentioned above all have good potential for autoimmune conditions.




References:


1. https://www.aarda.org/diseaselist/

2. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/epstein-barr-virus-protein-can-switch-risk-genes-autoimmune-diseases

3. https://www.delish.com/food/a43162/kale-poison-thallium/

4. https://www.wellnessdentalcare.com/1526/thallium-poisoning-from-kale/

5. http://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2019/10/21/95-of-baby-food-had-toxic-heavy-metals-senator-schumer-calls-for-action/#2a03885416a7

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27767974

7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17714746

8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26772776

9. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/cannabis-improves-symptoms-of-crohns-disease#Cause-is-unknown

10. https://www.verywellhealth.com/cbd-oil-for-crohn-s-disease-or-ulcerative-colitis-4769081

11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6085417/




*FDA DISCLAIMER The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician or your health care provider. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing new exercises. We recommend you educate yourselves on the scientific / nutritional facts.



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*FDA DISCLAIMER The statements and products referred to throughout this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. If you have a health condition or concern, consult a physician or your health care provider. Always consult a medical doctor before modifying your diet, using any new product, drug, supplement, or doing new exercises. We recommend you educate yourselves on the scientific / nutritional facts.

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