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CBD has been found to increase the expression of genes that deal with oxidative stress, which may reduce cell damage from autoimmune attacks.

Effects of CBD On Autoimmune Disease

By A&T Organic's March 18, 2020

effects-of-cbd-on-autoimmune-disease

Autoimmune disease is on the rise, and unless you have been living under a rock it is impossible to ignore.

This post is going to break down what autoimmune disease is, causative factors, statics, how CBD may help support a healthy immune response, and other lifestyle modifications that may impact autoimmune disease.  

In short when an autoimmune disease is present antibodies and immune cells target the body’s own healthy tissues by mistake. These tissues can include the heart, lungs, brain, nerves, muscles, skin, nerves, eyes, joints, kidneys, GI system, and the list goes on.

Have you ever seen a banana rot or a car rust? This is due to oxidative stress and free radical production. This same “rusting” happens in our bodies on a cellular level. Read below to learn how to prevent free radical build up and oxidative stress.

What are autoimmune diseases?


Autoimmune disease is the number one most popular health topic requested by callers to the National Women’s Health Information Center. Autoimmune disease is in the top 10 leading causes of death in female women and children in all age groups up to 64 years of age.


Based on my years of clinical practice I suspect the number of people suffering from clinical or subclinical autoimmune disease is much higher than estimated. All too often I will encounter patients who have seen countless doctors searching for answers, only to never obtain a specific disease diagnosis. These patients are left in pain, confused, and disheartened. In modern medicine without a diagnosis there is very infrequently offered a solution. I want to tell you there are options, you just have to know where to look. If you are suspicious of an autoimmune disease, clinical or subclinical, contact a Functional Medicine or naturopathic physician today.


Antioxidants are compounds found in foods, drinks, and supplements that fight free radical production and prevent cell damage. How do antioxidants do this? Antioxidants are able to give away an electron without becoming unstable. Antioxidants will give free radicals an electron before the free radical stelas it from a heathy cell. Diet’s high in fruits and vegetables are super important for maintaining healthy amounts of antioxidants within our bodies.

Common Types Of Autoimmune Diseases:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Graves
  • Crohn’s
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • IBS
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Guillain- Barre Syndrome
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Vasculitis

CBD has been shown to support a healthy mood, a healthy stress response, healthy sleep patterns, and healthy habits (nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, and opioid withdrawal). When it comes to recovering from an autoimmune disease it’s ideal when each of the above issues are addressed, CBD may do just that! CBD has also been shown to help with GI health. GI health is of utmost importance when managing autoimmune disease and cannot be ignored.


Autoimmune disorders represent a mixed group of diseases in terms of clinical manifestations, pathogenesis, and prevalence. At the present time there is no common classification.


  1. Autoimmunity is the loss of tolerance to one’s own substances and can take place in several different ways.
  2. There is no single cause responsible for autoimmunity.
  3. The breakdown of tolerance can lead to an attack of the body’s own structures, as if they were foreign through various mechanisms.
  4. Genetics, environment, stress, nutrition, medication, and lifestyle can all influence autoimmune disease.

Causes of oxidative stress :

  • Poor diets high in processed fats and sugars. Sugar will bind to healthy fats causing oxidation reactions and free radical production.
  • Alcohol
  • Air Pollutants
  • Pesticides
  • Tobacco (especially smoking, oxidative stress is what makes people who smoke look “aged”)
  • Unbalanced stress hormones (consider cortisol testing)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Too much sun
  • Lack of exercise

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between free radical production and antioxidants in the body.2 Free radicals are oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons.2 A photo is shown below. Think of free radicals as highly unstable angry molecules that float around in the body. Think of electrons as “friends”.

Electrons surround healthy atoms/cells in our bodies, and they prefer to come in even number pairs. A healthy atom/cell in our body is surrounded by an even number of electrons. Free radicals have uneven numbers of electrons and will stop at nothing to “get an even number of electron friends”. Free radicals will attack every cell in your body in order to obtain an even number of electrons, all at the expense of your body’s healthy cells and atoms. This process is literally what ages us and is one of the root causes behind autoimmune disease.


“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties. Cannabinoids may be useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of a wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage, following ischemic insults, such as stroke, trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and HIV dementia”.

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