CBD & Immune System Literature Review

Posted by Dr. Terry Snell , Chief Science Advisor Snce Laboratories on Feb 15th 2014

Courtesy of Snce Labs Inc

In these days when the COVID-19 virus is a global pandemic, sickening humans on all continents, many are looking to strengthen their immune systems. One of the reasons that COVID-19 has such a devastating effects on humans is that they have no prior immunity to this type of corona virus, so most are susceptible to infection. Governments are implementing various plans to slow virus transmission like social distancing, but most people will eventually be exposed to this pathogen.

One strategy to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on human health is to strengthen your immune system prior to exposure. This can be done by eating a well-balanced diet and engaging in regular, vigorous exercise. Additional boosting of your immune system can be achieved by taking nutritional supplements which decrease inflammation in the body and support overall immune strength. Cannabis sativa L. is a plant that has long been used for its textile fibers, seed oils, and oleoresin for both medicinal use and psychoactive properties. It is the main source of cannabinoids, or chemicals found in the cannabis. Industrial hemp is a strain of Cannabis sativa plant, with lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a major constituent of C. sativa, and the second most abundant type of cannabinoid in this plant. CBD does not have psychoactive effects, yet possesses clinically relevant anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing effects [1].

The immune system requires enormous amounts of energy to function in response to a wide variety of stressors. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) contribute to oxidative stress, and over time, mitochondrial function is inhibited, leading to a variety of immune system disorders and inflammation. CBD is a compound with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and has been shown to be thirty times more powerful than aspirin [4]. In a 10-day study on mice, treatment of white blood cells with CBD reduced ROS as demonstrated by chemiluminescence, which further demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD [5]. In another study, researchers used cyclic voltammetry, a method to measure the ability of a compound to accept or donate elections, to demonstrate CBD prevented both glutamate toxicity and ROS-induced cell death in a rat model.CBD was also shown to prevent hydroperoxide-induced oxidative damage as well as, or better than, other antioxidants when further tested in a Fenton reaction system, which generates ROS, using rat neuronal cultures. More specifically, CBD was demonstrated to be protective against ROS, and a significantly stronger antioxidant than both vitamins C and E [6].

Other CBD putative biological effects on inflammation and the immune system include:

  • In a 2019 study, it was demonstrated that systemically administrated CBD reduces inflammatory response in an allergic asthma induced model in mice. One specific effect observed, was a reduction in airway hyper-responsiveness, which demonstrates the potential anti-inflammatory response of CBD [2].
  • CBD was shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory agent in a 2003 study using mice. Transdermal application of CBD entirely prevented both inflammation and swelling of mice paws, following injection of carrageenan, a polysaccharide found in certain red algae that induces an acute inflammatory reaction. This effect was supported when paw thickness was measured to be statistically different from those of non-treated mice. This study suggests CBD may be effective in the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease, thus supporting stronger immune function [3].
  • Researchers used mice and rats in a biochemical antioxidant assay, to mimic oxidative stress in the brain, through neurodegeneration via H2O2 induced toxicity. CBD effectively protected the test cells from oxidative cell death. These findings demonstrated that CBD possesses powerful antioxidant capabilities and neuroprotective properties [7].

CBD has demonstrated a potential to be used as a supplemental component in preventative strategies against inflammation, while also strengthening immune health as an antioxidant. Snce Laboratories offers Green Serene, our full spectrum CBD oil that retains the broadest range of compounds found in industrial hemp. Green Serene is supplied as a nano-emulsion, making it the most bio-available form of CBD on the market. Historically, standard oral formulations of CBD (hemp extract diluted with medium-chain triglyceride oil [MCT]) show limited oral bioavailability due to several limiting factors including its poor aqueous solubility and its extensive first-pass metabolism. These factors can lead to significantly diminished or no benefit, from nutritional supplements containing CBD oil. Research shows that a self-emulsifying drug delivery system (SEDDS) significantly improves these limitations. Moreover, a 2019 study demonstrated that bioavailability of lipophilic molecules in SEDDS formulations was 2.85-fold higher than that of MCT-CBD formulations. Bioavailability was measured in terms of increased CBD plasma values (Cmax), and favorably enhanced bioavailability (AUC), with SEDDS-CBD showing 4.2-fold higher and 2.2-fold higher rates, respectively. Additionally, absorption was significantly faster for SEDDS formulations, peaking at one-hour, compared to a median of three hours for MCT-CBD formulations [8]. Therefore, bioavailability is a major determining factor in the efficacy of orally dosed CBD. Snce Laboratories’ nano-emulsified CBD in liposomes protects it from degradation through metabolism, and provides a highly bioavailable form that is much more readily absorbed than standard formulations of CBD.


[1] Kis BK, Ifrim FC, Buda V, Avram S, Pavel IZ, Antal D, Paunescu V, Dehelean CA,

Ardelean F, Diaconeasa Z, Soica C, Dancui C. Cannabidiol-from Plant to Human Body: A

Promising Bioactive Molecule with Multi-Target Effects in Cancer. Molecular Sciences.

2019. 20, 5905, 1-24.

[2] Vuolo F, Abreu SC, Michels M, Xisto DG, Blanco NG, Hallak JEC, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA,

Reis C, Bahl M, Pizzichinni E, Maurici R, Pizzichinnni MMM, Rocco PRM. Cannabidiol

Reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma. European

Journal of Pharmacology. 2019. 843, 251-259.

[3] Lodzki M, Godin B, Rakou L, Mechoulam R, Gallily R, Touitou E. Cannabidiol-

transdermal delivery and anti-inflammatory effect in a murine model. Journal of Controlled

Release. 2003. 93 (2003) 377-387.

[4] Barrett ML, Scutt AM, Evans FJ. Cannflavin A and B, prenylated flavones from

Cannabis Sativa L. Experientia. 1986. 42, 452-453.

[5] Malfait AM, Gallily R, Sumariwalla F, Malik AS, Andreaskos E, Mechoulam R, Feldmann

M. The nonpsychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an oral anti-arthritic

therapeutic in murine collagen-induced arthritis. PNAS. 2003. 97 (17) 9561-9566.

[6] Hampson AJ, Grimaldi M, Axelrod J, Wink D. Cannabidiol and (2)D9-

Tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1998. 95:


[7] Marsicano G, Moosmann B, Hermann H, Lutz B, Behl C. Neuroprotective properties of

cannabinoids against oxidative stress: role of the cannabinoid receptor CB1. Journal of

Neurochemistry. 2002. 80, 448-456.

[8] Knaub K, Sartorius T, Dharsono T, Wacker R, Wilhelm M, Schon C. A Novel Self-

Emulsifying Drug Delivery System (SEDDS) Based on VESIsorb® Formulation

Technology Improving the Oral Bioavailability of Cannabidiol in Healthy Subjects.

Molecules. 2019. 24, 2967 1-13.