Maryland University of Integrative Health’s Endocannabinoids, Cannabis and Immunity

Do endogenous endocannabinoids and medical cannabis have the same effect? As medical cannabis becomes legal in more states, understanding how it interacts with the immune system is critical. The study of cannabis led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. These endogenous neuronal compounds have profound effects on the immune system. This online lecture will discuss the effects of endocannabinoids as well as medical cannabis on immunity.

The research on cannabis effects on the immune system has been slow coming. However, considering that cannabis receptor 2 is primarily on lymphocytes, there is reason to believe that endocannabinoids and cannabis have profound immune effects. Initially, the only studies of cannabis and immunity were only in people with HIV. Recently, studies of healthy individuals have been completed.

This presentation will examine the effects of endocannabinoids on immune cells and cytokines. We will then address how cannabis affects the same cells. Finally, we will look at how cannabis can be used in immune dysfunction, such as that found in pain, autoimmunity, and infectious disease.

Learning Objectives:

As a result of this lecture, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the immunological effects of endocannabinoids
  • Explain how the effects of cannabis differ from endocannabinoids
  • Predict cytokine profiles stimulated by cannabis
  • List immunological diseases for which cannabis would be recommended and potential effects

Format: On-Demand, Self-Paced Course. Estimated Effort: 2 hours to complete (video lecture presentation lesson, handout review, quiz).