Cannabis doesn’t do much to the immune sytem


Sexton M, Cudaback E, Abdullah RA, Finnell J, Mischley LK, Rozga M, Lichtman AH, Stella N. Cannabis use by individuals with multiple sclerosis: effects on specific immune parameters. Inflammopharmacology. 2014 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]

Cannabinoids affect immune responses in ways that may be beneficial for autoimmune diseases. We sought to determine whether chronic Cannabis use differentially modulates a select number of immune parameters in healthy controls and individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS cases). Subjects were enrolled and consented to a single blood draw, matched for age and BMI. We measured monocyte migration isolated from each subject, as well as plasma levels of endocannabinoids and cytokines. Cases met definition of MS by international diagnostic criteria. Monocyte cell migration measured in control subjects and individuals with MS was similarly inhibited by a set ratio of phytocannabinoids. The plasma levels of CCL2 and IL17 were reduced in non-naïve cannabis users irrespective of the cohorts. We detected a significant increase in the endocannabinoid arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) in serum from individuals with MS compared to control subjects, and no significant difference in levels of other endocannabinoids and signaling lipids irrespective of Cannabis use. Chronic Cannabis use may affect the immune response to similar extent in individuals with MS and control subjects through the ability of phytocannabinoids to reduce both monocyte migration and cytokine levels in serum. From a panel of signaling lipids, only the levels of AEA are increased in individuals with MS, irrespective of Cannabis use or not. Our results suggest that both MS cases and controls respond similarly to chronic Cannabis use with respect to the immune parameters measured in this study.
If you take cannabis to try and control symptoms or not there are similar changes in the natural cannabis system and some immune parameters in the blood, but it is not clear what this means.Again we have the problem of reproducibility as it has been reported that anandamide goes up 
up in Italy and up here in the USA and down in plasma in MS in the UK. So its 2-1 abit like a football score and UK looses again, however it looks like cannabis doesn’t do much to the immune system and this fits with virtually all our data. Therefore don’t expect cannabis to influence relapsing MS. 

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  • I totally agree.
    But wasn't the idea of cannabis as a drug to reduce symptoms and maybe support remyelination / suppress neurodegeneration?

  • Is there any research on how moderate alcohol use impacts MS progression? If not, what would you suspect the impact would be? My suspicion is it can only be negative, but the impact might be small enough with moderate usage that you would have difficulty noticing it.

    • They do. At least "classical" psychedelics like LSD seems to posses enormous and lasting anti-inflomatory abilities even in microdoses many times less then needed to achieve a trip. (although as Prof. Mouse mentioned in other thread they do affect TNF-a which could be a bad thing for MS or may be not).

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