CBD Research - How CBD Works with Mast Cells
HOW DOES WORK FOR MAST CELL ACTIVATION
Most people have never heard of "mast cells".
Outside of biology class and even there, it's a fleeting conversation.
If the term mast cell is in your repertoire then you've had to learn about it out of necessity.
It's the linchpin for all things allergies and histamines.
Everything ranging from simple sneezing to a friend's pet to much more serious reactions including asthma and MACD (mast cell activation disorder).
This is where the body's immune response goes haywire.
The immune system is turning out to be the most beautiful, complicated, and if it goes wrong...frustrating system in the body.
It's at the heart of many new discoveries into disease and pathology.
We've written extensively on CBD and the gut, CBD and the immune system, and CBD and allergies separately.
Let's narrow the focus down to the histamine pathway.
We'll assume you already know about DAO and how to supplement it.
Let's take for granted that you're avoiding histamine-high foods and histamine releases
What about CBD?
It's showing much promise with other aspects of the immune system.
What about CBD and mast cell activation?
There's interesting research there and we expect much more soon.
You can jump to any of these sections here:
Let's get started.
It's spring somewhere!
For deeper dives after
Top 10 tips for calming Mast Cells
Is CBD a natural mast cell stabilizer
CBD and PEA for Mast Cell Stabilization
Is Progesterone key to mast cell activation?
Quick Introduction To Mast Cell Activation
Mast cells were discovered in 1878 and got their name for the German word for "overfed".
This is due to the packed visual of granules within the cell.
These so-called granules are packed with histamine, heparin, and various other inflammatory and repair chemicals.
The big one is histamine in terms of allergic responses and mast cell activation.
Mast cells are an important part of our innate and adaptive immune system.
They are created in our bone marrow and move around the body to sites where they are prevalent:
- Mucous linings
- Vascular system
Interestingly, they're also in charge of vascular dilation (constriction and opening of veins and arteries) and peristalsis (movement within the bowel).
This ties into their ability to respond to foreign intruders.
Get them out!
The mast cells main responsibility is to look out for potential bad actors in the body and get them out of the body as fast as possible.
They're a first responder of sorts which is why you find them everywhere the body comes in contact with the outside world.
They not only work to fight off potential bad actors, but they're also involved in the repair process of damaged tissue.
Inflammation gets a bad rap but within normal ranges and for discreet periods of time, it's actually incredibly important to repairing and rebuilding tissue.
The issue is when mast cell activation (basically the release of its payload...histamine) goes too far.
This can happen for two main reasons:
- Too many mast cells are present
- Mast cells overreact to simple triggers
These are both questions of "balance" or homeostasis (the technical term).
Keep that word tucked away because it's critical to our initial question of CBD and mast cell activation.
You can learn all about CBD and histamines here but we want to focus on mast cell activation.
The triggering of the response itself!
Let's introduce the endocannabinoid system first.
The Endocannabinoid System And Mast Cell Activation
The endocannabinoid system is newer to the medical community.
Actually, they're slow to the game but research has studied it pretty intensively for 20+ years.
We all have one and it's shared with most animals.
It's dated back to about 600 million years so mother nature stumbled on something it liked and kept it.
Insects missed the party (came to early actually).
Here's a quick visual:
It's primarily tasked with balancing three key systems:
- Nervous system
- Immune system
- Endocrine system
The second one is where we want to focus in terms of mast cell activation.
Really, most modern health issues are pointing back to the immune system being out of balance!
Think of all the auto-immune diseases.
Just watch an RX ad and it's probably autoimmune.
New research is coming out daily!
Just yesterday, a report showed that an industrial enzyme used to process dairy, baked good, and meats might be at the heart of gluten insensitivity:
That was yesterday.
The day before, the immune system as a cause of MS.
It's coming faster by the day!
Mast cell activation disorder is just a component of our immune system with very specific issues and results.
Rather than attacking the joints (arthritis) or the islets cells (diabetes), this system causes an over-reaction of its primary weapons:
- Mucus creation (which is protective in the body)
- Inflammation (also protective for short durations)
- Increased blood pressure and bowel movement (get it OUT!)
Too much of a good thing.
The endocannabinoid system is tasked with balancing this response!
How do we know this?
Research. Always research.
First, are there endocannabinoid receptors on mast cells?
Before we go further, let's introduce the naturally occurring cannabinoids in the system:
These come up quite a bit in the study of the endocannabinoid system in mast cells and we would hate to start off with confusion!
Back to the studies...
An example of CB (cannabinoid) receptors in play within mast cells
Indeed, this substance has been extensively investigated in mast cells (especially in wild-type rats) that produce high levels of PEA and express both CB1 and CB2