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Supporting your immune system with Hemp and CBD Oil for Covid-19.

Before you get too excited, I have to advise that there is only anecdotal data or studies that prove CBD oil and medical cannabis are effective for treatment of any Covid-19 virus symptoms. The is article is in relation to how hemp, cannabis, and terpenes can help burden the stress that Covid-19 can have on individuals emotionally and physically. 

It’s no secret that CBD oil is being largely used for anxiety, depression, and chronic pain in Australia, in fact they are the two most approved conditions in Australia through the TGA (therapeutic goods association) access pathways to qualify for cannabis medications.  

I want you to forget for just a moment the argument about how dangerous Covid-19 is or whether the vaccines are any better than the virus itself. I want to shift the topic to immunity. If there is anyone that knows more about how important immunity is for survival of viruses and external biological threats it’s me! My recovery from stage 4 blood cancer has shown me how dangerous a common cold can be, and in recent times I have ended up in the emergency room in dire straights just because my toddler sneezed on me.  

I work on my immunity more than the average person due to being immune suppressed. I want to offer some tips and tricks that I use both with traditional off the shelf or over the counter supplements, and CBD Oil for personal care. For the average person these things are no brainer because you are starting with a solid foundation with a fully functioning immune system, and most people should be conscious of there general health and well being. My immune system is destroyed from chemo and radiation which takes a lengthy period of time to recover from, but even I am seeing improvements in myself and my ability to fight off viruses and infections with more focused care on my immunity. 

CBD Oil, Medical Cannabis, and Terpenes. 

As I stated above, pain and anxiety are the two most common prescribed uses for medicinal cannabis products in Australia. Pain and anxiety lead to stress, stress leads to an up take in cortisol (stress hormone), and cortisol leads to a flight or fight response which in turn shuts down your immune system and prevents it from doing its job of fighting viruses and other external threats. CBD Oil, medical cannabis, and terpenes are all great plant-based options to help reduce this level of stress, if you can reduce your level of stress naturally your para-sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear and lets your immune system do it’s job. I use a Full Spectrum CBD oil at night that contains less than 2% THC. This helps to keep me keep calm, and helps to reduce pain I get associated with cancer surgery (nerve damage) and arthritis in my spine caused by disc degeneration from an old rugby injury. I often supplement with a calm or relief terpene blend during the day as it makes me less drowsy and is more cost effective long term. 

Immunity Supplements. 

Each person varies depending on there needs but in this instance I will use myself as an example because my regime is focused on building my immunity. 

Essential fatty acids.

I use a mixture of arctic cod liver oil and hemp seed oil, both contain great ratios of essential fatty acids which can assist in immune cell support and brain health which is vital for helping to reduce stress, and there are also indications that Covid-19 in some cases has attacked and reduced the size of patients' grey brain matter, making it all the more important to focus on brain health. Hemp seed oil has a wide range of beneficial fatty acids that assist with inflammation and cell protection. Make sure your cod liver oil is from a good source, I use nordic naturals as all their products are research supported, expertly formulated, rigorously tested, and proven effective.

Vitamins 

Multi-vitamins.

I take a multivitamin that covers a broad spectrum of nutrients, and I don't take any old multivitamin, I go to a naturopath or a health food store buy a good quality real multivitamin that isn't as cheap as the off the shelf versions from Woolworths or Chemist Warehouse, but if that’s all you can afford something is better than nothing. 

Vitamin D, A, and Zinc. 

Vitamin D is essential for immune health and we naturally absorb it from sunlight, but for various reasons we may not get enough sunlight or have the ability to absorb it correctly, so I take an oral vitamin D spray once a day to make sure I am covered for my vitamin D intake. The arctic cod liver oil I take is also high in vitamin D and Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for respiratory health, given the current climate I feel it’s important to make sure you are considering nutrients for you respiratory system, a good multivitamin should also have a good source of Vitamin A. I also take one zinc capsule a day as zinc plays an important role on how your immune system functions. 

Probiotics

Gut health always is and always will be the cornerstone for heath and well-being. I use a probiotic powder with strains focused on building immune health which also includes colostrum from either cows milk or goats milk. In case you cant remember, colostrum was the very first thing you had as an infant, it is the thick nutrient dense milk that comes out right before the breastmilk, and it carries all the essential nutrients that help infants build immunity in their vulnerable state. It is literally the milk of life!

Nutrition and fasting. 

There is no specific diet in my eyes that anyone could tell you is supportive of the immune system. Everyone is different and responds differently to food intake. Instead, I’ll tell you what to avoid and how to look at macro nutrients. Macro nutrients basically cover Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats and Fibre. As long as you have those in good balance, and good portion sizes relevant to your activity levels with natural whole-foods, and avoid things like processed sugars, meats, and fried foods high in refined seed oils you are doing better than over 31% of Australians who are classed as obese. If your body is receiving the right balance of macro nutrients, it will give you a better chance optimising the benefits of all the other micro nutrients I have mentioned above, especially CBD oil and Terpenes.  

Fasting is a controversial and well research topic in recent times. I am not recommending extreme periods of fasting for 24 hours or more, the less time we spend taking in calories the better, it gives the body time to rest and repair instead of digesting food, and has many benefits to the immune system. I try to set myself a minimum goal of 12-13 hours which is very achievable. If you eat dinner at 6pm and only consume water and go to bed, you can eat your break-fast anytime around 6 or 7am.  

Sleep, Exercise and sunlight

Whether you need to wear a mask or not, the outdoors and fresh air do the immune system wonders. At least a 30 min walk a day is helpful, or if you are capable of more strenuous exercise that can make you sweat even better! Sweating is important to detoxify the body and gives your immune system one less thing to worry about when removing toxins. Don’t go to hard though, as heavy lifting and constant strenuous exercise can slightly diminish your immune system while it takes time out to repair muscle tissue. Sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night has to be as essential as getting toilet paper in a pandemic, I don't think I need to go into details as to why sleep is important. 

If you can manage it, dip your toes in the water somewhere and walk around in bare feet in the back yard or at the park, there are extensive studies that confirm “earthing” or “grounding” has numerous anti inflammatory and immune benefits by delivering us healing electrons through our feet. I know this sounds a bit woo woo, but there is more data on the benefits of this technique than most other health products and modalities on the planet. So don’t underestimate the power of the earth! 

Extra Self Care

Sauna and cold therapy.

Some people might not have access to this which is fine, but there are other ways to achieve similar benefits at home. I try to have a infrared sauna followed by a cold shower at least three times per week, and nothing makes me feel better than this method. The benefits it has on the immune system and inflammation cannot be argued. Wanna try it at home? Have a really hot shower, then shut the hot water off all the way to cold and brace yourself. Use your breath to take away the shock of the cold, and be careful not to hyperventilate for too long so your partner doesn’t find you naked and passed out on the shower floor. There are indications that hot and cold shock therapy are a natural way to kick your endocannabinoid system into gear much like a cannabis oil does.  

Your environment.  

It is very important to stay up to date with each states health advice and knowing what your restrictions are when it comes to Covid-19, but sometimes the media, friends, family, and work colleagues constantly harping on about the topic can increase stress and anxiety levels which shuts your immune system down. Like all things I have mentioned above, make sure that the Covid-19 news doesn’t consume your life, you need to know what is going on and how to stay safe but don’t let the stress of the situation make you unwell and less likely to be able to deal with life through a pandemic or a lockdown. Bring balance to how you consume your food, media, discussions about Covid-19, and exercise. Keep a positive healthy mindset and you will take confidence that your immune system is where it needs to be when dealing with a seemingly dangerous virus. Most importantly use common sense on how the disease is transmitted and don't be afraid of people, we are social beings and isolation is unhealthy, socialise where you can safely.

Summary. 

All these thing I have mentioned are not health advice and I am not a doctor, I am simply offering my perspective on how I create a health regime to protect myself from becoming ill, and supporting my immune system whether it be in a pandemic or no pandemic. I strongly feel that this isn’t a topic that is spoken about enough, as we have seen that Covid can be far less serious for healthy individuals. I often have to curb my anxiety when dealing with all the news, conflict, and advice through a pandemic because statistically I am one of those vulnerable groups that Covid-19  is likely to be serous illness for. But the stress of all these issues is far more detrimental to your health and the health of your immune system so I take these measures to reduce the burdon.  

I do not have any political leaning views on the virus or the vaccine, and you should make your own decisions on what is right for you and your current health condition. Below is a list of links referenced in this blog that I have mentioned.  

If you are struggling with your current situation, always remember there are people here to help like lifeline (13 11 14). Also call a friend and have a chat to make sure they are ok through a lockdown or any restrictions they may be experiencing. 

Links attached. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465119/

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070307080827.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/covid-19-may-reduce-gray-matter-volume-in-brain-small-study-suggests

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14585314/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025014/

https://www.endeavour.edu.au/about-us/blog/can-infrared-sauna-boost-your-immune-system/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/bovine-colostrum#benefits

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2277319/

https://www.nordicnaturals.com/consumers/our-mission

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