Organ transplant rejection is a serious problem that is of a frequent occurrence in medical practice. While there are various methods to stop the rejection of the transplant by the immune system, they are not applicable in each case. But we have some good news. Recently, a startling discovery was added to the numerous incredible medical marijuana facts—weed can prevent transplant rejection. Moreover, we are referring not to the CBD (cannabidiol) content with its minimal effectiveness, but to the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) in the plant.
This new valuable discovery was made thanks to numerous studies conducted by scientists on mice. Let us take a closer look at the body of the experiment. The scientists injected splenocytes from one mouse strain into the spleens of another one and found out that THC treatment had a positive impact on mice. Firstly, the T-cell and cytokine profile of these mice appeared less inflammatory. Secondly, THC content decreased the risks of skin allograft rejection, stating that signaling through the cannabinoid system can have an impact on transplant rejection. While these discoveries are not thoroughly impressive, there is one fact that may be surprising—the immunosuppressant action is conducted through the CB1 receptor.
We will try to explain why this discovery means a lot. Marijuana reaction takes place through two different receptors that are called CB1 and CB2. These two receptors are G protein-coupled, but they have too little in common. CB1 is found mostly in the brain, while CB2 is found primarily in the immune system and peripheral tissues. That is why, when conducting any studies connected with the immune system, scientists mostly investigated the CB2 receptor. According to the studies, the CB2 receptor can mediate the immune response.
So, what does the new finding show us? It shows that it may be impossible to set some of the desired immune system effects apart from the undesired mental ones (unless they are desired), in case they are both mediated by the same receptor. It also makes us wonder about the applicability of the CB1 receptor in the immune system.
It is doubtless that cannabis can influence the immune system. This sensational discovery is of great importance to our future and is certainly a huge step forward in our marijuana knowledge enrichment. And we hope that this discovery will help people who require organ transplantation and further treatment.