Exploring The Adaptive & Innate Immune Systems

immune health

You likely learned about the immune system at a young age. It’s an astounding system that plays a critical role in maintaining health. However, a lesser known fact about the immune system is that it’s actually divided into two subsystems. Join us as we explore the adaptive and innate immune subsystems and what distinguishes these two important players in the body.

Innate vs Adaptive Immune Systems

The innate immune system is the system that you are born with and inherited from your parents. It behaves as the first responder against antigens, which are the molecules present on the outside of a pathogen or allergen that induces an immune response in the body. The innate immune system responds rapidly, typically reacting within a few hours of exposure. However, unlike the adaptive system, the innate system provides general, non-specific support - meaning that it stimulates the entire body to respond - and once activated, that immunity typically remains for life.

The adaptive immune system functions in virtually the opposite manner. This system is cultivated as you grow up and is composed of specialized, systemic cells and processes to target specific areas of the body when exposed to antigens. However, this response occurs much more slowly than the innate response, typically happening several days after exposure. The adaptive immune system is constantly learning how to distinguish “self” from “not self” - that is, parts of the body from external factors.

Both systems rely on specialized cells and barriers to execute their roles. The innate immune system mostly uses physical barriers including the skin and mucous membranes to pathogens, in addition to dendritic cells and plasma proteins. The adaptive system employs B cells, white blood cells, T cells, and dendritic cells. Lymphocytes are a particular type of white blood cell that are responsible for the specificity of the adaptive immune response.

How To Support Your Adaptive & Innate Immune System

A healthy and balanced immune system ensures that these specialized cells and complex processes function efficiently. Luckily, supporting the health of your immune system isn’t as complex and simply involves lifestyle choices such as good nutrition, regular exercise, and utilizing supportive botanicals in your diet. 

For example, echinacea has become one of the most popular botanical supplements for immune support. It’s chock full of alkylamides, which are the key active constituents that are responsible for the effect on the immune system. These constituents also interact with the endocannabinoid receptor and activate CB2 receptors, which may support healthy immune function.†

Another common ally for immune support is elderberry. This superstar botanical is high in vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, potassium, and dietary fiber. It also contain flavonols, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids, all of which are key in supporting healthy cellular activity in the immune and digestive systems.†

Fortunately, you can experience the combined power of these plants along with a healthy serving of vitamins and full-spectrum hemp extract, all in one effective capsule. Bluebird’s Dynamic Immune CBD Soft Gels offer multi-system immune support for the adaptive immune, innate immune, digestive, and respiratory systems.†

Curious about what else CBD can do for you? Check out our free guide, The Benefits of CBD, to learn more!