You may have heard of the endocannabinoid system but may still be unfamiliar with its function.
The endocannabinois system ( ECS) one of the most crucial systems involved in supporting your well-being. While scientists continue to build the full picture of what this major signaling network is capable of, here’s what we know so far:
The ECS was discovered in the 1990’s when scientists were researching plant-like molecules, cannabinoids, produced by the human body. The ECS’s main role is to maintain bodily homeostasis – biological harmony in response to environmental changes such as physical and mental stress. Science has since found the ECS present in anything with a vertebra such as mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Initially, research showed endocannabinoid receptors were only present in the brain and nerves, but have since been found throughout the entire body including our skin. Today we know that the endocannabinoid system is involved in a number of processes including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism and immune system.
Endocannabinoids are found naturally in your body (hence “endo,” meaning “internal”) and the ones found naturally in plants are called phytocannabinoids (like CBD). Since cannabinoids already exist in our body, it’s easy to understand why both internal and external sources work like a “lock and key” with the body’s endocannabinoid system and receptors.
However, just like with any other nutrient, we can have a deficiency and may need extra support. Our levels of cannabinoids can diminish, making you deficient and requiring something to boost those levels back to homeostasis. Deficiency can occur for a number of reasons like your body not using enough of the available endocannabinoids, not producing enough cannabinoid receptors or outside environmental factors. As the science of the endocannabinoid system continues to expand, one thing remains clear: a functional endocannabinoid system is essential for optimal well-being. Supporting it to do its job of monitoring your body’s functioning and triggering adjustments when needed is a cornerstone of being able to take control of your overall wellbeing.
While taking one of our signature CBD products is an important tool to support the endocannabinoid system, there are a few key lifestyle choices and habits that will help out considerably.
Diet is particularly important.
An ideal diet to promote overall health should include lots of fresh vegetables, high quality fats, and aromatic herbs and spices. There are a number of plants that contain terpenes similar to the ones found in Cannabis that will activate the CB2 receptor sites. In particular, leafy greens and spices such as cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, basil, and rosemary are high in the terpene Beta-caryophyllene. Eating foods that are rich in this terpene may help to reduce inflammation in the body. Consuming high quality omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to upregulate the CB1 receptors and have an anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, seeds such as flax, grass-fed meat, and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines.
Aside from diet, exercise plays a crucial role in activating the endocannabinoid system.
Exercise raises the levels of endocannabinoids in the bloodstream of people and animals. Studies have shown a significant increase of endocannabinoid concentrations in endurance athletes. Additionally, this system mediates vasodilation (widening of blood vessels) and bronchodilation in response to exercise. The increased cannabinoid levels in the blood stream produce a psychological state that closely parallels what many describe as experiencing a “runner’s high”.
In conclusion, it’s clear that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. What is particularly noteworthy is that we have the ability to take care of this physiological system in so many simple ways. Taking small steps, such as creating a daily exercise routine and making healthy food choices are the most simple and important ways to take care of your body. Additionally, using CBD to supplement your daily routine will play a very beneficial role. CBD taken routinely or throughout the day will nourish your endocannabinoid system and help to promote balance in your body and radiant health. You can think of these basic steps as an insurance policy for better health, both mentally and physically.