you have an endocannabinoid system - here's how to feed it the right way
If you’ve ever studied or read scientific articles about CBD or cannabis, you’ve likely run into something called the “endocannabinoid system.” Like your immune or other systems in your body, the endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in helping your body function to its best abilities. But how does it work, and what can a person do to make it run better?
First, let’s define the endocannabinoid system. It’s a biological system found in a person’s body (like the immune system) and consists of three components: Cannabinoid receptors, Endocannabinoids and Metabolic enzymes.
Cannabinoid receptors are found on the surface of cells inside the body. These receptors help transmit information to produce certain responses from the cells. The two main cannabinoid receptors are CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are largely found in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are usually found in other systems. CBD will bind to these cannabinoid receptors to activate them and produce cellular responses.
CBD is not the only thing that binds to cannabinoid receptors. Endocannabinoids also bind to these receptors to help activate them. But, unlike CBD, endocannabinoids are produced naturally by cells in the human body. The two main endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG.
Like your immune system, or any other system in the human body, it’s important for a person to ensure their endocannabinoid system is running efficiently. The endocannabinoid system works with the other systems in the body to promote homeostasis, which is the internal balance of the body. And similar to how taking vitamin C and other supplements can improve the function of the immune system, there are ways that a person can improve the function of the endocannabinoid system.
The first might seem obvious, but it’s taking CBD. CBD binds with the cannabinoid receptors in a person’s body and helps increase the production of endocannabinoids. CBD can also prevent 2-AG from breaking down quickly in a person’s body, which means its effects will continue for a longer amount of time than if someone didn’t take CBD.
Besides taking CBD, there are several foods and supplements that can help the endocannabinoid system. Essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6 may enhance activity in the endocannabinoid system. Some foods that contain these fatty acids include eggs, certain kinds of fish, and nuts and hemp seeds. Chocolate also contains compounds that are very similar to endocannabinoids, which can inhibit the breakdown of natural endocannabinoids, particularly dark chocolate or raw cacao.
There’s also research showing that certain activities — particularly activities like yoga, meditation and massages — can improve the function of the endocannabinoid system.
Like any other system in the body, it’s important for a person to ensure their endocannabinoid system is working to the best of its ability. So treat your endocannabinoid system like any other, and make sure it’s working to its full potential.
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