Your body is naturally equipped with several systems that keep you regulated and functioning. Think cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems. One of these lesser known systems is your Endocannabinoid system. You didn’t learn about this one in your high school health class, as the ECS was recently discovered.
What is the Endocannabinoid system?
The Endocannabinoid system is believed to promote bodily homeostasis by regulating an array of physiological processes, such as body temperature, hunger, sleep, digestion, heart rate, and more.
Most of us don’t know that our body is producing cannabinoids all the time. These cannabinoid molecules function and act a lot like those found in the cannabis plant – like THC, CBD and CBN. Almost every one of your body’s organs has cannabinoid receptors, including immune cells, which help with your body’s response to illness. The discovery of this system has played a huge role in moving towards the legalization of cannabis.
While there are numerous cannabinoid receptors in the human body, the two most well-known are the cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), which is more significant to the central nervous system, and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which is more common with the immune system.
How to support your ECS
Just like how to support your cardiovascular system by going for a run, there are things you can do to promote your endocannabinoid system. Optimal ECS functioning can greatly benefit your life by balancing your body’s functions and overall reducing stress. So follow some of these ways to take care of your endocannabinoid system:
1. Include plenty of healthy essential fatty acids
Foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can support regular activity of the ECS. At the molecular level, endocannabinoids are products of fat. Several studies have shown the relation fatty acids have with brain health. Think of it like taking your daily fish oil pill to support your brain function.
It’s important to incorporate foods into your diet that are particularly high in essential fats including, eggs, nuts, coconut, salmon, and hemp seed oil. One study pointed out that chocolate, or raw cocoa powder, is particularly effective for boosting body regulation via the endocannabinoid system. Raw cocoa powder has a similar molecular structure as endocannabinoids. You can find these cannabinoid-type compounds in raw cacao and dark chocolate. No wonder we feel so warm and delighted after a cup of hot cocoa!
2. Exercise Regularly
You wouldn’t be surprised to hear that exercise reduces stress, but the science behind that phenomenon has a lot to do with your endocannabinoid system. Medium and high-intensity exercise has been shown to activate the endocannabinoid system. Beyond regulating stress levels, exercise also improves memory due to the activation of the CB1 receptor. Additionally, recent research suggests that endocannabinoids are the cause behind the euphoric ‘runner’s high’ you experience when exercising.
The brain is the most significant organ in the body, and taking care of it is essential for overall health and well being. Brain health experts recommend regular exercise as their number one advice for optimal brain health. Healer made a list of some of the specific exercises and stretches you can perform to help stimulate your ECS.
3. Reduce overall stress
Exercise is a great stress reliever, but exercise alone may not be all it takes to reduce stress. Luckily, there are several other ways to help reduce stress beyond exercise. High stress levels for prolonged periods of time has been shown to inhibit the activity of your CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. Cannabinoid binding is reduced due to the high levels of cortisol produced by stress. In short – the endocannabinoid system needs to function optimally in order to properly deal with stress and keep your body balanced.
The key to reducing stress is reducing the cortisol levels of the brain. One of the biggest factors in brain health is diet. This includes eating healthy fats as mentioned above, but also eating plenty of fruits and vegetables rich in micronutrients. Nutrients from food or supplements contain compounds that keep stress levels low. Some examples of these include:
- Herbs in teas, like ginseng
- Antioxidants found in dark berries
- Curcumin, found in turmeric
Stress can also be reduced by changing daily habits that could be inhibiting ECS. Both stress and heavy alcohol consumption slow the growth and repair of new endocannabinoid receptors. A couple of drinks is most likely fine, but excess alcohol can be damaging to your overall health.
Cortisol increases in the morning and drops very low at night prior to going to sleep. However, if you have high cortisol levels due to chronic stress, you may wake up wired and anxious at night. The good news is that quality of sleep is valued by researchers over quantity. Natural sleep aids like Right Wellness’s CBN tincture can aid in a restful night.
4. Supplement with CBN
Cannabinoids are the active compounds found in the hemp plant that have also been shown to have a wide range of medical benefits. It has been well-studied in treating seizure disorders due to the balancing effects it has on the central nervous system. Cannabinoids such as Cannabinol (CBN) work by enhancing the expression of CB1 receptors in the brain. CBN is different from other compounds in cannabis like THC as it does not produce a psychoactive ‘high’ effect.
Right Wellness Co’s CBN tincture not only boosts the ECS through supplementing cannabinoids, but contains other ingredients that support the ECS as well. MCT oil is derived from coconut, and contains natural omegas needed for regular endocannabinoid system functioning.
Make your ECS Health a Priority
The endocannabinoid system is a powerful network in the body and brain that affects a unique combination of functions. From sleep, to hunger, nutrient transportation, mood, memory and much more. Your body’s overall homeostasis is reliant on a healthy and well-functioning ECS.
While a healthy endocannabinoid system isn’t a cure-all, activating your ECS should be a priority when it comes to health, especially when so many ways you can support it support other systems in your body as well.
There is still so much research to be done about this newly discovered body system, and The endocannabinoid system is still a big mystery to a lot of people, but we do know that supplementing cannabinoids with cannabis products and CBN have helped people feel better already.
Ready to take charge of your ECS health? Try CBN Tincture today.