Meta: Your body’s endocannabinoid system helps keep you healthy, mentally and physically. Here’s what you can do to ensure this system works at peak performance.
The endocannabinoid system or ECS is essential for our well-being. This cell signaling system has been found to regulate many critical functions including appetite, sleep, memory and mood. Two critical endocannabinoids are produced by the body as and when the need arises. These bind with either of two ECS receptors, CB1 or CB2, to prompt the ECS to take appropriate action. Apart from what we have listed above, the proper functioning of the ECS also promotes well- being in terms of:
Motor control and coordination
Bone strength and growth
Immune system responses
Stress/ anxiety control
These are just a few areas where proper functioning of the endocannabinoid system helps maintain good health. When there is any kind of disruption in this system, it is evident that a host of adverse reactions may emerge. Adverse reactions are seen even when this system is not functioning at peak efficiency. Research indicates that the reactions may range from migraines, infertility issues, obesity, IBS, fibromyalgia and more. This is why it is necessary for you to optimize your endocannabinoid system and keep it in perfect order.
The body’s own correction system
The human body produces its own endocannabinoids. There are two of them known as Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). These molecules are very similar to the cannabinoids that we find outside the body, from plant sources for example. As long as the body keeps producing these two endocannabinoids, the cell signaling system works efficiently, prompting the body to react appropriately as needed.
However, when the two molecules are no longer produced efficiently, the ECS can no longer help maintain homeostasis, a stable environment within the body.
What can you do to help your ECS
- Avoid stress: When your body is producing too much cortisol, your endocannabinoid system goes for a toss. The CB1 receptor is badly impaired by this stress hormone. Staying anxiety free, employing strategies to keep yourself calm and cool can help you keep the ECS in good shape.
- Engage in physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle is bad for your ECS too. Staying active, getting in enough exercise on a consistent basis keeps your body and mind healthy. Exercise, especially running, promotes the production of Anandamide, thus directly helping the endocannabinoid system along.
- Eat right: Omega 3 fatty acids directly help the CB1 receptors. Making sure that your diet includes enough of this essential nutrient is a good and easy way to keep your EC system in peak form.
The role of cannabis in optimizing ECS
To help maintain the ECS at optimal functioning levels, you need to ensure that the endocannabinoids are produced adequately and at the right instances. What happens when this does not happen? Or what if the endocannabinoids produced are broken down too quickly to ensure adequate signaling? This is where we come to the significant role played by the unassuming plant compound, cannabidiol or CBD.
CBD is a compound sourced from the cannabis plant species. This compound has many benefits to offer but is often avoided because of its association with marijuana. Many people harbor an unfortunate misconception that CBD gives the same ‘high’ as marijuana does. However, this is not true. The ‘high’ that marijuana offers is mainly owing to the presence of a cannabidiol known as THC. Usually, CBD products for helping your ECS along are sourced from the hemp plant, which has very low THC, to the point that it is almost negligible. What hemp does have is CBD, which is a compound with many benefits but no psychoactive effects.
Here is how hemp helps:
- This is a phyto-cannabinoid, in other words, a plant product that encourages the cannabinoid receptors in the body to work more efficiently. A subdued endocannabinoid system can lead in to many problems that can be addressed by taking the right CBD products.
- CBD also slows down the break down of the body’s own endocannabinoid and thus prevents the entire system from collapsing. In particular, CBD counters the break down of Anandamide.
- Ingestion of plant based CBD prompts the body to produce more endocannabinoid. In turn, this kick starts the body’s own EC system into working more efficiently. In the long run, CBD products bring about a better functioning of the endocannabinoid system within our body by restoring the ideal balance.