While cannabis has played a role in human society for thousands of years as a plant-based therapy, it wasn’t until the late 1900s that scientists began to learn exactly how and why cannabis is such an effective Remedy.
Since then, thousands of studies have been conducted to learn more about cannabinoids and, more importantly, the role of the endocannabinoid system in our bodies and lives.
What Is the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (also called the Endocannabinoid System or ECS) is the network of cell receptors and molecules responsible for sending messages throughout the human body. It is a biological system found in most living vertebrates.
However, despite the ubiquity of the ECS and cannabis itself, we’ve just begun learning about cannabinoid education about the true therapeutic potential for cannabis-based Remedies.
The discovery of cannabinoids and ECS receptors
The path to discovering the endocannabinoid system started in 1964 when Israeli scientist Raphael Mechoulam identified and isolated both CBD and THC. According to Mechoulam, the ability of scientists to isolate cannabinoids was the first step to discovering the biological system that is impacted by cannabinoids.
“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance,” said Mechoulam in an interview, “We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.”
Cannabinoid receptors were first found in brains of rats in 1988. The discovery led to finding that these CB receptors are more plentiful in the brain than any other neurotransmitter receptor. In the following years, researchers began using synthesized versions of THC to start mapping the CB receptors in the brain and throughout the rest of the body.
Today, we know that CB1 receptors are located primarily in regions of our nervous system, and CB2 receptors are located throughout our entire bodies.
Together, these receptors are responsible for a plethora of mental and physiological processes, processes we still learn more about everyday. For example, CB2 receptors alone can be found in the liver, spleen, gut, heart, kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph nodes, and our reproductive organs.
Some scientists suspect that there may exist a third CB receptor we have yet to discover.
Physiological processes influenced by your Endocannabinoid System
Since the initial discovery of the cannabinoids, the endocannabinoid system, and CB receptors, researchers and physicians have uncovered different ways the ECS controls our normal bodily functions.
From helping maintain bone density to mediating hormone secretion, your ECS plays a role in the following physiological and psychological processes:
- Higher cognition
- Motor control and coordination
- Sleep patterns
- Stress moderation
A healthy ECS is fundamental for optimal appetite, mood, sleep, and reproduction. Diet and exercise build and activate the ECS while marijuana products enhance the effects.
You, Your Endocannabinoid System, and Your Diet
When embarking on a journey to a healthier lifestyle, start with moderate exercise. Exercise boosts the production of anandamide, an endocannabinoid also known as the “bliss molecule.” The release of anandamide causes the euphoria after physical activity.
Marijuana and pain relief go hand-in-hand, so some medical marijuana patients may be unable to exercise due to the physical pain they’re treating. Cannabis provides relief for patients who want to be active, but are impaired by physical pain. We recommend vaporizing strains high in CBD (like Harlequin or ACDC) for pain relief before and after exercising.
Physical activity causes the body to release endocannabinoids and helps synthesize THC, another cannabinoid helpful in relieving pain and inflammation.
A diet rich in healthy fats
While physical activity releases endocannabinoids, a diet rich in fats is responsible for producing endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are byproducts of fat, to stay in peak health opt to consume healthy fats for a healthy endocannabinoid system.
Research shows the polyunsaturated fats, omega-e and omega-6, are essential for a healthy endocannabinoid system. Omega-3 increases the power of the cannabinoid receptors, which enhance the healing properties of endocannabinoids like anandamide for enhanced feelings of bliss and pain relief
Food rich in omega-3 include:
- Fish such as salmon and sardines
- Flax and chia seeds
- Shellfish such as oysters
According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, the primary endocannabinoids are derived from omega-6, which helps food intake and metabolism. For the healthiest endocannabinoid system, consume omega-3 and omega-6 equally in balanced ratios. Omega-6 is found in:
- Hemp oil
- Whole grains
Include herbs and spices
Not only do herbs and spices add flavor to food, but they also packed with a dense variety of nutrients. Herbs and spices activate and support the endocannabinoid system. Helpful herbs and spices to engage for ECS include:
- Black pepper
What to buy at a dispensary
If mild pain prevents you from exercising, Remedy yourself with topical cannabis. Vaporizing hybrid and sativa strains high in CBD provides pre-workout relief for minor aches and pains. Try extra strength pain balms as well.
Cook foods rich in healthy fats with cannabis oils for optimal pain relief while helping your ECS. For dinner, cook a piece of fish or chicken in cannabis oil while seasoning it with oregano and black pepper. Chocolate also engages the ECS, so for dessert use cannabis oil to make delicious brownies seasoned with cinnamon or nutmeg.
Remedy Your Endocannabinoid System with Cannabis
Your journey to a healthier you begins with dispensary products and ends with a healthier diet and exercise habits. Browse our catalog to find the best marijuana products for endocannabinoid system.