The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell signaling system in the human body responsible for regulating several functions and processes. It regulates the production of cannabinoids and promotes body homeostasis. The Endocannabinoid system controls physiological processes like body temperature, mood, sleep, immune response, appetite, digestion, heart rate, memory, reproduction, and fertility. Studies have shown that humans are not the only species with an active ECS, it also exists in all vertebrates, including mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
There are three components of the endocannabinoid system, and these include endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
1) Endocannabinoids: Endogenous cannabinoids are molecules made by the body, and they help to maintain balance. They ensure the smooth running of internal functions. Experts have identified two of them in the human body: 2-Arachidonoylglycerol(2-AG) and anandamide (AEA).
2) Endocannabinoid receptors: Endocannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body. Endocannabinoids bind to these receptors to alert the ECS of action that it needs to take. The two main types of receptors found in our body are the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors play a direct role in memory and cognition, emotion, motor control, appetite stimulation, and perception of pain. CB2 receptors maintain our immune system and inflammation response.
3) Metabolic Enzymes: Enzymes help to break down the endocannabinoids after they have completed an action. 2-Arachidonoylglycerol is broken down by monoacylglycerol acid lipase, and anandamide is broken down by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH).
How Does Cannabis Promote a Healthy Endocannabinoid System and Maintain Homeostasis?
With our modern lifestyle, lack of exercise, unhealthy food intake, and stress, it is easy to throw our ECS out of balance. This is where cannabis comes into the picture, research shows that cannabis helps the body attaining homeostasis by supplementing the body with phytocannabinoids. Cannabis contains hundreds of different compounds called cannabinoids, and these compounds mimic our body’s endocannabinoids. Prominent among these cannabinoids is CBD, which promotes a state of well-being and supports physiological processes by modulating the way other cannabinoids interact with the Endocannabinoid system. There are many benefits of CBD for health like it helps in relieving pain, reduces anxiety, depression and acne. CBD also helps to maintain the good health of the heart and also helps in the treatment of certain cancer. CBD helps in preventing diabetes, bone diseases and provides relief from arthritis, muscle pain and chronic pain. Due to the various health benefits of CBD, the demand for it is ever-growing among people.
Other Effective Ways to Boost Your Endocannabinoid System
Apart from using CBD, which interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors to promote an active ECS, there are other ways to achieve this.
Physical activities like running, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, and walking increases your level of an endogenous cannabinoid called anandamide. This cannabinoid is also responsible for the runners high that we feel after a workout and it helps to improve your mood, lowering stress and improving sleep.
Eating foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eating meals rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids may help to keep your ECS healthy. Some of the recommended sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids include hemp seeds, legumes, and fish oil supplements.
Reduce Alcohol Intake.
Excessive consumption of alcohol impedes the growth and repair of receptors in the body. The moderate use of alcohol is unlikely to impair the performance of the endocannabinoid receptors.
Eating food rich in Caryophyllene.
This aromatic compound is known to stimulate endocannabinoid receptors by interacting with them. Caryophyllene is present in herbs and spices like black pepper, basil, rosemary, cloves, oregano, and even cannabis.
Keeping the ECS active is a sure way to live a healthy life and increase your lifespan. Eating the appropriate food and living right can help to ensure that your ECS functions optimally.