What Is Your Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an important communication network in your body. The ECS delivers the signals that allow your body and your brain to synchronize and respond to stimuli. The endocannabinoid system helps regulate sleep patterns, appetite and general mood. Cannabinoid receptors are found on almost every one of your body’s organs.
They’re also found on immune cells, which help them navigate your body’s response to illness. There’s a lot you can do to support your body’s endocannabinoid system, and one of those things is eatin’ the right stuff.
Your morning cup of Joe is more than a great caffeine boost – it’s also an easy way to support your endocannabinoid system. Regular caffeine consumption has been shown to enhance the activation of CB1 endocannabinoid receptors.*
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil has a plethora of health benefits – its a strong anti-inflammatory, and it’s a source of healthy fats. This is important to note, because endocannabinoids are actually a product of fat. Consuming more healthy fats is vital for the health of your endocannabinoid system! Olive oil has even been shown to help regulate CB1 receptors, *
Tea contains catechizes, which are antioxidant compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. Research has shown that catechizes in tea target and bind to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system! Green tea in particular is rich in the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Echinacea is a traditional Native American medicinal herb. It’s still prized today for its ability to support a healthy immune system and promote relaxation. Compounds in echinacea works with your endocannabinoid system to reduce inflammation and increase the effect of endocannabinoids.*
Black pepper has made this list not due to its ability to enhance the effects of cannabinoids like THC, but rather due to its ability to modulate and limit the effects. In fact, black pepper has been show to reduce the psychotropic effects of cannabis. This can provide an impressive tool for you endocannbinoid system, namely when you take an excessive dose, or if you’re simply looking to limit the effects of cannabinoids.
Most chocolate enthusiasts know that a daily dose of dark chocolate is actually good for you. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants which reduce cortisol and oxidative stress. An added bonus? Dark chocolate contains the endocannabinoid anandamide (also known as the Bliss Molecule). That’s why eating a square of dark chocolate can help boost your mood!*
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body cannot produce on its own. Omega-3’s are necessary for healthy brain and nervous system function. They also increase the synthesis of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. Cold water fish (such as salmon, black cod, sablefish, sardines and herring) are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re not a big fan of seafood, try a krill oil supplement.