ECS or the endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in maintaining the homeostasis of the human body. Homeostasis in simple terms is our body’s internal balance and stability. CBD supports ECS by interacting indirectly with its receptors. Aside from CBD, there’s a natural endocannabinoid system booster that stimulates ECS, hence promoting a better quality of life.
But before we list some of the natural endocannabinoid system boosters we gathered, let’s learn more about ECS, Cannabinoids, and CBD.
What is ECS?
ECS is a biological system found throughout the body like the brain, organs, immune cells, and connective tissues. It consists of endocannabinoids, receptors (CB1 and CB2), and enzymes.
The endocannabinoid system helps control and balance many of our most critical bodily functions. Some of these are learning and memory, emotion, immunity, sleep, temperature control, pain control, stress management, and eating.
ECS and CBD
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Their molecules are the same as Endocannabinoids.
THC and CBD are both cannabinoids. THC binds with the receptors of the ECS and imitates its actions, hence producing the “psychoactive” effects. While CBD does not attach itself to the receptors of ECS. Instead, it grants the ECS access to its own endocannabinoids which allows it to carry out its functions effectively.
Natural Endocannabinoid System Booster
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are needed for the normal functioning of our brain and nervous system. Research also shows that they increase the interaction of the endocannabinoid system and regulate the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Our body cannot produce these essential fats on its own. So it is crucial to consume enough of these fatty acids through our diet. Some of its popular food sources are fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, sea-bass), chia, flax seeds, seaweed, and edamame.
Exercise activates the endocannabinoid system by regulating the CB1 receptors and enhancing their sensitivity. As a result, exercise helps manage stress and increases levels of anandamide (an area in the brain that influences pain, appetite regulation, pleasure, and reward). Exercise is also key for having optimal brain health.
With our busy schedules, sometimes it is difficult to find time to get active. Though it is understandable, we might be depriving our bodies of all the benefits that it can give us. We suggest starting with simple activities such as walking, stretching, or yoga. There are a lot of fun ways to get active and once you found the one that works for you, just remember to be consistent.
Stress is never good news even for the endocannabinoid system. Emotional stress affects the CB1 receptors. While chronic psychological stress reduces endocannabinoid levels in the brain. Although it is impossible to avoid it completely, making an effort to deal with and manage stress is essential for our mental and physical health.
There are simple yet effective ways to deal with stress and we list them on our other blogs. Breathing exercises, meditation, taking long baths, getting enough sleep, and eating right are just some of them.
The pandemic had restricted us for a long time from the in-person social interactions that we were used to. These include going out with friends, movie dates with your bestie, and family outings.
But thanks to all the different technological options, it has become easier than ever to feel connected and close emotionally even being far away. A simple call to your mom or video chat with a friend can do a lot not just for your mental health but also for your general well-being.
Social interaction is a great endocannabinoid system booster. It also increases the levels of anandamide or the “bliss neurotransmitter”.
Coffee and Tea
It is impossible to start your day without any of these two. Although they have their own health benefits, coffee and tea both modulate the endocannabinoid system.
Researchers believe that the cannabinoid system is involved in the psychoactive properties of caffeine. Regular caffeine consumption also enhances the activation of CB1 receptors.
Tea, on the other hand, contains catechins that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system. It is also a very good source of antioxidant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.
Because of the continued research and studies, we are being equipped with the knowledge of how important the endocannabinoid system is to our mental and physical health. And although CBD consumption would always be the number one source of balanced ECS, there are other natural ways to stimulate the endocannabinoid system.