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10 ways to boost your Endocannabinoid System

10 ways to boost your Endocannabinoid System

You already know many of the properties of including CBD oil in your diet, such as reducing inflammation or anxiety, but how does this happen? CBD oil affects and helps our own Endocannabinoid System (ECS) to function better. In today's article we are going to understand the importance of the Endocannabinoid system and 10 habits that we can use in our daily lives to improve its functioning.

What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

Known as the master regulatory system, it is responsible for maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body. Its components, endocannabinoids (like neurotransmitters in the brain), are molecularly similar to the phytocannabinoids found in plants such as Cannabis. There are two main endocannabinoids found to date: Anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG). These two adhere to the so-called receptors: CB1 in the central nervous system (brain in particular) and CB2 in the peripheral nervous system (spinal cord and organs). 

How to improve the functioning of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?

Although we can focus only on consuming products rich in CBD from Cannabis, it is more advisable to enhance your Endocannabinoid System in more ways. You might wonder why... The answer is very simple, the more you support the functioning of your ECS the better CBD products will work. 

More and more scientific studies are linking low levels of endocannabinoids with disorders as varied as autism, migraines, fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome. Let's look at these 10 ways to boost your ECS!.

  1. Physical activity

Physical exercise is very beneficial for many areas of your health, including the Endocannabinoid system. Exercise can increase levels of the CB1 activator, anandamide, and increases the sensitivity of these receptors. It is more important to exercise regularly versus the amount or intensity of it.

  1. Sunbathe

Basking in the sun on a summer day does wonders for improving your mood. In addition to enhancing the synthesis of vitamin D, the sun enhances your Endocannabinoid System. UVA rays promote the production of nitric oxide (vasodilator) which in turn increases the number of CB1 receptors throughout the body. 20 minutes a day outside peak hours, without protection, is the amount recommended by experts.

  1. Eat quality fats

The endocannabinoids naturally present in our body are produced from Omega 6 fatty acids (arachidonic acid). Excessive consumption of Omega 6, however, can cause an imbalance with Omega 3 that increases inflammation. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable to consume foods with a healthy ratio or proportion between Omega 3 and 6. The best are organic eggs, flax seeds, chia, wild salmon, sardines, hemp seed oil, and the hemp seeds themselves.

  1. Exposure to cold

Exposure to cold, whether through cold showers or winter walks, has been shown to stimulate the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). If you are someone who lives in a warm climate year-round, try cold showers or baths.

  1. Stress reduction

Stress is known to be the main factor that causes many physical disorders to begin. When you are stressed, Cortisol levels rise, a hormone that when triggered reduces the CB1 receptors in the hippocampus of the brain and therefore the cannabinoid activity in that region. When someone suffers from chronic stress, these CB1 receptors are chronically deactivated. To reduce stress levels you can exercise, yoga or practice meditation.

  1. Drink electrolyte-rich drinks

Electrolytes such as calcium, potassium or magnesium are very important to keep you hydrated and regulate PH. Various studies have shown that adequate consumption of calcium and potassium electrolytes enhances the activity of CB1 receptors and the transport of endocannabinoids.

  1. Increase vitamin A consumption

This fat-soluble vitamin enhances the functioning of your immune system and increases the expression of CB1 receptors. You can find vitamin A in orange vegetables and fruits such as sweet potatoes or carrots, wild salmon, organic butter, ghee (clarified butter), etc.

  1. More chocolate?

Yes, you are not reading wrong. Cocoa and its unrefined derivatives (pure cocoa powder, and chocolate of more than 70% and sweetened in a healthy way with honey or whole sugar) contain the cannabinoid Anandamide and other compounds that prevent it from deteriorating within our body. The closer to pure cocoa the better!

  1. Drink more tea

Tea, especially green tea, contains antioxidants called catechins that stimulate the endocannabinoid system by attaching to receptors in the central nervous system (CB1). Choose organic teas since normal crops are highly contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals

  1. Avoid Endocannabinoid System inhibitors

Lastly, but still very important, it is necessary to avoid food contaminants such as pesticides or microplastics found in bottled water as they block the activity of the Endocannabinoid System and hinder its functioning. Choose ecological products and glass containers whenever you can.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Wiklund, Petri & Pekkala, Satu & Cheng, Sulin. (2013). Exercise, the endocannabinoid system and metabolic health. Journal of Sport and Health Science. 2. 60–61. 10.1016/j.jshs.2013.01.003. 
  • Felton, S., Kendall, A., Almaedani, A., Urquhart, P., Webb, A., & Kift, R. et al. (2017). Serum endocannabinoids and N-acyl ethanolamines and the influence of simulated solar UVR exposure in humans in vivo. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 16(4), 564-574. doi: 10.1039/c6pp00337k
  • Dyall S. C. (2017). Interplay Between n-3 and n-6 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Endocannabinoid System in Brain Protection and Repair. Lipids, 52(11), 885–900. doi:10.1007/s11745-017-4292-8
  • Simopoulos, A. (2002). The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 56(8), 365-379. doi: 10.1016/s0753-3322(02)00253-6
  • Krott, L., Piscitelli, F., Heine, M., Borrino, S., Scheja, L., & Silvestri, C. et al. (2016). Endocannabinoid regulation in white and brown adipose tissue following thermogenic activation. Journal Of Lipid Research, 57(3), 464-473. doi: 10.1194/jlr.m065227
  • Agrawal, A., Nelson, E. C., Littlefield, A. K., Bucholz, K. K., Degenhardt, L., Henders, A. K., … Lynskey, M. T. (2012). Cannabinoid receptor genotype moderation of the effects of childhood physical abuse on anhedonia and depression. Archives of general psychiatry, 69(7), 732–740. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.2273
  • Khasabova, I., Simone, D., & Seybold, V. (2002). Cannabinoids attenuate depolarization-dependent Ca2+ influx in intermediate-size primary afferent neurons of adult rats. Neuroscience, 115(2), 613-625. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4522(02)00449-9
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  • Korecka, J., van Kesteren, R., Blaas, E., Spitzer, S., Kamstra, J., & Smit, A. et al. (2013). Phenotypic Characterization of Retinoic Acid Differentiated SH-SY5Y Cells by Transcriptional Profiling. Plos ONE, 8(5), e63862. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063862
  • Korte, G., Dreiseitel, A., Schreier, P., Oehme, A., Locher, S., & Geiger, S. et al. (2010). Tea catechins’ affinity for human cannabinoid receptors. Phytomedicine, 17(1), 19-22. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.10.001
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Holistic Nutritionist | Natural Supplementation Expert

Diego Colodron

Graduate in Psychology from Cardenal Cisneros University (Madrid). Trained in Biomedicine and Integrative Nutrition at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (London), Ayurvedic Nutrition and Bioenergetics (AIYA- Madrid). Researcher on the multiple health benefits of medicinal Cannabis.

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