The endocannabinoid system is an important part of your body’s ability to stay balanced
Many people still don’t know that our bodies are producing cannabinoids all the time. The system that does this is called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) it keeps us balanced and healthy, and effects things like mood, memory, and general well-being.
But what happens if something gets out of whack? There are steps you can take to help your ECS stay balanced, which is crucial for your bodily functions to remain regulated.
Here are five ways to boost your ECS and stay healthy.
1. Focus on your diet
Did you know that there are actually many foods that help balance and sustain your ECS? Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are especially effective in this regard. Research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience indicates that insufficient levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the body can cause the endocannabinoids that mediate long-term synaptic depression to fail.
Common foods that contain omega-3s are:
- Hemp and hemp oil
- Fish and fish oil
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
A balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is also important, and western cultures tend to be more omega-6-heavy, with diets consisting largely of eggs, cooking oils, and poultry.
2. Drink in moderation, if at all
Over-consumption of alcohol, and other common psychoactive substances like tobacco or coffee, can also negatively impact your ECS. A study published in PLOS One revealed that alcoholics who died in motor vehicle accidents, by suicide, or by natural causes had a lower density of cannabinoids in the body.
Alcohol consumption can throw the ECS off its regular processes, so make sure that if you drink, you do so only in moderation.
3. Exercise more
This is a piece of advice we hear time and again when any health-related discussion comes up. But exercising actually causes an increase in endocannabinoids, thus leading to an overall healthier ECS.
The endocannabinoid called anandamide has been shown to increase in experiments with mice after they engage in exercise, which researchers believe then leads to that euphoric feeling, often termed a “runner’s high” in humans.
Whatever type of exercise you choose, if you get your heart rate up and are not putting your body under a lot of stress in doing so, your ECS will thank you.
4. Relieve stress
Part of having a balanced, healthy body is getting rid of stress. The ECS helps manage this process, but when it’s not balanced, you could need an ECS boost.
Common stress relief tactics to help get your ECS back on track include:
- breathing exercises
- an enjoyable activity or hobby
- osteopathic manipulation (OMT)
- social outlets
While having a drink or two is a common practice for relieving stress, remember that over-consumption can have opposite effects on your ECS. Try the above strategies instead to calm your nerves and enhance your systems.
5. Try high-grade full spectrum cannabinoids
Full spectrum cannabinoids are becoming more popular across the nation as more companies are producing and selling the product. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many compounds found in cannabis. CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects, like THC does, but it instead has been shown to relax users and relieve anxiety. While research is still fairly new on CBD, and it’s not meant to cure anything, it can help treat symptoms related to conditions like PTSD, anxiety, epilepsy, and more.
Your body produces naturally occurring cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, the introduction of cannabinoids from cannabis products like CBD can step in and help the ECS. Because the ECS has more receptors for CBD than any other receptor within the body, CBD is especially effective in obtaining a balanced ECS.
While the ECS is your body’s way of balancing and regulating, it often needs a boost like any other bodily system. Try these strategies to find balance, and your ECS will be better able to regulate things like your mood, sleep patterns, appetite, memory, pain, pleasure, and overall well-being.
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