Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

Achieve Balance by Supporting Your Body’s Endocannabinoid System

By Sarah Axtell, ND April 30, 2021

The endocannabinoid system is your body’s master regulator and plays a crucial role in maintaining homeostasis in the body. Simply put, this system promotes whole body balance. It is the system in your body that is composed of endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids made naturally within the body. Endocannabinoids are lipid-based neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout our body.

Because cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout our body, supporting our own internal endocannabinoid system AND taking exogenous cannabinoids (such as CBD) can have positive effects all throughout the body:

  • Reduction of pain
  • Improved mood (relief from anxiety and depression)
  • More restful sleep
  • Improved digestion
  • Better brain function
  • Regulation of the immune system
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Adaptation to stress

Supporting Your Endocannabinoid System

Endocannabinoids are made from essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, are an ESSENTIAL part of the human diet because the body does not have a biochemical pathway to produce these molecules on its own.

An omega-3 fatty acid deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions. Therefore, if an individual’s diet is low in essential fats, she will miss out on the mood-boosting, fear extinction, and bliss effects of endocannabinoids.

A diet high in omega-3s can promote endocannabinoid synthesis and shift the balance towards a higher proportion of beneficial omega-3 endocannabinoids.

Be sure to eat these omega 3-fatty acid-rich food sources to support a healthy endocannabinoid system:

  • Fatty fish- salmon, sardines, mackerel, sardines
  • Flaxseeds, chia, hemp seeds
  • Walnuts

Taking fish oil with your CBD may enhance the effectiveness.

CBD- the Phytocannabinoid with the Most Therapeutic Potential

Phytocannabinoids are exogenous plant cannabinoids that can bind to our cannabinoid receptors and have a positive influence on the body. CBD is the phytocannabinoid that has the most therapeutic potential. THC is also a phytocannabinoid, but I am not advocating this endocannabinoid as this is the plant compound that can get you “high” and cause paranoia. CBD, on the other hand, does NOT cause disorientation, psychosis, or paranoia.

Supplementing with CBD

I like to take CBD in the evening to promote relaxation, stress-relief, and bliss. I must say its definitely a healthier alternative to your nightly glass(es) of wine!

Talk with your naturopathic doctor about appropriate source and dosing of CBD. Not every CBD is created equally, and dosing is highly individual.

Resources:

Howlett AC, et al. Neuropharmacology. 2004. 47: p. 345-358

Lefourcade M et al. Nature Neuroscience. 2011. 14(3):345-50

Watson et al., Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2019. 143:106337

McDougle DR et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2017. 114(30): E6034-E6043

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.


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