The human body contains several systems that are responsible for various functions throughout the body. One of such systems is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is located in the central nervous system and throughout the spine. The ECS consists of many endocannabinoid receptors that interact with the cannabinoids naturally produced by the body and affects various functions like mood, memory, stress, etc. However, experts believe that the primary function of the ECS is to regulate the process of homeostasis, the internal balance of all living organisms. If the inner balance of any living organism is maintained, his quality of life instantly goes up! In this article, we will look at some of the basic functions of ECS and five ways to support the most extensive regulatory system in your body.
Functions Of The ECS:
Cannabinoids are the messengers that relay signals to the endocannabinoid receptors. The human body produces two main cannabinoids – anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-ag). These endocannabinoids are made by the body as required and quickly broken down by metabolic enzymes once the signals are delivered. The response initiated by the receptors depends upon the chemical composition of the message received. Here are some of the functions throughout the body influenced by ECS signaling:
- Moods and emotions
- Memory and learning
- Sleep and sleep cycles
- Stress responses
- Appetite and metabolism
- Thermoregulation and neuroprotection
- Cardiovascular functions
- Endocrine system function
- Muscle movement and motor control
- Pain perception
- Reward-seeking behavior
Ideally, the human body produces all the ECS messengers required for the smooth functioning of the system. However, sometimes the body needs more ECS messengers than usual, and it can be challenging to keep essential communication flowing efficiently. These times include illness, injury, stress, and much more.
We will now look at some ways of supporting ECS function to help the body maintain essential balance.
Five Ways To Support The ECS:
Focus on Omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats essential for many essential functions in your body. These include the production of the ECS messengers known as anandamide and 2-AG. Omega-3 is also used by the body to synthesize CB1. CB1 is the ECS receptor located throughout the central nervous system. Food products like salmon, mackerel, almonds, chia seeds, and walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Including these products in your diet ensures that your body is producing enough ECS messengers.
Pay attention to your gut:
The bacterial composition of your gut highly influences the communication between the nerves lining the digestive tract and the brain. This is called the enteric nervous system (ENS). The main task of ENS is to form connections that link the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, and adrenal system. However, recent research has also shown that the communication between these systems is regulated by ECS signaling. This is why researchers strongly believe that the bacteria found in yogurt, miso, kefir, and other fermented food improve the digestive system and help support the ECS.
Increase your activity:
For many years, we have known the expected benefits of exercising regularly that include fitness, flexibility, improved overall health, and a boost in mood due to the release of endorphins. However, as the studies exploring ECS grew, researchers also found that physical activity also supports the ECS by increasing the production of anandamide. Anandamide influences a wide range of physiological functions like mood fluctuation and brain cell formation. Well-known as the ‘bliss molecule,’ Anandamide is extremely helpful in elevating moods.
Stress triggers the release of cortisol, the hormone that prepares your body to fight/flee from the situation. When excess cortisol is released, it can have a significant impact on your mental and physical health. Many studies suggest that increased cortisol levels may impair the function of CB1 receptors. This means managing stress symptoms efficiently can help support the endocannabinoid system in your body. Practices like yoga, meditation, or other deep breathing techniques are some of the most meaningful ways to manage the effects of stress and reduce cortisol levels in your body.
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is one of the many compounds extracted from hemp plants. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD does not contain any psychoactive effects on the body. Over the last decade, many researchers have closely studied CBD and found it to be therapeutic for the body. Since these compounds are also cannabinoids, researchers found that taking these compounds externally also works in the same way as other cannabinoids produced by the body. In a lot of conditions, CBD even enhances the functions of the cannabinoid receptors. Today, CBD is widely recommended by doctors and experts around the world for treating conditions like inflammation, joint and muscle pain, stress and anxiety, other chronic pains caused due to cancer treatment or arthritis, and much more. Many states within the USA and several other countries worldwide have legalized the consumption of CBD products, provided they contain less than 0.3% THC.
Supporting the largest regulatory system is not difficult once you understand its functions and how essential it is for the body. The ECS is responsible for various functions like mood, memory, and maintaining an overall balance of the body’s internal processes. There are five main ways to help support your ECS. These include increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, paying attention to your gut, increasing physical activity, finding ways to reduce stress, and including CBD in your life. If you are looking for CBD products that are trustworthy and easy to consume, we recommend ThoughtCloud. They offer a wide range of products that are manufactured organically and meant for easy consumption. You can also get products that help with specific conditions in your body. We hope this article has been helpful.