The endocannabinoid system. It sounds very complicated, and in some ways it is but basically it's just what it sounds like; the human body's internal - "endo" - system that responds to cannabinoids.
Your body, as scientists studying the effects of cannabis on the body have discovered, produces its own natural cannabinoids and this system - known as the ECS for short - has a role to play in all kinds of crucial bodily functions. According to research the better your ECS is functioning the better job it can do.
The ECS can respond to our body’s own endogenous cannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, and to exogenous cannabinoids, ie: cannabinoids introduced into the system from outside sources. A growing body of research indicates that the introduction of these outside canniboids can further support the ECS and increase its natural function.
There are a number of ways you can boost your body's own production of endocannabinoids. Here is a look at some of them.
Get a Massage
A controlled, but randomized study found that massage can increase the levels of natural endocannabinoids in the blood. So, if you have been trying to justify the expense of getting a nice relaxing massage this is a good reason to give in and head to the massage table.
Acupuncture is an ages old Eastern medicine practice that has become more popular in the Western world over the past half century. One form of it, electroacupuncture, has been shown to increase levels of some endocannabinoids while also reducing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol.
Plain (Dark) Chocolate
Dark chocolate is rich in one of the cannabinoids our body produces naturally, anandamide. Its name is actually derived from the Sanskrit word for bliss, which is maybe something chocolate lovers already guessed. Now we are not advocating you eat a ton of dark chocolate, that just would not be healthy, but a couple of squares a day might be beneficial (as well as a nice treat.)
Hot and Cold Showers
If you are brave you can try ending your next shower with a minute-long burst of cold water to give your ECS a boost. That rush of cold increases the natural production of endocannabinoids and stimulates one of the ECS' primary receptors, CB 1.6. That cold blast is also great for improving your circulation, so if you can take the shock, go for it.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
No doubt you have heard lots about the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids over the last several years, but perhaps less about the fact that they have been found to also serve as precursors to endocannabinoids, which your body converts to boost your ECS. So go ahead, have that salmon dinner, it's a tasty indulgence you deserve!
Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is perhaps the most direct way available to people right now to boost and support your body's own endocannabinoid system. And it does so safely, effectively and easily, whether you choose to vape CBD or introduce it into your body via a supplement or a gummy.