Understanding Your Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is network of molecules in the body responsible for regulating memory, mood, sleep and more. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body in organs, tissues, glands and cells, including the brain and immune cells, and it’s these signalling molecules that help create a bridge between the body and mind. There are two main cannabinoid receptors, type 1 (CB1) and type 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and impact a number of neurotransmitters, including glutamate, dopamine and serotonin. CB2 receptors are mostly found in the immune system and blood cells. Certain activities cause our bodies to release these molecules which in turn promote feelings of pleasure, which can hugely impact your mental health and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Here’s how you can boost yours naturally.

Experience cold water exposure

Cold exposure has been shown to increase endocannabinoid levels. Researchers have also found that cold exposure significantly increases the density of CB1 neurons. If the idea of a cold shower is too much, dunking your head or even your forearms in cold water every day is a good place to start.

Drink green tea

Packed full of catechins, antioxidant compounds with high antioxidant properties, studies show that catechins in green tea target and bind to cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system.

Go running

As well as keeping you fit, running is a great way to boost your endocannabinoids, specifically the body’s CB1 receptors, making it a great mood boost. In one study, researchers found that jogging improved participants’ moods and cognitive function.

Eat lots of olive oil

Loaded with heathy omega oils, olive oil is an anti-inflammatory essential. It’s also been shown to upregulate both CB1 and CB2 receptors, notably helping to protect cells against cancer in its activation of CB1 receptors.


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