The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is found in all vertebrate animals. Since its discovery in the early 90s, researchers and scientists have only started to uncover all of the functions of the mysterious system.
If we compare the systems in the human body to software applications, then the ECS would be the operating system that allows them to communicate and controls when and how the applications respond.
The ECS acts as a modulator for all the other systems in the human body. It searches for imbalances that it can correct. While much research is still needed to fully understand how the system works, we know it consists of receptors, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes. We also know the ECS plays a role in these and many other natural functions:
- Stress Response
- And many others!
One Unexpected Way Hemp Can Enhance Your Endocannabinoid System
Before I go any further in explaining this, let’s get a little basic terminology out of the way.
• Endocannabinoids are endogenous cannabinoids produced in every healthy human body. To date, we know of two endocannabinoids produced in the body, anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglyerol (2-AG). However, it is widely believed there are others that haven’t been discovered yet.
• Cannabinoids, also known as phytocannabinoids, are derived from plants. Cannabinoids are found in hemp, cannabis, and a wide variety of other plants, spices, and herbs. Regardless of where they are sourced, they elicit a particular response in the body by binding with receptors. THC and CBD are cannabinoids exclusive to the cannabis sativa plant variety.
Fueling the ECS
Just as your muscles need protein, your endocannabinoid system needs basic dietary requirements to function correctly. Believe it or not, endocannabinoid deficiency is a clinical disorder.
So what does the ECS need to fuel its balancing act? The answer probably isn’t what you’d think.
Dr. Dustin Sulak, a well-respected cannabis researcher, and physician contributed an article to Leafly that reviews natural ways to enhance our ECS. The first item he lists is essential fatty acids — omega-3 and omega-6. While the western diet isn’t short on omega-6, most of us don’t consume enough omega-3 through a natural diet. Dr. Sulak recommends increasing our omega-3 intake with foods like eggs, walnuts, hemp seeds and oil, and others.
Hemp Seed Oil
The hemp seed itself does not contain cannabinoids, because the cannabinoids are formed in trichomes produced on the flowers and leaves of hemp and cannabis. Interestingly, the oil pressed from hemp seeds is rich with a perfect balance of essential fatty acids necessary for endocannabinoid production.
In fact, research has suggested that omega-3 deficiency may impact the inflammatory response, pain perception, and other vital physiological processes. Other studies suggest a diet low in omega-3s may affect brain function and cannabinoid receptor activity, too.
The good news is hemp seed oil is readily available and has been considered safe for consumption by the FDA for years. However, in light of the recent legal changes regarding hemp, we can expect to see this market grow exponentially as consumers learn about its nutritional value.
How to Easily Add Hemp Oil to Your Diet
Let’s face it, many healthy diet changes suck. Nobody likes to add gritty protein shakes or granola bars that remind us of eating bark and twigs. Most of us also refuse to pay three times the amount for a healthy alternative of a product we use daily.
Here is a couple of hemp, and hemp oil, products I found that won’t break the bank and could significantly impact your health and wellness.
Good Hemp Beverages
With a slogan like “Better Products for Your Everyday Living,” Good Hemp aims high with its brand of hemp oil-infused beverages. These beverages contain no cannabinoids, only the beneficial oils pressed from hemp seed.
If you’re an energy drink kind of person, Good Hemp offers a hemp oil beverage for you. CannaHemp comes in three flavors, mango, blueberry, and original. It is packed with 50mg of hemp seed oil, natural flavors, and organic caffeine.
Like the bubbles? Good Hemp Fizz contains 50mg of hemp seed oil, prebiotic fiber, and natural flavors like mango, blueberry, and citrus twist.
Looking for a little more? Good Hemp 2oh! is a 20-calorie, naturally flavored water containing 10mg of THC-free CBD hemp extract. Available in six flavors, these bottled waters are an easy replacement for something you use every day — water.
This company produces an entire lineup of hemp snacks and foods made from hemp seed. Humming Hemp has several options for blending a little hemp nutrition into your day, from cooking oils to deliciously flavored granola bars (I highly recommend the pumpkin seed & spice and the honey cinnamon — they will get you high on flavor alone!) and flavored snackable hemp hearts that are great on dish — sprinkle them on a salad, on your pastas, anything that you’d like that extra special crunch!
Of course, you can find hemp hearts, hemp milk, and hemp oils at many grocery outlets and health food stores, and they provide the same nutrition. It’s also good to note that hemp oils are not intended for high heat, so don’t plan on doing any kind of frying or the like with hemp oils. However, they are great for salads, sauces, and lower-temperature meals.
The Value of Cannabis & Hemp Unrivaled
One thing is for sure, whether you’re consuming the leaves, the flowers, or the seeds, hemp and cannabis have a long list of health-boosting potential. In fact, in theory, healthy consumers could maintain their health by simply adding a little hemp oil to their diets. On the other hand, cannabinoids from the mature plant may one day prove to help with symptoms of various conditions.
However you look at it, hemp is a multi-purpose plant packed with promise.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you make a purchase through them, I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. Please see my full disclosure policy here.
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