How to Optimize Your Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell signaling system that was discovered in the early 1990s. It is composed of cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) and internally produced receptors (cannabinoid receptors) that help regulate and maintain homeostasis in the body. There are several ways to upregulate the ECS, including natural methods and supplementing with phytocannabinoids, such as cannabis. Essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices and tea can naturally stimulate the ECS.

Exercise is also a great way to increase endocannabinoid tone. Activities such as mediation, massage, acupuncture, and breathing exercises can also help increase ECS function. CBD and THC have different effects and act on different parts of the body. While there is still a lack of data on the anticancer effects of FABP inhibitors that act through endocannabinoids, some research reported that FABP inhibitors were actually developed for the treatment of obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Enzymes that degrade endocannabinoids have aroused considerable interest as potential targets for an innovative treatment for cancer. Influence of dietary fatty acids on endocannabinoid and N-acylethanolamine levels in the brain, liver and small intestine of rats has been studied. Monoacylglycerin lipase exerts dual control over endocannabinoid and fatty acid pathways to support prostate cancer. Over the past two decades, advances in science and natural health have offered interesting therapeutic potential through the endocannabinoid system and the medications and activities that support it.

Regular consumption of moderate to high amounts of alcohol can also affect the ECS, so for optimal health and endocannabinoid function, be moderate when drinking or avoid alcohol altogether. Medical cannabis products come in several forms with different cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals that can help up-regulate the endocannabinoid system. As demonstrated with cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoid levels in malignant tissue have also been shown to be elevated.


The endocannabinoid system is an important part of our body's homeostasis. There are several ways to upregulate it naturally or by supplementing with phytocannabinoids such as cannabis. Exercise, mediation, massage, acupuncture, breathing exercises and avoiding alcohol are all great ways to increase ECS function.

Medical cannabis products can also help upregulate the endocannabinoid system.

Allyson Ribb
Allyson Ribb

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