10 Mar Encouraging a Balanced Immune System By Supporting Your Endocannabinoid System
In these troubling times, naturally supporting a balanced immune system to protect our bodies and keep us healthy is as important as ever. Learn about the role the endocannabinoid system plays in the strength of your immune response, and how you can support its efforts.
Current nationwide quarantines and social distancing have prompted plenty of online searches about ways to quickly “boost” the immune system. The reality is there is no magic pill or quick fix to protect you from any health issue. But, there are ways to help build a strong immune system over time.
Outside of regularly washing your hands and not touching your face, you can also help protect yourself with healthy habits. Eating nourishing foods, lowering your stress, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding excessive amounts of alcohol are proven ways to strengthen your immune system. You can also give your immune system the best chance to do its job well by supporting your endocannabinoid system.
Your endocannabinoid system is a multifaceted signaling system that plays a role in keeping the body in homeostasis. Also known as the ECS for short, this system responds to external influences in order to keep functions like the immune system balanced and operating at their peak.
Importance of a Balanced Immune System
The immune system is your body’s defense against infections. Made up of many intricate and interconnected cells and organs that work together to attack germs, a well-operating endocannabinoid system protects the body and helps keep us healthy. A well-tuned immune system recognizes any harmful foreign substances and gets rid of them, improving our overall well-being.
To function well, the immune system requires balance. Problems arise whenever its suppressed or overstimulated. An overactive immune system may not be able to tell the difference between healthy, normal cells and invaders, and could react to substances in the environment that are normally harmless. A weakened or suppressed immune system doesn’t adequately respond to true invaders, leaving your health susceptible.
A well-balanced immune system will recognize and respond effectively to a challenge to the body’s health so that you feel better. While genetics plays a role in the balance of the immune system and its performance, its also very sensitive to some aggravating lifestyle factors, such as stress, sleep deprivation, a lack of exercise, exposure to toxins, and unhealthy eating.
This is why it’s important to take steps to make sure your immune system stays balanced.
How Your Endocannabinoid System Supports a Balanced Immune System
A multifaceted signaling system, your endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining immune system balance. The primary role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis within the body, despite outside factors, and a healthy endocannabinoid system encourages the immune system to perform at its best.
The ECS is made up of neurotransmitters called cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors located on cells in both the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as the immune system. When an imbalance in the body is detected, cannabinoids are deployed to act on cannabinoid receptors, triggering chemical reactions aimed at returning to homeostasis.
The organs and cells of the immune system are rich with cannabinoid receptors. Researchers have located cannabinoid receptors on the thymus gland, spleen, tonsils, bone marrow, and white blood cells, suggesting that the endocannabinoid system directly affects organs and brain areas that influence immune system response.
A well-operating endocannabinoid system keeps the immune system in check, promoting a balanced immune response and better health.
Stimulating Your Endocannabinoid System
Humans make their own cannabinoids, called endocannabinoids, that interact with the endocannabinoid system. However, other cannabinoids that interact with the ECS are found in a variety of foods and plants.
Certain foods and activities can also stimulate the production of cannabinoids to help your endocannabinoid system function optimally. Foods that contain essential fatty acids like hemp oil, walnuts, chia seeds, chocolate, and pasture-fed eggs support the body’s endocannabinoid system. There’s also evidence of endocannabinoid-enhancing activities, such as daily exercises like meditation and yoga, social interactions, and unstructured playtime.
Some herbs also contain compounds that enhance the ECS. Echinacea, turmeric, and the yellow spice in curry powder support the endocannabinoid system. Beta-caryophyllene — a terpene found in black pepper, cinnamon, oregano, and other herbs — stimulates cannabinoid receptors.
CBD oil, a natural extract of the hemp plant, is an incredible source of cannabinoids that can also be used positively in the effort to maintain a balanced immune system. Cannabis-derived cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) feature a similar molecular structure as the body’s own cannabinoids, allowing them to interact with and influence cannabinoid receptors.
There’s evidence that some people’s endocannabinoid system may not be functioning optimally, and providing support with regular servings of cannabinoids from the plant cannabis may help address the issue. In addition to helping establish harmony within your body’s systems, CBD oil adds a number of essential vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, proteins, fiber, and other trace cannabinoids to your diet.
Natural wellness products like HempMeds® Everyday Wellness Immune Support CBD Capsules, pairing CBD oil (15 mg of CBD) and immune system-supporting natural ingredients like turmeric root and black pepper, are designed to naturally support an efficient endocannabinoid system and healthy immune function.
So while it’s true that there’s no magic way to supercharge immunity in the face of the current worldwide pandemic, that are things we can do to keep the immune system and our overall health functioning optimally. Along with a balanced diet, being physicall active, using strategies to reduce stress, and trying to get adequate sleep, supporting your endocannabinoid system with certain foods and herbs, regular exercise, and daily servings of CBD oil are good ways to encourage a balanced immune system.