The Endocannabinoid System
Mammals evolved with an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which can be traced back to some of the earliest creatures in the sea, and persists today in every mammal. The ECS consists to two types of neuromodulary receptors. One group is predominantly central, these are called simply CB1, and they are selective receptors located in the mammalian brain. The second type are called CB2, and these receptors are located in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids that mammals’ produce naturally, through their own metabolism. They are called 2-arachidonoylglycerol or 2AG, and anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “Ananda,” which translates to “bliss”).
For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, the anatomy and biology of the ECS is still being actively researched, and it is still not taught about in many medical schools. Endogenous Cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) are produced within the body from simpler component molecules. The “runner’s high” known to occur during strenuous exercise is one commonly known example. Omega three fatty acids are essential for the production of endogenous endocannabinoids.
When the body has low omega three levels, fish oil or the vegan alternative, hemp seeds can serve as a healthy source. Foods sources that contain omega three fatty acids include oil fish such as salmon and sardines. Adequate supply of these essential fatty acids in dietary intake ensures that the body has sufficient omega three produce adequate endocannabinoids. Other food sources of anandamides include dark chocolate and truffle oil.