Endocannabinoid Tone, Medical Cannabis, and Nutrition

medical cannabis, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid toneDr Ethan Russo, known for his ground-breaking work using medical cannabis with patients suffering from AIDS, Cancer, and Krohn’s Disease, posits that disease is the result of poor endocannabinoid tone.  I covered this topic generally in the article Assess the Health of Your Endocannabinoid System, and today we’ll dig a little deeper into the nutrition component of Endocannabinoid Tone as well as the role nutrition plays in the phyto-cannabinoid support medical cannabis offers.

The endocannabinoid system is pervasive throughout the body, both on the outer and inner membranes of every cell, and functions in all tissues and systems throughout the body.  Indeed, recent research suggests that even the microbiome in our guts is responsive to the signaling of cannabinoids.  That means that in the “deep sleep” part of the night, endocannabinoids need to be built by the body for the next day’s activity.  Think about how many cannabinoids that is–it’s easy to come up with the answer: A LOT!  If sleep is disrupted, fewer endocannabinoids can be built.  If hormones are disrupted by stress or environmental toxins, fewer cannabinoids can be built.  If digestion continues into the night, fewer cannabinoids can be built.  If  the diet lacks the phyto nutrients and healthy phosphor-lipids to build cannabinoids, fewer cannabinoids can be built.  If the body has compromised health, fewer cannabinoids can be built.  The trend is evident, and the natural extrapolation when considering the fast-paced, fast food, and hectic lifestyles in today’s culture is that most of us are functioning at a lower than optimal level of endocannabinoids in our bodies, right?

There are some factors beyond our control impacting endocannabinoid tone, but nutrition isn’t one of them.  That’s right.  Even though it may seem we are powerless to shift our lifestyle choices around food and eating habits, the truth is that it’s all about making a different choice…  Here are some nutritional choices that support the efficacy of endocannabinoid tone:

  • Eat a diet high in healthy phospho-lipids like coconut oil and olive oil
  • Eat a diet high in  both raw and cooked vegetables
  • Eat organically grown foods. Conventionally grown foods are inundated with pesticides and GMO seeds. The work that body has to do to deal with these toxins is effortful and takes energy away from building cannabinoids.
  • Eat a diet low in carbs, eliminating all forms of processed sugars and flours.  Carbohydrates, and especially sugars, cause inflammation throughout the body as well as increasing insulin output (which results in weight gain.)  Inflammation disrupts the endocannabinoid system and lowers efficacy.
  • Release gluten from the diet as it is both usually found in high carbohydrate foods and, in its own right, increases inflammation in the body as well causing stress to the digestive tract.
  • Use whole foods free of chemicals, artificial flavors and colorings.  The chemicals are toxic to the body and disrupt endocannabinoid tone.
  • Practice intermittent fasting.  The body needs time away from digestion–a minimum of 14–16 hours per 24 period–in order to repair cells and build micro-nutrients… like cannabinoids

If this list hits home for you, there is still hope. Start where you are, and make one change at a time. With a little time and intention, you can bring your endocannabinoid tone back online.

Now, let’s chat about how to enhance the efficacy of phyto-cannabinoids.  If you find yourself with a health condition and a compromised endocannabinoid system, medical cannabis offers support through phyto-cannabinoids.  And, after having gone to the expense for their help, it’s important to make sure those phyto-cannabinoids are working optimally, right?  OK, look at the above list.  It still applies.  If others are telling you how wonderful the relief they are getting with medical cannabis is, but you just can’t seem to get that result… read the list above and start making different choices… one at a time ; >)  Indeed, if your body’s endocannabinoid system has been compromised long enough to result in disease, then it’s even more important to give good support to the mechanisms that can return balance and harmony to the body’s physiology.

medical cannabis, cannabinoids, endocannabinoid toneGive medical cannabis the support it needs from nutrition to work well.  Give your body the support he or she needs to re-establish a healthy endocannabinoid tone. By these simple gifts, restore vitality, harmony, and health.  We can free our minds and emotions from the barrage of moods caused by imbalanced biochemistry.  And, in return for the gift of clean nutrition we give our bodies, we are elevated into new states of ease and grace–physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Thoughts?  Questions?  I’d love to read them in the comment section below.


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7 Replies to “Endocannabinoid Tone, Medical Cannabis, and Nutrition”

    1. Fat molecules with a phosphate group…they are the building blocks of cannabinoids and terpenes:
      Phospholipids are a class of lipids that are a major component of all cell membranes. They can form lipid bilayers because of their amphiphilic characteristic. The structure of the phospholipid molecule generally consists of two hydrophobic fatty acid “tails” and a hydrophilic “head” consisting of a phosphate group. The two components are joined together by a glycerol molecule. The phosphate groups can be modified with simple organic molecules such as choline.
      ahnalira recently posted..Endocannabinoid Tone, Medical Cannabis, and Nutrition

      1. whew. you’ve become a biochemist, Ahnalira!
        One question: it sounds as though the primary production of endocannabinoids occurs during the night’s sleep. Is this correct?

        1. Or… I listen to a lot of biochemists and understand just enough to explain it 😛

          Yep, that’s what I’m saying…
          Cecilia J. Hillard, Ph.D., director of the Neuroscience Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has found that people need eight hours of sleep a night for optimal endocannabinoid production. What’s more, her research shows that endocannabinoid levels are three times greater first thing in the morning compared with when you hit the hay.

          ahnalira recently posted..Cannabinoids–What Are They and Why Should I Care?

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