All mammals (and most animals) have an endocannabinoid system that at its most primitive level is responsible for the production and up-take of naturally produced cannabinoids within that system – known as endocannabinoids. It probably won’t shock you to know that cannabinoids are also present within the cannabis plant, and these can be ingested in some way or another and be processed by a body’s cannabinoid receptors. However, you may be surprised to know that cannabinoids aren’t limited to their presence within cannabis plants, and feature in many household foodstuffs that you probably already have in your kitchen. These cannabinoids that are produced in plants are called phytocannabinoids. So, if you want to enhance your body’s own endocannabinoid system, look at the following list of foods and incorporate them into your diet: -
Contains the terpene beta-caryophyllene (BCP) that will bind to the same cannabinoid receptors that THC does but produces a much more calming and relaxing effect, and because of this it has been said to reduce weed anxiety and general paranoia. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory action. Current research is going on into BCPs effects within cancer treatment and for conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. To achieve instant and natural calming effects, it is recommended to eat 3 or 4 cloves raw if you can manage it! Otherwise, just use in cooking as normal.
Ensure you are sourcing organic, fair-trade dark chocolate that contains cacao as its main ingredient. Cacao or its full name Theobroma Cacao (Translates as “food of the gods”) has been known to be a superfood for millennia and is currently finding its way into western kitchens again. It contains a high concentration of a cannabinoid called anandamide, which is also naturally produced in the body and is known for causing ‘Runner’s High’, a feeling of euphoria after completing physical exercise. Anandamide is known as the body’s own natural antidepressant and is often referred to as the human body’s natural version of THC.
All these common herbs that any well stocked herb cupboard should have all contain cannabinoids, but most commonly known cannabinoids that they contain is beta-caryophyllene (BCP) that was mentioned for black pepper previously) The terpene’s present in these herbs help contribute to the specific aroma’s that each one has, these terpenes are also present in marijuana plants and contribute to their aromas, hence why you may see some marijuana plants compared to some of the herbs above.
Hops (real name: - Humulus lupulus) shares a common ancestor with the Cannabis family of plants if you follow the history back and both exist in the (now outdated) Order Urticales and the family Cannabinaceae. Which is a long-winded way of saying that they share very similar properties genetically, even though they are distinct species. Because hops and cannabis share similar terpenes, you may have noticed that when sometimes you open a bottle of beer that you can smell cannabis, however this is the hops.
Last but by no means least, flax seeds, and the flax plant overall, has many compounds within it that are very similar to the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) and well as containing CBD itself. This discovery of CBD within flax essentially opens flax up to research into its medicinal properties, such as its anti-inflammatory properties and its help with provoking an autoimmune response. This list is by no means exhaustive and there is lots of plants that contain endocannabinoids or substances to provoke a response in the endocannabinoid system. However, this list is to try and bring you some of the more popular and everyday examples of where endocannabinoids exist within nature.