Releaf Magazine

Activating the Endocannabinoid System without marijuana

brainNatural Ways to Activate the Endocannabinoid System Without Marijuana

Merry Jane - By. Roni Stetter - 09/26/2016

Living a healthy, holistic lifestyle with cannabis isn’t about getting baked—it’s about getting balanced. So, if you are serious about using the herb to improve your health, it’s time to start looking at broad lifestyle changes that contribute to whole-body wellness.

The endocannabinoid system is made up of a network of biochemical receptors within the brain and body that regulate mood, pain, metabolism, sleep, and more important physiological processes. THC tends to bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain, while CBD tends to work on CB2 receptors in the immune cells of the body. It’s part of your peripheral nervous system and can be fueled not only by cannabis, but also by natural cannabinoids produced inside the body.

Without this system working within your body, you’d certainly be a nervous wreck—and many of us already are. Some health professionals even go so far as to claim “endocannabinoid deficiency” as the cause of several hard-to-treat diseases. Whether or not it’s the root of all our health problems, regulating the endocannabinoid system is part of a new wave in mind-body awareness and improving everyday preventative health.

So, how can we optimize this system of the body to live healthier and happier, with more energy? Aside from supplementing your body with THC and CBD from cannabis, there are some other lesser-known yet invigorating ways to activate and balance this system of your body.

Eat This, Not That
Partaking in the right foods can keep your endocannabinoid system running smoothly, while the wrong types of food can completely mess it up. “Superfood” is a buzzword in the nutritional community, but it’s true that some foods have powers bordering on magical. Eating a diet rich in certain plant polyphenols and antioxidant spices, like turmeric, saffron, and nutmeg, can stimulate your endocannabinoid system much like a healthy serving of cannabis sativa. Conversely, you can keep things tight by avoiding inflammatory foods, such as dairy, red meat, and refined sugars and flours. Sounds hard, given the way the munchies make you feel, but by making incremental good choices with your diet, you can see a lot of improvement in your metabolism and the way you feel each day—and it’s all because of endocannabinoids.

Stay Lit, Stay Fit
Believe it or not, exercising regularly is almost as good as being high all the time. By now it’s somewhat common knowledge that the “runner’s high” felt by endurance athletes is almost on point with a psychoactive THC high. Just like a great dab, cardiovascular exercise can improve your mood and assist in keeping a healthy sleep schedule. Additionally, exercising helps to rid your body of fats and toxins. With heavy use, you can build up quite the tolerance to cannabis, making it less effective. Sweating it out will help you maintain that regular high every day, with or without weed.

Smoke One and Chill
For a boost in endocannabinoids and a growing sense of well-being, try engaging in stress-reducing activities, like staying hydrated, doing breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Ultimately, the endocannabinoid system becomes strained through physical and mental stress, so it makes sense that avoiding inflammation like the plague will keep your system running smoothly. Alcohol is another stressor to avoid. Those hangovers cause inflammation, and using alcohol is actually thought to work the wrong way on the endocannabinoid system, causing dependency issues.

Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, so the responsibility of good health is all up to you. Find your perfect balance today.

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Weed growing naturally around the Twin Cities

ctyp_wildcannabisWild marijuana is flourishing throughout the Twin Cities

City Pages - By. Susan Du - 08/22/2016

Wild marijuana grows in yards, gardens, and weedy industrial sites across the Twin Cities. It’s illegal – the feds consider it a Schedule I controlled substance, equal to heroin – but it’s also naturally occurring.

Most of what’s out there is descended from the hemp that was planted en masse in the 1940s for fiber during World War II. When “Reefer Madness” arrived, people stopped cultivating it. Birds loved to eat the seed though, and carried it out of the fields and into the cities.

Now, wild marijuana is flourishing wherever people are turning the soil, like roadsides and highways.

City of Minneapolis spokesman Casper Hill says that although inspectors with the department of regulatory services do police yard plants that are overgrown and need to be cut, they don’t necessarily bother with the species of plants growing around homes. As long as the yard cannabis is of a sensible and aesthetically pleasing height, it’s free to live.

Hill did not say what inspectors actually do when they stumble upon it. (Probably pose for photos.)

Unfortunately, this wild marijuana doesn’t get you high, says University of Minnesota pot Prof. George Weiblen.

Weiblen grew up in Minneapolis, where as a teenager he quickly learned through the mistakes of his peers that harvesting the neighbors’ boulevards and baking up garbage bags of the stuff was not a very good business scheme.

“I wouldn’t be alone,” he says. “It’s an experiment that teenagers often indulge in … Any fool who has done the experiment quickly caught the difference.”

Minnesota’s native marijuana does produce a highly nutritious seed that’s making a comeback, Weiblen adds. The market for hemp seeds in the U.S. is estimated to be $500 million in sales a year. People are using the oil and seeds in a variety of food and makeup products.

However, he does not recommend harvesting the seeds from wild marijuana either. Call it hemp or marijuana, cannabis is still illegal.

“You gotta buy the processed product right now,” he says. “That’s the only legal path to using hemp.”


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