Endocannabinoids:

Have you ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? If not, we are going to dive in and explain to you how this system impacts almost every single process in your body and best of all what food sources have cannabinoids in them.

When your endocannabinoid system is working well, it helps the human body live in balance, or homeostasis. Endocannabinoids are produced naturally by cells in the human body (‘endo’ meaning ‘within’, as in within the body) and are made from fat-like molecules within cell membranes, and are synthesized on-demand.

We have 2 main receptors in our body; CB1 receptor (cannabinoid receptor) which is expressed mainly in the brain (central nervous system or “CNS”), but also in the lungs, liver and kidneys, and CB2 receptor which is expressed mainly in the immune system and in hematopoietic cells.

Essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices, and tea can naturally stimulate the ECS. Specifically, a healthy ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can enhance the activity of the ECS, which is where hemp seeds and hemp oil (hemp seed oil) come into play. Whilst they do not contain any cannabinoids, (cannabinoids are only found in the flowers, leaves, and stems of the hemp plant and not in the seeds) hemp seed oil is VERY healthy.

We think most would agree out of all the endocannabinoid enhancing foods that CHOCOLATE would rank pretty high! Cacao powder contains three compounds that are structurally very similar to endocannabinoids. These compounds can inhibit the breakdown of your body’s own endocannabinoids, resulting in higher endocannabinoid levels, and may have some cannabinoid activity of their own. The content of cannabinoid-like compounds in chocolate varies widely and is highest in dark chocolate and raw cacao. Other compounds in chocolate may be able to help prevent heart disease, stroke, and dementia. Look for at least 70% dark chocolate, or try adding raw cacao nibs to smoothies or cereal! Or just snack on…

Current research has found cannabinoids in many plants, including: Clove, Black Pepper, Echinacea, Broccoli, Ginseng, Hemp oil, & Black Truffle.

 

Recipe idea:

Hempalicious chocolate protein balls – full of endocannabinoid enhancing goodies

  • 1/2 cup Hemp flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nut butter
  • 2 tablespoons hemp protein (20-40% protein)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or similar)
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoons hemp oil (seed)
  1. Add flavoured stevia of your choice like Vanilla cream – drops to desired sweetness
  2. Mix ingredients and roll into balls and decorate with hemp seeds and/or desiccated coconut. Tip: The coconut can be coloured naturally to entice kids into trying.
  3. These are great made in bulk and popped into a container in the fridge for when you’re on the run.