Creating and supporting a healthy immune system is fundamental to avoid getting sick. While catching the common cold or flu is inevitable, a strong immune system can make symptoms much more manageable and reduce the likelihood of a more serious infection. These days, it’s more important than ever to maintain strong immunity and do what it takes to make the immune system as strong as possible.
Getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, not smoking, drinking alcohol in moderation and frequently washing your hands are all beneficial for strengthening the immune system.
In addition to healthy lifestyle practices, ensuring your endocannabinoid system is strong serves an important role in boosting immunity. Here we’ll take a closer look at the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and immune system, and how supporting the ECS might lead to a stronger immune response.
The Endocannabinoid System + Immune Function
Referred to as one of the most important physiological systems that exists, the endocannabinoid system is potentially responsible for a number of different functions including mood, memory, sleep, digestive function, metabolism, appetite, immune function and more.
At the most basic level, the ECS consists of the following:
- Two naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG.
- Enzymes that synthesize and degrade endocannabinoids, such as fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase.
- Two cannabinoid receptors, known as CB1 and CB2.
While research shows that the main functions of the ECS are to support homeostasis, emotional response and mood, cognition and motor function, it’s also suggested that outside of these central functions the ECS is also an important modulator of immune function.