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Endocannabinoid-Enhancing Foods

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

Endocannabinoid Basics


Food has been an important part of my own health recovery in addition to CBD. Supportive lifestyles will enhance the effectiveness of any cannabis protocol. Over time, consistent use of CBD products can bring wonderful benefits to many people. For some it can feel expensive. Getting the most benefit from what you are taking is relevant to everyone. Dr Sulak of gives a great explanation on how to maximize the absorption of your products and further enhance your endocannabinoid system:

Essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices, and tea can naturally help the endocannabinoid system function optimally, improve your health, and enhance the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.


A healthy ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can enhance the activity of the endocannabinoid system. Endocannabinoids are produced from arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. Having enough arachidonic acid is essential for endocannabinoid production, but having too much may lead to downregulation of cannabinoid receptors. Excessive omega-6 intake is also pro-inflammatory.

Most western diets already contain an excess of omega-6 oils, commonly found in cooking oils such as safflower, sunflower, corn, and soy, and in animal products like meat, poultry, and eggs. Omega-3 fatty acids are needed to balance the omega-6 intake for the endocannabinoid system to function properly. These fatty acids are much harder to come by in the diet, and are also proven to have cardiovascular and neurological health benefits.

An ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the diet is 1:1, and the typical western diet often has a 1:10 ratio. Animal sources of omega-3 are the most potent, but the vegetarian sources tend to provide other excellent health benefits.

Sources of omega-3 endocannabinoid-enhancing fatty acids:

  • Hemp seeds and hemp oil

  • Flax seeds (grind at home in a coffee grinder) and flax oil

  • Chia seeds

  • Walnuts

  • Sardines and anchovies

  • Eggs (pasture-fed or omega-3 enriched only) ©


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!

Chocolate and Walnut Omega 3's
3 Ingredient Cacao Bites:


Numerous herbs and teas contain compounds that can enhance the endocannabinoid system. Beta-caryophyllene is a terpene found in black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, clove, cannabis, and many other herbs. It selectively stimulates the CB2 receptor, a sought-after property in the development of treatments for inflammatory disorders. Echinacea, often used by herbalists for up to 2 weeks to stimulate the immune system during infections, also contains CB2 agonists. Camelia sinensis, commonly known as “tea,” contains a compound that prevents the breakdown of endocannabinoids, and another compound that stimulates the CB1 receptor. Turmeric, the yellow spice in curry powder, contains curcumin, which also raises endocannabinoid levels amongst numerous other health benefits. Maca root powder, often used to improve resilience to stress and sexual vitality, contains a compound that slows the breakdown of endocannabinoids. Probiotics and unpasteurized fermented food can also help improve the function of the endocannabinoid system in the gut.

Maca recipe.
Got Maca? Try this:

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