Cannabinoids: They're Not Just for Cannabis Anymore

It’s no secret that hemp is nature’s greatest source of CBD. 


But CBD’s not the only cannabinoid out there... and in fact, hemp isn’t CBD’s only host plant.


While it’s true that the cannabis plant is the best provider of its namesake cannabinoids by far, hemp products aren’t the health-conscious person’s sole option. And while high quality CBD oil is exactly what we’re known for at Jasper Organics, ultimately it’s not about any particular CBD product. It’s about you! 


We say all this because science is just beginning to discover that other plants and herbs — not just hemp — also create cannabinoids. Some create endocannabinoid-like molecules while others create compounds that promote health like CBD does, albeit a little less directly. Researchers call them cannabimimetics.


Let’s take a look at nature’s more surprising sources of cannabinoids first. 

Black Pepper

Black pepper contains piperine, a substance that’s been used for thousands of years to increases the absorption of other helpful plants. Research shows that piperine can make everything from turmeric to CBD more bioavailable — so much more bioavailable, in fact, that researchers anticipate piperine+CBD blends in the future.  


But piperine isn’t the reason why black pepper tops this list. Black pepper is also a rich source of beta-caryophyllene, a terpene known to promote digestion and fight pain. Here’s the thing, though: ever since 2008, beta-caryophyllene has also been considered a “dietary cannabinoid”. It actually binds to the body’s CB2 receptors to reduce inflammation in a way that’s very similar to what CBD does. 


Prior to this discovery, it was thought that only hemp and cannabis contained cannabinoids. Black pepper deserves some credit for opening the door to other possibilities — so if you want to further activate your endocannabinoid system, sprinkle some pepper on your dinner tonight!  

Dark Chocolate

It goes without saying that dark chocolate’s amazing. Thanks to endocannabinoid research, however, we have one more reason to love it: dark chocolate contains small amounts of anandamide, which is normally only produced within the body. A 1996 study aptly titled “Brain Cannabinoids in Chocolate” was the first to find this link, which could explain why so many people crave the stuff. 


It turns out there’s not much anandamide in even the darkest chocolate, and that related fat-soluble compounds it contains, like N-oleoylethanolamine, probably boost anandamide as much as anything else. 


Even then, dark chocolate remains a great choice for those who want to nourish their brain and improve their health. It contains over 300 compounds, including natural stimulants like caffeine and theobromine. 

Echinacea

This hardy herb is renowned for its immune-system-boosting, adaptogenic effects. It contains disease-fighting antioxidants — as well as a special type of alkylamides that interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Like CBD, these alkylamides prefer CB2 receptors over CB1, meaning they stay nonpsychoactive. 


A study from 2006 declared “Alkylamides from Echinacea are a new class of cannabinomimetics.” While it’s unclear exactly how much these compounds contribute to Echinacea’s overall effect, they might just provide the metaphorical icing on what was already a pretty good cake. 

The CBD-Friendly Life.

Interestingly enough, certain lifestyle practices are inherently cannabimimetic, too. Practicing yoga (or even just stretching) has been shown to make endocannabinoid receptors more sensitive, which would, in theory at least, allow CBD to work better. 


Even dietary choices can make or break one’s overall endocannabinoid health. While polyunsaturated fats of all sorts can boost endocannabinoids, only omega-3 fatty acids actually help sensitize eCB receptors to said eCB levels. 


In other words, more endocannabinoids don’t always equate to better health. It’s about balance! By eating and living well, you can help your endocannabinoid system stay sensitive and well-stocked, making CBD all the more effective. 


Interesting in taking the dietary approach? If so, below are some foods for you. And you can always take things a step further and tastefully infuse CBD oil products into your diet, of course! 


Salmon: A rich source of omega 3’s — which new research indicates are dependent on the endocannabinoid system for some of their best-known effects. 


Hempseed oil: This distant relative of CBD oil contains a perfect 1:4 blend of omega 3 and 6….so while it doesn’t contain cannabinoids, it could help restore the endocannabinoid system more indirectly. 


Coconut oil: High in MCT oil which promotes a healthy metabolism, coconut oil may alter and improve the absorption of cannabinoids, especially if taken with them.  


Green Tea: Rich in all sorts of good stuff, including catechins, which some studies show can bind with endocannabinoid receptors to stimulate the nervous system. 

Endocannabinoid Health: A Road With Many Paths

It’s safe to say that CBD isn’t just for hemp enthusiasts anymore. Cannabinoids of all kinds —  whether they’re internally produced by our bodies or externally produced by hemp and other plants — have a rejuvenating effect on virtually everybody. That’s true whether they decide to purchase CBD oil products or not. 

 

For those that want to activate their ECS most efficiently, though, we have options. Consider Jasper Organic’s luxurious Jojoba + CBD lotion for pain, or boost your focus with our organic-hemp-derived CBD oil. We’re all about providing plant-based remedies that will improve and enrich your life.

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