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.