The Endocannabinoid System: What Athletes Need to Know
This recently discovered system is key for balancing the body and optimizing athletic performance.
What regulates our biology, touching most of the body’s physiological processes but is still not widely understood by modern sports medicine? An entire system of the body called the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS is a network of cellular receptors that communicates with the human body’s central and peripheral nervous systems. Or, as one early researcher, Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo summarized in a 1998 paper, ECS regulates functions like “relax, eat, sleep, forget, and protect.” Given how it protects, he should have added “pain” as well.
Discovered in 1992, the ECS features two kinds of receptors, CB1 and CB2, that are highly concentrated in specific regions such as the brain, the central nervous system and the immune system.
These receptors naturally make their own cannabinoids (known as endocannabinoids) and play a major role in keeping the body in balance, or what’s known as homeostasis. They affect brain cells in the nervous system and inflammation triggered by the immune system, two critical functions that impact athletes in particular.
When the ECS gets out of balance, such as from environmental factors, diet or lifestyle, t the body begins to suffer and performance drops off. When the ECS is depleted, the brain and central nervous system cannot effectively manage pain or anxiety. For example, researchers have found a hyperactive ECS in people who are morbidly obese, with symptoms including increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
But what happens when the ECS is fully charged? Have you gotten a “runner’s high” or felt awesome during exercise? That rewarding feeling is created by the cannabinoids! There is a direct connection between physical activity and the fully functioning ECS — important for achieving balance and sustaining high performance. For example, overtraining and taxing the ECS can lead to inflammation and muscle strains, while underutilizing the ECS can cause sluggishness or even depression.
Supplementing with cannabinoids derived from full-spectrum hemp extract keeps the ECS balanced and prevents deterioration of cells in the brain. Plus, cannabinoids help the body reduce inflammation in ways that support sustained peak performance.
At PurePower, our products focus on supporting the endocannabinoid system and how it works with its network of receptors to optimize the health and performance of athletes. PurePower’s products combine the highest quality full-spectrum Performance HempTM and select botanicals in ways that boost energy and resilience from the inside-out.