While hemp oil phytocannabinoids are an especially hot topic right now—and for good reason—it’s important to remember your omega-3s when it comes to having a healthy endocannabinoid system.
The support of omega-3s in the mind and body help build the “scaffolding” for our own endocannabinoids, including anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Ideally, peptides and phospholipids are part of your omega-3 consumption, whether from eating cold-water fish like salmon, or from daily supplementation.
As research continues on the endocannabinoid system—still a rapidly expanding field of study—the interconnected roles of various nutrients including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish (and other sources) and hemp oil compounds will no doubt be even more clearly understood and verified.
Dyall SC. Interplay Between n-3 and n-6 Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and the Endocannabinoid System in Brain Protection and Repair. Lipids. 2017 Nov;52(11):885-900.
The brain is enriched in arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) of the n-6 and n-3 series, respectively. Both are essential for optimal brain development and function. Dietary enrichment with DHA and other long-chain n-3 PUFA, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), has shown beneficial effects on learning and memory, neuroinflammatory processes, and synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. ARA, DHA and EPA are precursors to a diverse repertoire of bioactive lipid mediators, including endocannabinoids. The endocannabinoid system comprises cannabinoid receptors, their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids, and their biosynthetic and degradation enzymes. Anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) are the most widely studied endocannabinoids and are both derived from phospholipid-bound ARA. The endocannabinoid system also has well-established roles in neuroinflammation, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis, suggesting an overlap in the neuroprotective effects observed with these different classes of lipids. Indeed, growing evidence suggests a complex interplay between n-3 and n-6 LCPUFA and the endocannabinoid system. For example, long-term DHA and EPA supplementation reduces AEA and 2-AG levels, with reciprocal increases in levels of the analogous endocannabinoid-like DHA and EPA-derived molecules. This review summarizes current evidence of this interplay and discusses the therapeutic potential for brain protection and repair.
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