Combining CBD with other vitamins can boost their effects and promote long-term benefits. Learn why you should take Omega-3 with CBD! New research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can enhance endocannabinoid synthesis.
Why You Should Take Omega-3 With Your CBD
CBD is becoming a part of millions of people’s routines in the U.S. If you have already acquired one of the hemp-derived CBD products, you may be looking for ways to maximize its outcomes by incorporating other supplements into your routine. The word about omega 3 fatty acids enhancing CBD’s effects has been spreading around, and if you are wondering why you should give this combination a try, here’s everything you need to know.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an active compound in the cannabis plant; it is all-natural, non-addictive, and safe to use daily. CBD in wellness products comes from hemp, Marijuana’s cousin plant, but with such low levels of psychoactive compound THC, it won’t cause any mild-altering symptoms. The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD products federally legal, and since then, millions of Americans have added it to their wellness routines.
What are Omega 3 fatty acids?
Omega-3-s are a family of fatty acids that make a crucial part of your diet, as your body cannot produce them on its own. Fish and other seafood, fish oils, nuts, and seeds such as flax seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, fortified foods, and plant oils such as soybean oil and canola oil are all rich in omega-3 fats.
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is mainly found in fish and seafood.
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is the most common type of omega-3 fats that can be found in vegetable oils and nuts, leafy vegetables, and some animal fat,
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is mainly found in fish and seafood.
Numerous Omega-3 supplements provide an alternative source of these fats for those who can’t acquire enough because of food restrictions, allergies, or other reasons.
ALA is an essential fatty acid, which means that your body can’t produce it, so you must acquire it either from the diet or supplements. Your body can convert some of ALA into EPA and then to DHA, but only in limited amounts, so you should also acquire them from external sources.
They are essential for producing hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation. Moreover, these fats are an integral part of cell membranes in the human body, and researchers believe that omega-3s also serve as vital anchors for endocannabinoid cell membrane receptors. As CBD binds to these receptors in the human body, omega-3 fats may play a role in how the compound affects your body.
What are Endocannabinoids?
Endocannabinoids and their receptors are in the human brain, organs, tissues, glands, and immune cells and play a crucial role in the body’s functioning and different responses and how our brain and body communicate.
The Endocannabinoids system in the human body comprises three components: receptors, enzymes, and endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are lipid (fat)-based molecules – neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system after enzymes break them down. They are also called endogenous cannabinoids and are very similar to cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. They are crucial in maintaining balance throughout the body—a process called homeostasis allowing the body to maintain a stable internal state despite the external changes in the external environment, such as temperature or pressure.
There are two known types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors in the central nervous system are responsible for coordination, movement, appetite, mood, and other body functions. The CB2 receptors in the peripheral nervous system regulate pain and inflammation.
Our bodies need omega3-s and omega-6s to make endocannabinoids. Once cells have enough of these fatty acids, the body creates endocannabinoids rapidly and as-needed in response to brain activity. These endocannabinoids will then bind with cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, and the immune system produces responses to balance the irregular function.
Studies show that omega-3-deficiency may create dysfunctional endocannabinoid receptors.
Endocannabinoid System and CBD Oil
When you take CBD oil, the active compound in the oil – CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the cannabis receptors in your endocannabinoid system, similarly to cannabinoids synthesized naturally inside your body as the chemical structure is essentially the same. This interaction allows the cannabinoids in CBD oil to affect your body.
Omega-3 Supplements Help Maintain Your Endocannabinoid System
Omega 3 fats play a vital role in maintaining the proper functioning of your endocannabinoid system. If you lack omega-3 in your diet, your body may not fully benefit from CBD oil.
Omega-3 fats keep the receptors in the endocannabinoid system healthy and help your body grow more receptors when needed or repair receptors if damaged. Omega 3 fatty acids helps synthesize cannabinoids within the body.
Your body produces natural endocannabinoids internally, using omega-3s. When you eat foods rich in omega-3 or take omega-3 supplements, they can promote endocannabinoid synthesis.
Your endocannabinoid system needs to function correctly to make the most out of your CBD oil, and it’s essential to support it with omega-3 either through your diet or supplements you take.
Omega-3 Fats May Have Positive Effects on Mental Health
According to new research, omega-3 supplements positively affect mental health when taken alongside conventional treatments for major depression. Evidence showed omega-3s reduced symptoms of depression beyond the effects of antidepressants alone. The researchers analyzed data from 10,951 people with mental health disorders. The research found emerging evidence that omega-3 supplements may also benefit people with ADHD and that amino acid N-acetylcysteine may help treat mood disorders and schizophrenia. But the evidence is weaker relating to these potential benefits.
So, thinking of adding Omega-3 supplements to your routine for enhancing CBD’s effects? Here is a recap of what it can do for your body:
- Omega-3 fats are crucial for your overall health.
- These fats are an integral part of cell membranes in the human body.
- Our bodies need omega3-s to make endocannabinoids.
- Omega-3-deficiency may create dysfunctional endocannabinoid receptors.
- Omega-3 supplements can promote endocannabinoid synthesis.
- Omega-3 supplements may positively impact your mental health.
Looking for Premium-Grade CBD?
If you are searching for a CBD product to pair with an omega-3 supplement or a healthy-fat diet, CBD tinctures provide a great starting point. You can administer them sublingually, allowing the compound to enter the bloodstream almost immediately, delivering fast results. Finding a CBD tincture is easier than ever before; the growing popularity of CBD products made them available at nearly every kind of store. However, distinguishing premier-quality products from low-quality alternatives may be a challenging task to achieve. You may run into the risk of buying CBD tincture with unwanted elements and ingredients such as harsh chemicals and pesticides.
When you shop for CBD tinctures at The Hemp Doctor, America’s Premier Hemp & CBD Dispensary, you never have to question its quality or other ingredients in the bottle.
- We use 100% organic farming methods to grow healthy hemp.
- Our Hemp
- We extract CBD from it use cutting-edge extraction techniques, followed by diligent purification methods to ensure peerless quality and purity.
- We provide third-party lab tests to verify every claim we make on the label is
- You can shop for both broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD products on our online store.
At Hemp Doctor, focus on quality from the time we plant the seed in the ground until the product reaches your door. Start shopping with and choose from numerous top-grade CBD tinctures and CBD products available for purchase on our website.
CBD And Fish Oil
Chances are, you’ve probably heard about CBD, and how the many molecules it contains (cannabinoids) can benefit health and wellness. In fact, according to the most recent national poll, 1 in 7 of you reading this article are already using phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids derived from plants) for their various physiological effects and functions. 1
But do you understand how cannabinoids “work” within the body? And did you know that simple adjustments to your diet can promote your body’s natural production of molecules called endocannabinoids? Read on to discover how you can support your endocannabinoid system with or without external sources of cannabinoids.
The Endocannabinoid System: Nature’s Balancing Act
Over the past thirty years, studies exploring the physiological effects of cannabis have led to the discovery of a complex cell signaling network called the endocannabinoid system. 2 – 4 This is a network of lipid (fat)-based signaling molecules called endocannabinoids and the cells that detect them. Importantly, the endocannabinoid system plays an integral role in maintaining balance throughout the body—a vital process called homeostasis. 5
Homeostasis is the ability to maintain a relatively stable internal state despite changes in the external environment. Common examples of homeostatic processes include regulation of body temperature, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
Essentially, whenever an internal function becomes irregular due to injury, insult or illness, a well-functioning endocannabinoid system will respond by synthesizing chemical messengers called endocannabinoids in the brain, organs, connective tissue, glands, and immune cells. 5 These endocannabinoids will then bind with cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system and immune system to set into motion a variety of cellular responses aimed at restoring balance to the irregular function. 5
Cannabinoid Receptors and Functions
To date, two primary cannabinoid receptors have been identified: CB1 and CB2. Whereas CB1 receptors are found primarily on the surface of cells in the brain and spinal cord, CB2 receptors are largely found on cells in the immune system. 6 Importantly, because these receptors are widely distributed throughout the body, the endocannabinoid system can help regulate the body’s:
- inflammatory response, 7
- perception of pain, 8
- reproductive function, 9
- sleep/wake cycle, 10
- stress response, 11
- mood and anxiety, 12
- immune system, 13 and more. 14
Types of Cannabinoids: Endocannabinoids and Phytocannabinoids
The human body produces a variety of endocannabinoids, some of which are derived from omega-6s, and some of which are derived from omega-3s. The two most well-researched endocannabinoids are anandamide and 2-AG, which come from the omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid. Unlike endocannabinoids, which are synthesized within the body (endo- meaning “within”), THC and CBD are phytocannibinoids—a type of cannabinoid derived from plants (phyto- meaning “relating to plants”). 15 Although there are more than 85 different types of phytocannabinoids known to date, CBD and THC are by far the most well-known and well-researched. 16
THC is considered the mimetic phytocannabinoid of the endocannabinoid anandamide, and similar to anandamide, binds directly to CB1 receptors. 17 Along a similar vein, CBD is considered the mimetic phytocannabinoid of the endocannabinoid 2-AG, and like 2-AG, interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, unlike 2-AG, anandamide, and THC—which bind directly to cannabinoid receptors—CBD affects cannabinoid receptors indirectly. 17
Cannabinoids Promote Homeostasis by Influencing Neuronal Communication
The most well-researched homeostatic process that the endocannabinoid system regulates is the speed of communication between cells of the nervous system called neurons. Similar to other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, cannabinoids “talk” to neurons in the brain through the release of chemicals. 6
The communication actually occurs when one neuron sends a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, to another neuron across a gap called the synapse. Every time a neurotransmitter is sent, this is called neuron firing or transmission. The rate of neuron firing determines the speed that the brain and body can react to various stimuli, but too little or too much firing prevents us from functioning normally. 18 In essence, the endocannabinoid system helps maintain the balance of neuronal transmission by slowing down the rate of neuron firing. Now here comes the really interesting part.
Whereas in most neurotransmitter systems, the sending neuron (pre-synaptic neuron) releases excitatory or inhibitory chemicals across the synapse to the receiving neuron (post-synaptic neuron), in order to slow down neuronal transmission, endocannabinoids are sent in the reverse order—from post-synaptic neuron to pre-synaptic neuron. 6 Then, when endocannabinoids bind to receptors on the pre-synaptic neuron, they inhibit the firing of that neuron. 18 In effect, the endocannabinoid system promotes homeostasis by putting the brakes on neuronal speed by limiting the release of neurotransmitters.
Role of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in Endocannabinoid Synthesis and Function
Consuming EPA and DHA can provide many of the same benefits as cannabinoids
Intriguingly, the past fifty years of research on omega-3 fatty acids suggest that consuming an adequate amount of EPA and DHA can provide many of the same benefits as cannabinoids. 19 In truth, this really isn’t that surprising, given that endocannabinoids are lipid-based signaling molecules that are synthesized internally from omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, research shows that the effects of endocannabinoids can be significantly influenced by the type of fatty acids consumed. 20 , 21 More specifically, their effects can be influenced by the ratios of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids consumed.
For example, new research suggests that the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids actually shifts the balance of endocannabinoids towards a higher proportion of omega-3 endocannabinoids (e.g., DHEA, EPEA) as well as endocannabinoid-like molecules that form when omega-3s combine with neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin (e.g., DHA-serotonin, EPA-dopamine). 20 Importantly, these omega-3 endocannabinoid and endocannabinoid-like molecules are believed to control vital physiological processes in the body—such as the body’s inflammatory response, pain, and more. 20 , 21
Research also suggests that a diet high in omega-3s can positively influence the neurological functions of the endocannabinoid system. In a study looking at the links between diet, brain functioning, and the endocannabinoid system, researchers fed mice a diet modeled after the Standard American diet—one high in omega-6 fatty acids, and low in omega-3s. Importantly, the omega-3-deficient mice displayed altered brain function and cannabinoid receptor activity in brain areas related to emotional behavior and mood disorders. 22 Put more simply, mice that were deprived of omega-3 fatty acids showed reduced cannabinoid receptor activity and increased depressive behaviors, while these effects were not observed in the mice fed a balanced diet rich in omega-3s.
In light of the reduced endocannabinoid binding and neurological functioning observed in the omega-3-deficient mice, these results suggest that a western diet may have serious implications for neurological health and overall well-being. 22 The good news, however, is that eating a diet with approximately equal ratios of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can help preserve a healthy endocannabinoid system.
Promote Your Health Naturally
Regardless of how you feel about taking external cannabinoids, it is difficult to dispute the benefits of the endocannabinoid system, and its unique ability to restore homeostasis when physiological functions go awry. The fact that research suggests a diet low in omega-3s can disturb cannabinoid function and synthesis, while a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help promote the synthesis of omega-3 endocannabinoids, suggests that simple changes to your diet and/or the addition of omega-3 fish or algae oil can greatly (and naturally!) enhance your health.
Gina Jaeger, PhD is a Developmental Specialist and Lead Research Writer for Nordic Naturals. She holds a doctorate in Human Development, and has published several research articles on children’s cognitive development. Gina enjoys studying and educating others on strategies for optimizing health and wellness throughout the lifespan.
Anandamide and 2-AG: The main two endocannabinoids and are synthesized from omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
Cannabinoids: Molecules derived from fatty acids that binds to cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabis: Any plant of the Cannabis species; does not indicate the presence or absence of the hallucinogenic phytocannabinoid THC.
CB1 and CB2: The two main receptors of the endocannabinoid system, and widely distributed throughout the body. CB1 receptors are primarily found on the surface of cells in the brain and spinal cord, while CB2 receptors are largely found on cells in the immune system.
CBD: Cannabidiol, a phytocannibinoid that acts indirectly on cannabinoid receptors to help restore homeostasis.
Cannabinoid receptors: Cell membrane receptors involved in a variety of physiological processes.
Endocannabinoid System (ECS): Consists of cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and the metabolic enzymes that synthesize and break endocannabinoids down.
Endocannabinoids: Chemical messengers synthesized by the endocannabinoid system to restore physiological functions.
Homeostasis: Any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability; state of steady internal physical and chemical conditions while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival.
Phytocannabinoids: Cannabinoids derived from plants; the most prevalent types are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
Pre-synaptic neuron: A nerve cell that sends a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, across the synapse.
Post-synaptic neuron: A nerve cell that receives a chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, after it has crossed the synapse.
Synapse: The site of transmission between a neuron sending a chemical or electric signal to the neuron receiving it.