Food with the Same Medicinal Features as Cannabis

Black Pepper

You may be surprised to know that black pepper actually has quite a lot in common with cannabis. The plant actually contains an aroma molecule which is called beta-caryophyllene or BCP which functions effectively as a cannabinoid. BCP works much like other plant-based cannabinoids and binds together with CB2 receptors, giving black pepper its somewhat therapeutic effect that reduces inflammation in the body. There have been several studies into BCP and they suggest that is can be used to treat both osteoporosis and arthritis as well as potentially increasing the effects of certain drugs used to treat cancer.

Black Pepper Pepper image via Max Pixel
Black Pepper Pepper image via Max Pixel

Cacao

The cacao plant doesn’t just help to produce one of the most beloved and delicious sweet treats on the planet, it also contains many therapeutic properties too. One of these is its effect on the endocannabinoid system, it deactivates an enzyme known as FAAH which itself breaks down anandamide, another endocannabinoid. Anandamide is referred to by scientists as a natural version of THC and that is why eating organic dark chocolate can give you such a relaxed and content sensation. According to researchers from the Neurosciences Institute of San Diego does in fact contain three different compounds which act as healing cannabinoids.

Cacao
Cacao

Black Truffles

Much like the cacao plant and cannabis, black truffles contain that all important anandamide which has such a dramatic effect on our mood. It has even been dubbed “the bliss molecule” due to its effects on regulating our temperaments. It actually also regulates the way in which we perceive pain too. It does this by way of binding itself with our CB1 receptors, these are found in our nervous system and are instrumental to how we feel pain.

Kava

Kava is an ingredient that is usually found within medicinal teas and it’s no surprise because it can help to ease the effects of both chronic pain and anxiety too. Not only that but it also induces a sort of sedative effect which is why in certain cultures the drink has become a very popular natural remedy for anxiety. In fact, it is the national drink of Fiji, made by mixing water with the powdered rood of this fine peppery plant. Again, the components of this plant bind themselves to our CB1 receptors, this time in our brain in locations that are associated with cravings and addiction.

Coneflower

Coneflower, also known as echinacea is perhaps best known for its ability to help your body combat the common cold, but did you know that it’s also used to combat other issues such as fatigue, anxiety, migraines and arthritis as well? It is slightly different to cannabis in the way it does this however, instead of using cannabinoids it uses cannabimimetics to engage the endocannabinoid system, in particular the CB2 receptor. Echinacea contains N-alkyl amides or NAAs that are similar to THC, these regulate pain, inflammation and our immune system too.