What is Anandamide?

What is Anandamide?

If you are interested in learning more about endocannabinoids like anandamide and the endocannabinoid system, then just keep reading.

N-arachidonoylethanolamine (Anandamide), is an endogenous analog of THC. Interestingly, anandamide is also known by many people as the ‘bliss molecule,’ or the bodies own version of THC. Anandamide is produced by our bodies and has a very similar chemical makeup to that of THC; it even binds itself to the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It has several different properties but can act as neurotransmitter and mood-enhancer.

Unlike cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, CBN, and many others, anandamide is an endocannabinoid. Cannabinoids are found in the cannabis plant, while endocannabinoids are produced naturally by our bodies. Anandamide is produced inside the cell membranes and tissues of the body. It’s synthesized from N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine and broken down by fatty acid amide hydrolase, an enzyme.

Anandamide interacts and binds with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. Anandamide is considered a fragile compound as it breaks down in the body quickly. It is produced in the parts of the brain which are responsible for managing your memory, movement control, and our higher thought processes. Anandamide also has an important part to play in many of our physiological processes such as managing our appetite, managing our pain, and also fertility.

How anandamide works in the human body

Anandamide works by interacting with the receptors which are part of the endocannabinoid system. These receptors, the CB1 and CB2 are located throughout the body, brain, and central nervous system. These receptors act like locks. The cannabinoids and endocannabinoids act like keys to the locks, binding to them and creating a chemical reaction. In the central nervous system, the anandamide mostly binds with the CB1 receptors, while in the peripheral it binds with the CB2 receptors.

In an article published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2005, anandamide was shown to help promote neurogenesis. The article stated that anandamide and other cannabinoids promoted neurogenesis in the part of the brain which is responsible for managing our memory, our ability to learn, and our emotions. They were also shown to have some antidepressant-like effects.

A 2007 paper which was published by the research department at the University of Michigan showed that anandamide played an important role in managing our feeding habits and generating feelings of pleasure and motivation in mice. The study showed that anandamide injected into the forebrain doubled the reaction of mice when they received a reward for completing a set task. It also did not affect the negative reaction when they didn’t receive a reward.

Other studies were undertaken at the University of California, and the University of Connecticut discovered that increased amounts of anandamide in our brains could help with the relief of the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.

Ways that you can increase anandamide levels in your body

With some studies showing the potential health benefits of anandamide, it makes sense that you would want to try and increase the levels of this endocannabinoid.

Some of the different ways that you can increase your anandamide levels include:

• Exercising
• Eating chocolate
• Eating truffles
• Maintaining your focus

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