What Is Anandamide?
Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that is released by the brain to stimulate different moods and sensations in the body. The word is coined from Sanskrit, “anand” means pleasure, joy, or bliss. So you can simply say it is a pleasure regulator compound, produced to maintain mood and temperature, activeness, and some other body functions.
Interestingly, this compound is produced naturally by the body and plays a significant role in the endocannabinoid system. This system is a combination of molecules, receptors, and body cells that function to keep and regulate an individual’s mood. Although its effects are fleeting, anandamide binds with receptors (chemical compounds in the body system) to activate a pleasurable sensation.
Anandamide, which is also called N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, and has a similar effect on your body as cannabinoids like THC.
Importance of Anandamide
Anandamide has been long discovered as part of the cannabinoids produced in the body. Still, its level of importance in the day to day functions of the human body remains a grey area. This is because of one essential feature of the compound. Anandamide is not produced in large quantities in the body, and it has a fragile molecular structure. This means that it’s easily broken down by the body and doesn’t have a long-lasting effect.
However, the level of research conducted has shown it’s important in different aspects of human day to day activities. Anandamide helps to maintain different moods and feelings throughout the day.
Imagine a situation where you are undergoing a task, or you’ve just completed a challenge; you tend to have a short burst of excitement and blissfulness; that is where anandamide comes in.
Its importance also lies in the maintenance of our cellular balance and the regulation of our body temperature at different times of the day. Though the endocannabinoid is produced in small quantities, research shows that it can be beneficial in treating several mental and physical disorders.
Effects of Marijuana on Anandamide
Over the years, research has shown that marijuana use or intake affects the stimulation and sensation of different moods in humans. Research continues to show the effects of marijuana on the human brain including relaxative and anti-depressant benefits. Recent studies show that marijuana contains several chemical compounds such as THC that attach and work ina similar fashion to anandamide.
While marijuana tends to have a lasting effect on people, more extended than anandamide, its effects are different on people of different genetic makeup. When considered with anandamide and the effects generated by a combination of THC with the former, more confusion shrouds the situation. This is due to the paucity of research and knowledge of the full workings of Anandamide. However, having a direct competition for space on the receptors implies that prolonged usage of marijuana may reduce the production of anandamide in the body.
Differences & Similarities Between THC and Anandamide
There are a few differences between THC and Anandamide. Some of them are highlighted below.
- THC is seen in some plants, and it is produced both outside and inside the body, while anandamide is produced only in the body.
- THC has a more prolonged effect on the body, and it contains chemicals that are difficult to breakdown by the body, adding to its lasting effect. Anandamide, on the other hand, is easily broken down by the body, and it has a fast impact on the body.
Both THC and anandamide are neurotransmitters that join the CB receptors 1 and 2 to stimulate the sensation of bliss and joy in the body. They are both produced in the brain, and it is also used on the brain.
Benefits And Functions of Anandamide
Anandamide, though produced in small quantities as earlier mentioned, has many benefits and functions. Advance research works have continued to show the benefits of this endocannabinoid. Some of them are listed as follows.
- Research has shown that the production of anandamide in the body helps to reduce the growth of cancerous cells. It slows the rapid formation of cancer cells. Anandamide’s importance in slowing down the metastatic rate of breast cancer cells was discovered as far back as 1998.
- Anandamide also plays a significant role in the formation of new nerve cells in your brain. Partically in the part of the brain that is responsible for the formation of new memory and maintaining old memories. Other areas of the brain include the parts involved in learning and emotions. The formation of these new cells improves human condition and coordination in these areas.
- The benefits of anandamide are also seen in how it plays a significant role in some mundane human behaviour like feeding habit, feeling of motivation, and excitement.
- Research has also revealed that the more anandamide is produced in the body, the less the feeling of depression or anxiety. The production of anandamide in the body negates the effect of these conditions in the body. Relief, calmness, and other euphoric emotions help you fight against depression.
Anandamide has lots of mental and physiological health benefits, meaning you might want to keep your anandamide levels up. There are a few different ways to temporarily increase anandamide levels in the body. These include the following.
How to Increase Anandamide Levels Naturally
Exercise: The one very simple and direct way to increase the level of anandamide is by regular exercise. Exercise brings the feeling of excitement, motivation, and other emotions that are associated with the production and release of anandamide in the brain. Regular exercise has been shown to aid the production and increase in levels of the endocannabinoid in the body.
Focus: Keeping your focus in different situations like learning processes or manual tasks may help to increase the levels of anandamide in the body. Engaging in tasks and activities that require you to focus may help to increase the anandamide levels in your body.
Chocolate: A lot of people enjoy eating chocolate, and they love the feeling and sensation that it brings, one of which is activeness and excitement. And research has shown that anandamide is one of the many chemicals found in chocolate.
Black Truffles: Eating truffles can also increase the level of anandamide in the body. Truffles contain chemicals that activate the production of the cannabinoids in the body.