CBD and CBD oil supplements have been a hot topic in the past 3 years. However, CBD is not legal in many countries and areas. Nutritional brands begin to do more research on anandamide, and hope to use AEA to replace CBD since AEA is naturally occurring in our body, and safe to take.
Living with any kind of pain, stress, and anxiety can be challenging, whether it is acute or chronic. While most people either take over-the-counter pain or anxiety relief medications to deal with it, such medications can cause some serious side effects with prolonged use.
Of late, there has been a lot of interest in natural remedies for pain and anxiety. Various ongoing research has shown that fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors are an effective way to treat many different kinds of health conditions, including nervous systems disorders, pain, inflammation, insomnia, and anxiety.
Here is an overview of FAAH inhibitors and some of the natural supplements that contain these chemicals.
What is a FAAH Inhibitor?
To understand what a FAAH inhibitor is, we have to first know the function of FAAH. FAAH is an enzyme that our body produces to control the biological activity of certain bioactive lipids. These lipids also include endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids are molecules that modulate various functions of the body such as pain, moods, sleep, appetite, fertility, etc. Once endocannabinoids are through with their task, they are broken down by FAAH. So, essentially, a FAAH inhibitor reverses the action of FAAH.
FAAH Inhibitor Vs Anandamide
Anandamide is one type of endocannabinoid and is attached to CB1 receptors in the brain and CB2 receptors in the peripheral nervous system. In doing so, it controls mood, stress, pain, cognition, and so on.
FAAH inhibitors, on the other hand, are chemicals that work alongside fatty acid-binding protein transporters (FABPs) to reduce the rate of breakdown of anandamide. Anandamide is produced in the body, but to inhibit its breakdown, the body may need help from outside in the form of FAAH inhibitors.
What Do FAAH Inhibitors Do?
FAAH inhibitors, as the name suggests, inhibit the action of FAAH. In turn, this results in slowing down the catabolism of the endocannabinoids. When the endocannabinoids are allowed to remain in the body for a longer time, they can have therapeutic effects similar to those of administering external cannabinoids. Such kind of therapy can be beneficial in managing pain, moods, stress, anxiety, and many more conditions.
How Do FAAH Inhibitors Work?
FAAH inhibitors can work in many different ways depending on the binders that they use. In one scenario, they bind to FABPs that are nothing but intercellular carriers that take the used anandamide to FAAPs for the breakdown.
Thus, when FAAH inhibitors bind with FABPs, they are unable to transport the anandamide. Thus, the anandamide remains in the body for a longer time, producing the desired therapeutic effect.
In the meantime, FAAH inhibitors also tend to raise the levels of other fatty acid amides that could further control the effects of endocannabinoids.
Natural FAAH Inhibitor Supplements
So, how do you administer FAAH inhibitors? While infusion is one of the ways that physicians recommend taking FAAH inhibitors, there is always an option to go the natural way.
Natural FAAH inhibitor supplements have the added advantage of having negligible side effects and hence are commonly considered. Here are a few naturally occurring sources of FAAH inhibitors.
Biochanin A is an isoflavone, which is an organic compound, and found naturally in soy, peanuts, chickpea, and several other legumes. Biochanin A was found almost ineffective in prolonging the functioning of endocannabinoids present in the brain but was highly beneficial in controlling the anandamides of the peripheral nervous system.
A study on mice showed that Biochanin A allowed for significant inhibition of the breakdown (hydrolysis) of anandamide. The inhibition was recorded at a value of 05 microM.
Guineensine from Black Pepper
Pepper has been known in general to be anti-inflammatory, and scientists are now looking into a particular compound present in it that may be the benefactor. Guineensine is this compound that is widely present in black as well as long pepper. Interestingly, it has been seen to inhibit endocannabinoid uptake without affecting FAAH.
This compound was separated and was administered to mice to observe anti-inflammatory markers. About 95% of inflammation was reduced through the right dose and a 50% reduction in edema formation was also observed. Further, acute analgesia inhibition was recorded at around 66%.
Kaempferol is a natural flavonoid occurring in several plant-based foods such as broccoli, kale, spinach, beans, tea, etc. Kaempferol was tested both in-vitro and in-vivo.
In the in-vitro experiment, it was noted that highly concentrated amounts of Kaempferol, more than 1 microM was required to successfully regulate the endocannabinoid system. It was also possible to enhance the capability of the endocannabinoids through this concentration.
In-vivo experiments included rats subjected to Kaempferol at amounts of 40 mg/kg. This, along with an elevated-plus-maze protocol, resulted in a reduction in fear reaction in those rats.
CBD oil or cannabidiol is one of the most abundantly available phytocannabinoids, derived from the cannabis plant. CBD has been seen to target the CB1 and CB2 receptors and modulates their function.
CBD also directly reduces the hydrolysis and the uptake of anandamide by working as a FAAH inhibitor. This increases the endocannabinoid levels, thus affecting the physiological tasks of anandamide in both the central as well as peripheral nervous systems.
A common spice such as turmeric can also have a potentially huge effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system. The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, and a 150 mg/kg chronic administration of the compound has been seen to raise the levels of anandamide in the brain.
Some studies have also shown that when curcumin was combined with some other lipid nanoparticles, the resultant solution was successful in treating depression in mice by targeting the CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system.
Maca Root Extract
Maca, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, is known for its medicinal qualities. The roots of this plant are especially of interest when it comes to endocannabinoid systems. They have inherent fatty acids, known as macamides. These macamides work as FAAH inhibitors to increase the levels of anandamide in the body.
Macamides are highly effective in reducing the breakdown of anandamides mainly because they have a similar chemical structure. Therefore, when they enter the body, they are easily successful in confusing the FAAH, thus slowing down the metabolism of anandamides. They work directly on the endocannabinoids as opposed to binding with CB1 or CB2 receptors.
Moods, stress, anxiety, sleep, and pain are those features of our body, which when out of control, can affect both physical and mental health. Scientists now know that our endocannabinoid system needs to be nurtured for effective management of pain, anxiety, and a variety of other conditions.
Some chronic illnesses can be managed effectively by enhancing the working of anandamides, which is an endocannabinoid. Natural FAAH inhibitors, which slow down the breakdown of anandamides, can immensely help in increasing anandamide levels.
This effective way of pain, inflammation, and depression management has been corroborated through several in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. You may consider taking one or more of the anandamide supplements for chronic pain management and upliftment of mood before resorting to the over-the-counter medicines.