Many of us are familiar with how our body controls pleasure and happiness. Neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine release chemicals constantly, which control the way we feel, and lack of these neurotransmitters can lead to conditions like depression. But what if our brains had other means of regulating our hormones, ones that could be supplemented through outside substances like CBD or cannabis? Fortunately for you, this is precisely the function of anandamide. This blog post will be discussing the importance of anandamide and how you could use CBD to support it.
What Is Anandamide?
Anandamide is a neurotransmitter which has the unique ability to interact with the body’s CB receptors, similar to how cannabinoids like THC interact with them. It primarily acts as a signal messenger between receptors and as a mood enhancer, giving it the nickname “the bliss molecule.”
“The bliss molecule” was first discovered when researchers were looking into the question of why our bodies have cannabinoid receptors that can bind with both endocannabinoids and external ones. Anandamide is a naturally-occurring neurotransmitter, binding to both CB1 and CB2 receptors similarly to how THC or other cannabinoids might. Mainly, anandamide is used to regulate homeostasis and is produced when the body is above or below its “Goldilocks Zone.” Because anandamide can bind to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it has the potential to impact a lot of critical bodily functions such as fertility, pain, mood, appetite, and inflammation.
Why is it Important?
In a study conducted by the University of Calgary, a group of generally happy people was compared with a group of rodents. The study examined the amygdala in each of the subjects, identified as the part of the brain that controls emotions. The results found that both groups of mice and people had higher levels of anandamide compared to those who were considered to be generally not happy. This study points to the hypothesis that anandamide could be attributed to not only instant gratification or pleasure but also extended feelings of happiness and contentment over time.
In another study published in 2009 by the University of Leicester, anandamide levels were monitored over the human gestational period and throughout ovulation. The results of the study concluded that having high levels of anandamide are vital to ovulation and that if your anandamide levels fluctuate significantly during pregnancy, the fetus can be harmed. The study went on to say that high anandamide levels during ovulation could contribute to an overall successful pregnancy. This information is vital to know for those trying to get pregnant or who are currently pregnant so that they can help their unborn babies in the best ways possible.
How Do I Get Anandamide?
Lucky for you, anandamide can be ingested from things other than cannabis. If you are a cannabis or CBD user, however, this method is effective and highly bioavailable. Another way to heighten your levels of anandamide is through vigorous exercise. While many people associate a “runner’s high” with a rush of endorphins, it has been found that about 30 minutes after strenuous exercise, anandamide levels increase. Exercise is a natural way to keep your anandamide levels up and is something most people know they should do anyway.
Another easy way to boost anandamide levels is to eat dark chocolate. Chocolate increases anandamide levels by both stimulating endocannabinoid system receptors and also prohibiting the metabolization of anandamide. However, for this method to work, you need high-quality dark chocolate, free of excess sugar or other adjuncts. Another lesser-known way of getting anandamide into your system is by ingesting black truffles. Although they can be hard to find and relatively expensive, they contain pure anandamide and don’t trigger a biological effect.