Posts Tagged ‘Anandamide’

Hey readers,

 

My apologies for my absence from posting here. I have been very busy writing for The Leaf Online, an online cannabis newspaper that used to be a print paper as well, but like many newspapers of the modern era went digital. The Leaf ran updated versions of all my cannabinoid profiles from this blog, which I highly recommend checking out.

Before getting into any of the details on cannabinoids themselves you should read about your CB receptors. The CB receptors are the main receptor sites that cannabinoids interact with in the human body, there currently are two identified types of CB receptors. CB1 is the receptor that THC and the endo-cannabinoid Anadamide interact with to produce feelings of euphoria; feeling high. While it has other functions as well, producing euphoria is the main function CB1 is known for. CB2 is presently seen as the receptor type where the majority of medicinal benefits come from. If you want to know more about the CB receptors you’ll need to see my post.

 

For more on the cannabinoids see my series of cannabinoid profiles on The Leaf Online.

1. CB1 and CB2

2. Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

3. Cannabidiol (CBD)

4. Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCv)

5. Cannabigerol (CBG)

6. Cannabichromene (CBC)

7. Tetrahydrocannabolic Acid (THCa)

8. Cannabinol (CBN)

9. Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDa)

10. Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGa)

11. Anandamide

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See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online,Cannabinoid Profile – Anandamide!

Formula: C22H37 NO2

Molecular Mass: 347.53468 g/mol

Decarboxylation Point: ????

Boiling Point: ????

LD50 (Lethal Dose): Currently Unknown for humans, 100mg/kg for mice  (Compare to Nicotine: for mice – 3mg/kg for humans – 40–60 mg/kg)

First isolated in 1992, Anandamide is a neurotransmitter and endo-cannbinoid, a cannabinoid produced within the body. Anandamide, also known as N-Arachidonoylethanolamine or AEA, is  an endogenous cannabinoid that acts as a “key” molecule fitting into the “locks” of the CB1 and CB2 receptors around the body. It’s name is taken from the Sanskrit word ananda, which means bliss, and the word amide. An amide is a type of acid found within the body. Anandamide is the bliss amide, though it is more widely called the bliss compound (not to be confused with the spirit molecule, DMT). Very appropriate to the Sanskrit origins of it’s name, anandamide has been shown to be boosted by doing yoga, which may explain why those yogis are so calm and blissful all the time.
Anandamide can be thought of as the body’s version of THC, it has many of the same therapeutic effects and if it wasn’t for the presence of anandamide in the body we wouldn’t have the CB1 and CB2 receptors that all cannabinoids interact with. Anandamide doesn’t exist solely in the human body. Outside of the body this endo-cannabinoid can be found in chocolate. Next time you’re enjoying a chocolate bar allow that anandamide to jog your memory, and enjoy those sweet cannabinoids.

Therapeutic Uses

Analgesic – Relieves pain.

Angiogenic  Causes new blood vessels to form from pre-existing blood vessels.

Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation systemically.

Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.

Anxiolytic – Relieves anxiety.

Euphoriant – Produces feelings of euphoria, promotes happiness and relaxation.

Neurogenic  Promotes the growth of new brain cells. Specifically within the Hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for memory and spatial awareness (just like CBD).

 

The Metabolism of Anandamide

Currently Being Studied For

Angiogenesis: Anandamide is unique among cannabinoids for its ability to cause blood cells to split and form new blood cells. This is known as angiogenesis and proper functioning is crucial to fighting off the spread of cancer due to the necessity of oxygen, nutrients, and bodily waste removal that come with it.
Anxiety: Anandamide, like THC, has been shown to reduce anxiety. This 2009 study, while done on mice, still sheds plenty of light on the mechanisms that AEA uses to reduce mental stress and anxiety in those experiencing it.
Cancer: As early as 1998, Anandamide had been identified as an anti-proliferative compound. This means that, like most cannabinoids, Anandamide helps slow the growth and spread of cancerous cells. Specifically the 1998 study looked at its role in inhibiting the proliferation of breast cancer cells. A more recent study from 2007 showed that AEA not only suppressed the growth of tumors it also spurred the formation of new blood cells. If that wasn’t enough Anandamide also induces COX-2-dependant cell death, a type of apoptosis that helps control the growth of cancerous cells. Specifically, AEA was found to do this in apoptosis resistant colon-cancer cells.
Memory Consolidation: Anandamide has been shown to boost in memory consolidation, a process where things in the short term memory get transferred into the long term memory. This gives Anandamide a very unique and important role in allowing people to function normally and to build on their prior knowledge, rather than having to relearn the same things constantly. You can think of memory consolidation as a fancy way to say learning. This same study emphasized the anti-anxiety effects of AEA.

See an updated version of this post on The Leaf Online, Meet Your CB Receptors!

 

This Cannabinoid Profile will take a different approach from previous posts. Instead of profiling a specific cannabinoid I am going to profile the CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are the main receptor sites for the body’s endocannabinoid system and interact with all currently identified cannabinoids in some way. A scientific understanding of these receptor points and how the 70+ cannabinoids interact with them and with eachother is crucial to the future of using cannabis as a medicine, for us as a society and as individuals.

Thus far the CB1 and CB2 receptors are the only receptor sites that have been identified that make up the endocannabinoid system. It is suspected that another site exists in the brain, possibly at the TrpV1 receptor or the 5HT1a receptor. Both CB1 and CB2 receptors are coupled to G-proteins; CB1 receptors are present in the central nervous system, both types of receptors are also located throughout the body at certain key points (immune, reproductive).

Here is the general layout for CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body.

While I like this image for the map it provides of CB1/CB2 sites they mis-spell the endocannabinoid anandamide, which is kind of like the body’s natural THC. Anandamide is one of six endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonists that have been identified. An “endogenous cannabinoid receptor agonist” is a cannabinoid made inside your body that triggers a reaction at a particular point. These endocannabinoids are the chemicals that phytocannbinoids, plant-based cannabinoids, emulate within our bodies to produce their effects.

Many of the effects of these various endo and phyto cannabinoids are on our brain. There are numerous locations throughout the brain where CB1 receptors have been found as well as activity at the TrpV1 receptor and 5HT1a receptors.

This is your brain.

See that brain? Look at all those CB1 receptors! This receptors control everything from basics like movement and pain perception all the way up to our higher cognitive functions and learning. I guess that explains why cannabinoids have been found in breast milk in multiple studies. It is enough to make you wonder if cannabinoids are requiredfor healthy human functioning. That isn’t saying everyone must use cannabis to be healthy, but it is saying that everyone needs a functioning endocannabinoid system to be healthy and in absence of one supplement with phytocannabinoids.

That’s the down and dirty on CB1 and CB2 receptors, as with all these posts when I learn more you will learn more and I will update this post.