Anadamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter in the brain that was isolated for the first time on March 24, 1992 by Lumír Hanuš, a Czech analytical chemist working in Israel with American pharmacologist William Devane. Present in all vertebrates, anadamide is an endocannabinoid that binds to cannabinoid receptors and plays an important role in well-being. Nicknamed the “bliss molecule” for the pleasure sensations anadamide inspires is important not just for happiness but also contributes to memory function, appetite, pain, and the formation of new nerve cells in the brain.
Anadamide, like other neurotransmitters, breaks down quickly in the body. How quickly anadamide breaks down in the body depends on how much FAAH (Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase) your body is producing. It is true that people with lower levels of FAAH, are generally happier and handle stress with greater ease than people with higher levels of FAAH that report increased anxiety.
CBD and Anadamide
Research shows that CBD inhibits the FAAH enzyme responsible for breaking down anadamide in the body. Less FAAH translates to anandamide staying in the body for longer. The result: Increased homeostatis and well-being.
Dark Chocolate and Exercise
Turns out, eating a bar of quality dark chocolate will promote happiness too. Dark chocolate contains small amounts of anandamide as well as two compounds similar to anandamide that slow the breakdown of anandamide produced in your brain, therefor intensifying its effects.
The term “runner’s high” is rooted in science. Exercise promotes the circulation of endocannabinoids and production of anandamide. In a 2018 US Government study, researchers questioned whether endocannabinoid circulation increased after dancing, singing, reading, and cycling. Participants were examined before and after completing the activities. The findings are fascinating: Among the activities in question, singing increased the plasma content of anandamide by 42% and all activities increased the circulation of endocannabinoids in the participants. All participants reported an increased sense of happiness after completion of activities.
Although more research is always welcome on this topic, we are happy to embrace dark chocolate, singing, and ingesting Balance as part of our wellness plan.