Anandamide, also known as AEA, N-arachidonoylethanolamine, and The Bliss Molecule. The molecule was named and discovered by Raphael Mechoulam and his lab mates in 1992. Its name is taken from the Sanskrit word, ananda which means ‘bliss, joy, delight’. Effects can occur in the peripheral or central nervous systems primarily by CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and CB2 receptors in the periphery. The molecule is naturally produced in the human body and plays an important role in regulating our mood.
It wasn’t until Mechoulam was researching Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol that they discovered the Bliss Molecule since the molecule responds to the same receptors as cannabis-derived cannabinoids. This endogenous neurotransmitter plays a role in the neural regeneration of motivation and pleasure, essential for the average stoner, not to mention the average person. In fact, anandamide is also found in chocolate, which could explain why we feel such pleasure when we’re eating the decadent treat.
Aside from being related to pleasure, some research suggests that the Bliss Molecule could also play a role in our pain regulation, sleep patterns, and even eating habits. The exact role that anandamide plays in the human body is not yet known, but what we do know is that it interacts with the same receptors as cannabinoids. The connection between these two molecules could explain why cannabis also makes us feel happy, hungry, sleepy, and more. While the research on anandamide is being conducted, what are the best ways to increase anandamide? The best ways to naturally increase anandamide are exercise or increased periods of focus. Also eating chocolate and truffles, which are rich in the molecule.
Cara Wietstock is a native Californian living in Washington state with almost a decade of budtender experience and even more stoner experience. While she's not pontificating on the current state of cannabis for Roottie, she is practicing yoga, sipping CBD infused teas and hiking through the Pacific Northwest.