Did you know that a ‘bliss’ molecule called anandamide regulates your emotional and mental well-being?* Although defined as a cannabinoid, anandamide is not derived from the cannabis plant. Instead, your body produces anandamide (endogenously), as an endocannabinoid.
Get the answers to your questions about this endocannabinoid, its potential therapeutic effects on your health, and the best way to include it in your diet. Use the links below to jump ahead to different topics on the page.
|What Is Anandamide and Where Is It Found?
|Potential Therapeutic Applications
|Anandamide Stimulates Feel-Good Emotions and Sensations
|Why Does Anandamide Decrease?
|Ways to Enhance Anandamide Levels
|Why Do You Need Anandamide Supplements?
|Efficacy of Anandamide Supplements
|FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Are you considering anandamide supplements? Shop Products that support your neurological health.
Anandamide was first identified in 1992 as an endogenous human cannabinoid that plays a critical role in maintaining a state of internal equilibrium.* The name, derived from the Sanskrit word ‘ananda,’ for ‘internal bliss,’ highlights its beneficial effects in regulating our brain functions and mental well-being.* Chemically speaking, anandamide is made up of arachidonyl-ethanolamide (AEA), a lipid-based neurotransmitter with a flexible molecular structure that helps it bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors in different regions of the body and brain.*
Although it is produced naturally in the body, certain foods, like cocoa beans and truffles, also contain significant concentrations of anandamide. Other dietary sources contain compounds that act as precursors to anandamide production in your body.
Anandamide positively influences various functions to support mental health, like enhancing sleep cycles, maintaining a healthy appetite, dilating blood vessels, and others.* Current research indicates that anandamide supports a healthy response to mood changes, trauma, stress, and mild anxiety (not Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD).* The following table lists the potential therapeutic effects of anandamide in the body.
|As part of the body’s endocannabinoid system, anandamide stimulates emotional and stress responses.* Clinical studies1 show that anandamide modulates vigilance states, influencing sleep cycles.*Research shows2 elevated anandamide levels can have a beneficial effect on short-term memory.*In animal studies, anandamide has been found to enhance learning and memory processes in the brain.*
|Anandamide is associated3 with inducing vasodilation, the widening of pulmonary arteries and other blood vessels, which supports good heart health.*
|Clinical and animal studies4 highlight anandamide’s role in initiating and modulating positive appetitive behavior in animals and humans.*
|Anandamide plays a positive role5 in supporting healthy immune responses by modulating the activities of immune cells.*
A widespread neuromodulatory system in our body, the endocannabinoid system (ECS), plays a critical role in neuronal synaptic communication — the communication between neurons across tiny gaps or synapses. The endocannabinoid system affects various biological functions to maintain homeostasis or a balanced internal environment. The endocannabinoid system consists of:
Anandamide primarily binds to CB1 receptors and is broken down by FAAH enzymes into ethanolamine and arachidonic acid. The ‘bliss molecule’ anandamide also plays a critical role in influencing the activities of the feel-good hormones in the brain — dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.* So, the next time you feel happy or sad, you can blame it on varying levels of hormones and anandamide.*
How Anandamide Regulates Emotional and Mental Well-Being*
|Interaction with Hormones
|Anandamide + Dopamine
|Anandamide primarily binds to CB1 receptors that have been found6 to induce dopamine release in the brain.*
|Anandamide + Oxytocin
|The stimulation of oxytocin-producing neurons in the brain is associated7 with enhanced anandamide production.*
|Anandamide + Serotonin
|Studies8 show that anandamide and 2-AG regulate serotonin levels to beneficially influence stress-related behaviors.*
|Anandamide + Endorphins
|Research tudies9 in mice show anandamide’s positive role in stimulating the sense of well-being or ‘runner’s high’ reported by endurance athletes.*
Research indicates that physical exercises, circadian rhythm (sleep cycle), stressful environments, and other physiological factors or pathological conditions can influence circulating concentrations of endocannabinoids.
Anandamide is produced in the body through various complex pathways that are not yet completely understood. A dip in anandamide level is often associated with its increased degradation by the FAAH enzyme. Interestingly, some individuals might be genetically predisposed to a higher anandamide level due to a variant FAAH gene.
Your body might not have an optimal anandamide level because of:
Given anandamide’s positive role in various body and brain functions, a suboptimal level of the ‘bliss’ molecule can adversely affect the entire body, influencing the ability to cope with stress and non-GAD anxiety.*
It is well-known that the chemical structure of anandamide is similar to two important phytocannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). As a result, THC mimics anandamide functions by directly interacting with endocannabinoid receptors. CBD has been found to influence endocannabinoid receptor functions indirectly and also shows the potential to enhance endogenous anandamide signaling indirectly.
Although THC and CBD can stimulate anandamide signaling, the advisability of including them as dietary sources is debatable. THC induces psychoactive or mind-altering effects, and while CBD has no such effects, it is not approved as a nutritional supplement or food additive by the FDA.
Different approaches can help stimulate endogenous anandamide production, such as consuming anandamide-rich foods, maintaining an active lifestyle, and incorporating an anandamide supplement into your diet.
Shop Products that help enhance anandamide levels in your body.
Although food sources, such as truffle and chocolate, can stimulate anandamide production, they only contain small amounts of anandamide that might not be sufficient to maintain its optimal level in the body. A nutritional supplement is a convenient way to ingest anandamide orally with some formulations containing relatively higher concentrations to enable:
The efficacy of a nutritional anandamide supplement depends on how well it is absorbed in the body before it can extend therapeutic benefits. Enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract usually hinder the intact absorption of anandamide in free form through the gut wall.
Supplement formulations containing anandamide-loaded nanoparticles have been found10 to be more easily absorbed across the gut wall, making them more therapeutically effective.
It is advisable to seek medical advice if you are experiencing any symptoms of low anandamide levels and need to include a supplement in your diet.
Before including any new nutritional supplement in your diet or taking one along with a prescription medicine, you should consult with your health-care provider. You should also consult your health-care provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and considering anandamide supplementation.
The efficacy of an anandamide supplement depends on how well it is absorbed in the body. Tesseract’s AnaQuell®, a proprietary nutritional supplement formulation, contains anandamide and L-citrulline to support a healthy response to mood changes, trauma, mild non-GAD anxiety, and stress.* Adding the amino acid L-citrulline to AnaQuell helps improve blood flow and nutrient delivery to the brain.*
Tesseract’s revolutionary CyLoc® - DexKey® technology is a nanomolecular nutrient delivery system that solubilizes anandamide, enhances its absorption across the gut wall, and releases anandamide molecules at the desired point in the intestinal tract. This unprecedented absorption and bioavailability of anandamide molecules allows for micro-dosing of the formulation to support your mental and emotional health.*
The power of Tesseract supplements lies in enhancing palatability, maximizing bioavailability and absorption, and micro-dosing multiple nutrients in a single, highly effective capsule. Shop productson our website and learn more about how they can help support neurological health.*
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2Goonawardena Anushka V, et al. Neuropharmacology vol. 61,5-6 (2011): 1016-1025. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.07.003
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5Chiurchiù V, et al. Immunology vol. 144,3 (2015): 352-364. doi:10.1111/imm.12441
6Sperlágh B, et al. Neurochemistry International vol. 54,7 (2009): 452-457. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2009.01.017
7Wei D, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 112,45 (2015): 14084-14089. doi:10.1073/pnas.1509795112
8Haj-Dahmane S, Roh-Yu S. Neuropharmacology vol. 61,3 (2011): 414-420. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.02.016
9Fuss J, et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol. 112,42 (2015): 13105-13108. doi:10.1073/pnas.1514996112
10Aberturas MR, et al. Journal of Microencapsulation vol. 28,3 (2011): 200-210. doi:10.3109/02652048.2010.546436