Anandamide in Chocolate

"A neurotransmitter called anadamide (n-arachidonoylethanolamine) was isolated in chocolate by neuroscientist Daniel Piomelli in 1996. Anandamide is an endogenous cannabinoid naturally found in the human brain. Anandamide is a type of lipid (oil) known as "the bliss chemical" because it is released while we are feeling great. In fact, anandamide is derived from the Sanskrit word "ananda" meaning bliss."
- p. 61, Naked Chocolate by David Wolfe and Sharon Holdstock (2005)

N-acylethanolamines, which might activate cannabinoid receptors or increase endocannabinoid levels, resulting in heightened sensitivity and euphoria. Researchers believe that chocolate contains pharmacologically active substances that have the same effect on the brain as marijuana, and that these chemicals may be responsible for certain drug-induced psychoses associated with chocolate craving. Although marijuana's active ingredient that allows a person to feel 'high' is tetrahydrocannabinol, a different chemical neurotransmitter produced naturally in the brain called anandamide has been isolated in chocolate. Because the amounts of anandamide found in chocolate is so minuscule, eating chocolate will not get a person high, but rather that there are compounds such as unsaturated N-acylethanolamines, in chocolate have been associated with the good and 'high' feeling that chocolate consumption provides. In the body, anandamide is broken down rapidly into two inactive sections after production by the enzyme hydrolase found in our bodies. In chocolate, however, there are other chemicals that may inhibit this natural breakdown of anandamide. Therefore, natural anandamide may remain extensively, making people feel good longer when they eat chocolate."
- pp. 99 - 100, Chocolate Science and Technology by Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa (2010)

"As THC is not a naturally occurring substance within the brain, the existance of a brain cannabinoid receptor implied the existence of an endogenous cannabinoid like substance. Devane et all (1992) identified a brain molecule that binds the receptor and mimics the action of cannabinoids. The molecule, arachidonylethanolamide, which is fat soluble like THC, has been named 'anandamide" from a Sanskrit word meaning "bliss". Research has established that anandamide exhibits the essential criteria to be classified as a genuine neurotransmitter for the cannabinoid receptor... Recently, Di Tomaso et al. (1996) reported the detection of three novel constituents of chocolate that were chemically related to anandamide and that may interact with the cannabinoid system in the brain, possibly pointing to a similar mechanism of craving. "
- p. 17, Cannabis and Cognitive Functioning by Nadia Solowij (1998)

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