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Understanding Anandamide: The Bliss Molecule

3D molecules on green background with hemp leaves.


Dr. George Stantchev
Dr. George Stantchev

PHD, MBA, MSEE, Entrepreneur and CEO of most innovative extraction technology company.

Anandamide, also known as N-arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA), is a fascinating fatty acid neurotransmitter. Discovered as the first endocannabinoid, anandamide binds to cannabinoid receptors, just like THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. This article delves into the significance of anandamide, its functions, and its connection to PURE5™.

What is Anandamide?

Anandamide is derived from the Sanskrit word ananda, meaning “joy” or “bliss.” This endocannabinoid plays a crucial role in mood regulation and other physiological functions. It is a naturally occurring compound found in the brain and various tissues in animals, as well as in small amounts in chocolate. Chemically, anandamide is an N-acylethanolamine (NAE) and is synthesized from N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine.

Anandamite endocannabinoid molecule shown

The Role of Anandamide in the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex cell-signaling system that plays a critical role in maintaining homeostasis. Anandamide binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, mimicking the effects of THC. The CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral organs, particularly cells associated with the immune system.

Two parts of the brain and a cannabis leaf in front.

Binding and Activation

Anandamide binds to cannabinoid receptors, influencing a range of physiological processes. CB1 receptor activation primarily affects mood, memory, appetite, and pain sensation. CB2 receptor activation, on the other hand, is mainly involved in modulating immune responses and inflammation.

Synthesis and Degradation of Anandamide


Process of synthesis of anandamide in cannabis plant.

Anandamide is synthesized from N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) via multiple pathways. The primary pathway involves the enzyme N-acylphosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD), which converts NAPE to anandamide. Other enzymes, such as phospholipase A2 and phospholipase C, also contribute to anandamide synthesis.


Anandamide is primarily degraded by the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which breaks it down into ethanolamine and arachidonic acid. Inhibitors of FAAH can lead to elevated levels of anandamide, making them a potential target for therapeutic applications.

Physiological and Behavioral Effects

Central and Peripheral Nervous System

Anandamide affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the central nervous system, it influences mood, memory, and pain perception by acting on CB1 receptors. In the peripheral nervous system, it impacts immune system functions through CB2 receptors. This dual role makes anandamide a versatile molecule in maintaining physiological balance.

X ray photo of human brain and receptors inside it.

Reproductive Health

Anandamide plays a significant role in reproductive health, particularly in the implantation of early-stage embryos in the uterus. It has been observed that peak plasma levels of anandamide occur during ovulation, suggesting a regulatory role in reproductive processes.

Exercise and Mood

The phenomenon known as “runner’s high” is partially attributed to elevated levels of anandamide. This compound enhances pleasure responses and can increase the intrinsic value of activities, such as eating, by affecting the reward systems in the brain.

Therapeutic Potential of Anandamide

Research into anandamide’s therapeutic potential is ongoing, with promising results in various fields, including anxiety, pain management, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Anandamide and CBD

CBD, a major compound in cannabis, can increase anandamide levels by inhibiting FAAH. This interaction is crucial for the development of CBD-based therapies, such as those provided by Pure For Life™, which offers a range of natural CBD products, including cosmetics, vapes, tinctures, and edibles. These products are crafted using PURE5™‘s technology, ensuring the natural preservation of all terpenes and cannabinoids.

Chocolate on a wooden table, and a hemp leaf on it

PURE5™ Technology

PURE5™ is a leading cannabis extraction provider known for its innovative and natural extraction methods. Their technology ensures the preservation of all beneficial compounds in cannabis, providing high-quality extracts used in various CBD products by companies like Pure For Life™.


Anandamide is a key player in the endocannabinoid system, influencing mood, memory, pain, and more. Its interaction with cannabinoid receptors highlights its potential for therapeutic applications. With advancements in extraction technologies by PURE5™ and innovative products from Pure For Life™, the future of cannabinoid-based treatments looks promising.

Understanding and harnessing the power of anandamide and other endocannabinoids could revolutionize the way we approach health and wellness, offering natural solutions for a range of conditions.

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