Anandamide (AEA)

Anandamide (AEA), often termed the “bliss molecule,” is a fatty acid neurotransmitter derived from the non-oxidative metabolism of eicosatetraenoic acid, an essential omega-6 fatty acid. Named after “Ananda,” the Sanskrit word for “joy, bliss, delight,” anandamide plays a crucial role in regulating mood, memory, appetite, pain, cognition, and emotions by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). It binds primarily to the cannabinoid receptors CB1, found in the brain and central nervous system, and CB2, found in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells. Anandamide’s functions include modulating the nervous system’s response to stress and injury, leading to pain reduction and increased feelings of well-being. However, it is rapidly broken down by the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), limiting its impact compared to pharmacological cannabinoids, which can have more prolonged effects.

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