Science has long known that when people ingest THC they get “high”. What that means on a deeper level is that there are receptors in the human brain for THC. For the receptors to exist, however, there must be a molecule similar with THC, which is natural to the body. That is the way human physiology is organized. We now know that the THC like molecule is anandamide.
Anandamide’s effects can be seen in both the central nervous system (e.g. brain, nerves, etc.) and in the peripheral cells located throughout the body (e.g. white blood cells of the immune system).
In real life that means that anandamide plays a role in appetite and in the creating feelings like motivation and pleasure and in the expression of emotions. When injected directly into the forebrain of rats, it enhances their pleasurable responses to sugar rewards and increases their food intake. Anandamide also helps control thinking behaviors. Today it is thought to be equally important to the brain as is GABA, serotonin or dopamine.
Then peripherally, it also creates powerful anti-inflammatory responses in cells, inhibits the growth of cancer cells and strengthens the immune system.
You probably knew that already but what you might not have known is that the best natural source of anandamide is raw cacao. That is why chocolate gives you feelings of pleasure and a mild high.
Here is something super interesting. While chocolate contains a lot of anandamide it contains 100 times that amount of OEA (N-oleoylethanolamine) and 18:3 NAE (N- linoleoylethanolamine). These two chemical cousins of anandamide are powerful cannabinoid breakdown inhibitors. What this means is that generous amounts of cacao will enable THC and CBD to stay active in the body far longer providing even more benefits.