The journey to understanding cannabinoids has been a bit like a yellow brick road trip. And while we’re still navigating the knowledge gaps, a lot has already been discovered about cannabinoids and their therapeutic benefits. Like, for example, how cannabigerol (CBG) can increase your overall feelings of well-being by affecting anandamide, one of your natural cannabinoids.
Read on to find out how this amazing cannabinoid just might help you out of your mental funk and get you somewhere over the rainbow. And, no, we’re not talking about “getting high” … just happy.
Can CBG Help Your Body Re-Regulate Its Mood?
Researchers have discovered that entire populations around the world check the box next to “Happy” when asked about their overall outlook on life. Oddly, the cause of this happiness phenomenon is a genetic mutation. As a result of the mutation, less FAAH is produced in these blissful folks. And what is FAAH? It is the enzyme that breaks down your body’s natural spirits-lifter, anandamide.
So What is Anandamide?
Anandamide is an endocannabinoid. “Endo” is Greek for “within”, and a cannabinoid is a chemical compound, of which over a hundred are found in the cannabis plant—called phytocannabinoids. But anandamide is one of the most important cannabinoids that the human body produces. Hence, an endocannabinoid. The cannabinoid compound just happened to be discovered by researchers in cannabis first—before they knew that humans made them as well as cannabis plants.
Why Are We Just Now Talking About Anandamide?
In the 1980s, researchers discovered that the THC molecule carried out its effects by binding to receptors in the brain. You probably already know that THC is the well-known cannabinoid derived from cannabis. The chemists were perplexed with this finding; it was odd that a compound from outside the body worked so seamlessly with a receptor in the human brain—as if it were made for it.
That’s when they began to believe that the human body made its own similar compound. And a few years later, they proved it. They discovered the first endocannabinoid and named it anandamide, Sanskrit for “joy”, because of its ability to cause feelings of well-being.
We’re a bit behind on our cannabinoid knowledge. Because for so long cannabis and even industrial hemp (an important crop around the world for centuries) were only understood as a means to “get high”, we did not explore the actual science behind the effects of cannabis.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is not even being taught in most medical schools yet. After all, this incredible system was not discovered until the late 20th century, by scientists driven to understand the therapeutic and neurological effects of marijuana.
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and Anandamide
So we know that anandamide is an endocannabinoid, but what does it do? As a neurotransmitter, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. These ECS receptors are all over the body: in the nervous system, in the immune system, in the digestive system, in certain organs … even your skin.
The ECS, made up of these receptors and the endocannabinoids that belong to them, are responsible for homeostasis, or the body’s inner balance and well-being. This is achieved through the regulation of many things.
Anandamide, as it turns out, regulates a ton of very important functions in our minds and bodies. Movement control, appetite, pain—all on anandamide’s watch. It increases neurogenesis, or the formation of new nerve cells. Anandamide even helps inhibit cancer.
But as you may have guessed by its name, anandamide is also responsible for our feelings of well-being. Deficiency in anandamide can contribute to depression, anxiety and mood disorders like schizophrenia. Needless to say, if our anandamide levels are out of whack, chances are our well-being is out of whack as well.
How CBG Affects Anandamide
So what does the phytocannabinoid (plant-based cannabinoid) CBG have to do with all this? Its mission is simple and critical. Remember that enzyme FAAH that breaks down anandamide? CBG inhibits it. So, when CBG is in your system, your anandamide levels increase. And as you now know, when anandamide levels increase, so does your inner balance and sense of well-being.
CBG is non-intoxicating and will not get you high. It also has loads of other beneficial effects. Sometimes it’s difficult to sift through all the buzz about cannabinoids and know what is true and which products are the best. At The Hemp Haus, we believe in sharing our knowledge of and experience with CBD and other cannabinoids in the most transparent way possible. Knowing how these natural compounds work with our bodies empowers us with the ability to be involved in and understand how to treat and heal ourselves.