After our personal stories about CBD and Covid we return to our regularly scheduled programming. We continue our series of the Secrets of Cannabis this week to talk about the Bliss Molecule. It sounds a bit over the top but we did not come up with that name. Science did.
The Magic is Real
Just when we thought that the cannabis plant couldn’t get any more magical or mysterious, it did. Before the cannabis legalization wave began there was a lot of speculation about the mysteries of cannabis. There were legitimate books and papers on the subject that mostly dealt in reality, the science and the traditional use of the plant. Some of these were enthusiastic about the plant to the point of exaggeration about its properties and uses.
Then there was the idle speculation amongst recreational cannabis enthusiasts. Was the plant evidence of intelligent design? Did it have a consciousness of its own? Was a it a gift from the very Gods themselves? Is there an entire universe contained within my thumbnail? And so on.
As far fetched as these ideas might seem, it turns out there is a bit of truth in all of them. Meet Anandamide.
The Bliss Molecule
Anandamide, or the ‘Bliss Molecule’ is found in both plants and animals. The word Ananda comes from the Sanskrit word meaning joy or bliss. Again, Science’s idea, not ours. There is a lot of sciencey stuff to wade through here, if you are interested a good place to start is here.
The short version is that Anandamide is a molecule that has been shown to moderate the brains reward control mechanism. It binds to to the CB1 receptor in the ECS (endocannabinoid system) and helps cannabinoid molecules bond to the CB1 receptor so the brain can maintain a healthy and positive state.
Studies have also shown that Anandamide facilitates neurogensis, or the process by which new neurons are created. This is critical for memory and learning.
It all sounds really great, but how does it work in reality? Well, lets say you are having a heated argument with your boss, you are getting stressed and angry. Anandamide will interact with the ECS to calm the brain down. It will increase the sense of calm, well-being and overall bliss. Alternatively, if you are getting too excitable or too blissed out Anandamide will work with the ECS to calm the brain down and inhibit the release of too much bliss.
This is a very basic outline of how it all works. The actual process is quite complicated but for our purposes the basic version will work just fine. The bottom line is that Anandamide works to maintain a healthy balance in the brain’s state of being.
The Bliss of Balance
Anandamide is called the Bliss Molecule, but the description of how it works makes it more like the balance molecule. What gives? It is worth looking more closely at the Sanskrit origin of the word at this point. Ananda literally translates to from all sides, bliss. It is a state of being recognized in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Two of the major aspects of Ananda are peace and equanimity or balance.
Ananda is considered to be the state of balance between the observer and the observed, the knower and the knowing. It is said that in this balance lies peace and freedom from suffering. And this is truly a state of bliss. To be able to find and maintain this balance is truly bliss and Anandamide is working in your body right now to make this happen.
It sounds crazy but its true. I swear. If you want to try it out for yourself stop by the shop and top up on your supply. We guarantee the balance but the bliss part is totally up to you.