Anandamide (AEA)

Anandamide (AEA) is a neurotransmitter and lipid-based signaling molecule that belongs to a class of compounds known as endocannabinoids. It is produced naturally in the body and plays a crucial role in various physiological processes, including mood regulation, pain perception, appetite, memory, and neuroprotection.

Anandamide is named after the Sanskrit word “ananda,” which means bliss or joy, due to its reported effects on mood and emotions. It is synthesized on-demand from membrane phospholipids and acts as a retrograde neurotransmitter, meaning it can travel backward across the synapse to modulate the activity of presynaptic neurons.

One of the key functions of anandamide is its interaction with cannabinoid receptors in the body, particularly the CB1 receptors found predominantly in the central nervous system and the CB2 receptors found mainly in the peripheral nervous system and immune cells.

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