Arguably, the most popular Cannabis edibles (over time) have been chocolate derivatives. Chocolate candy bars, chocolate cookies, Ice cream… and why not? Theobroma cacao is the latin name of the cacao tree and means “food for the Gods”. Few can argue with that medicine.
And there is an even more interesting and beneficial relationship that cannabidiol (CBD) has with chocolate. They both have a very important cannabinoid neurotransmitter called anandamide (or AEA). The word “anandamide” comes from the ancient Sanskrit “ananda” meaning bliss and “mide” meaning chemical.
Commonly referred to as “The Bliss Molecule”, anandamide was originally discovered in the 1990’s from research on cannabinoid receptor sites. These receptor sites are found throughout the body and react to the cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant when ingested, inhaled or otherwise delivered. Anandamide plays an important role in appetite, motivation, and pleasure and is as important as more commonly known neurotransmitters as dopamine and serotonin.
Anandamide’s effects are not only identified in the central nervous system (brain, nerves, etc.), it interacts with all of the cells throughout the bodies including blood cells.
Anandamide has been identified as being influential in explaining the “runner’s high” that is so familiarly described by runners. Studies have also found that anandamide is linked to anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) reactions triggered by rigorous physical activity and exercise.
Importantly, chocolate not only contains anandamide, it also contains what are called “cannabinoid inhibitors”. These organic molecules are related to anandamide and act to inhibit the breakdown of cannabinoids thereby actually prolonging the benefits and effects of CBD and anandamide – essentially increasing the effectiveness of the CBD.
Cacao is the base ingredient in dark chocolate and has been described as one of the most complex foods on Earth. Theobromine is a vasodilator (opens blood vessels increasing circulation) and a relative of caffeine found in chocolate that acts to amplify the benefits of the anandamide and CBD making it the perfect delivery mechanism for another flavonol like CBD.