What is a cannabinoid?
Great question! Cannabinoids are actually chemical compounds that react with receptors that are found in the human brain. Cannabinoids can be naturally occurring or artificially manufactured. Phytocannabinoids are the type found naturally in the cannabis plant for example. One of the most well- known cannabinoid compounds is of course THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is that which is responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive properties. However, another hugely popular cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD). Second in concentration after THC, CBD accounts for as much as 40% of the cannabinoids found in cannabis.
Interestingly, another cannabinoid recently discovered which is naturally occurring in the brain is anandamide. This cannabinoid is also prominent in chocolate. Not surprisingly, when activating the cannabinoid, receptor sites can be responsible for feelings of joy and pleasure.
So How Exactly do these Cannabinoids React with the Brain’s Receptors?
The benefits that we derive from the likes of CBD and anandamide are the direct result of these neurotransmitters essentially attaching to receptor sites throughout the brain and thus activating that particular receptor. Think of these compounds as “keys” that fit snugly into the “locks” present in the brain and nervous system. Once that connection is made, you feel the results. With anandamide, which is found in chocolate, people are apt to feel their mood enhance. They may experience a bit of a “high.” On the other hand, with CBD the effects are usually along the lines of anxiety alleviation and can even help those who may have social disorders feel more at ease in such situations.
Now there are 2 primary groups of these cannabinoid receptors present in the brain and in other points throughout the body: CB1 & CB2. Anandamide tends to bind to these transmitters and ultimately in doing so, can provoke the experience of pleasure or “bliss.” It therefore becomes highly effective in helping with depression and mood disorders. It has also been known to activate a receptor call TRPV1 (TRP vanilloid 1). This particular receptor is responsible for aiding with anti-inflammatory responses. As well as, recent studies have shown, blocking the further growth of breast cancer cells.
When it comes to the benefits of CBD, researchers have found that while not as apt to make that lock and key connection with either CB1 or CB2, CBD is very much apt to bind with the TRPV1 receptors. And like the anandamide found in chocolate, promote an anti- pain, anti- inflammatory response. CBD also gravitates toward what are called PPARs [peroxisome proliferator activated receptors]; these basically have an anti- proliferative property; meaning, in terms of fighting cancer for instance, they can help prevent the spread of cancer cells as well as halting the progression of tumors. Additionally, this particular receptor is also involved in metabolic functions such as insulin stabilization. Diabetics can therefore certainly benefit from CBD as far as its interaction with the PPARs.
Obviously this is just a brief overview of the benefits of both the neurotransmitters and compounds found in chocolate and CBD. But certainly you can see how extraordinary the combination is and how valuable these are as far as your health and well -being. Scientists are really only starting to scratch the surface in terms of what these miraculous compounds can actually do!
Chocolate’s Many Health Benefits
So we’ve briefly reviewed how, in terms of your endocannabinoid system, the compounds in CBD and chocolate can really work to help heal your body, as well as stabilize your mood and even potentially stop the spread of cancer cells. But what about the incredible benefits beyond these, particularly as far as chocolate is concerned.
We decided to create therapeutic chocolate in large part because of the amazing impact and effects that cocoa based products can have on the body. For instance, did you know that researchers have found that eating certain kinds of chocolate with any type of regularity, can actually add years to your life. The oldest person ever (living to 122) claimed to have eaten over 2 pounds of dark chocolate per week.
Another compound that can be found in chocolate: epicatechin has been shown to coat and subsequently shield your brain cells. This equates to a stronger brain with a lessor lesser chance of things such as stroke occurring. Along these same lines, scientists have discovered that dark chocolate can enhance your body’s overall blood flow. Certain properties in the chocolate help to open your capillaries, veins and arteries. This in turn, also potentially works to prevent blood clots and even a heart attack.
There are huge benefits of chocolate for the external facets of your body’s health as well as the internal ones. Internally it promotes better blood circulation, brain health and longevity. For external facets of your body, there are things called flavonoids, found in dark chocolate especially, that help prevent UV damage from the sun’s rays. The result: healthier, improved skin tone. Chocolate is also great for the hair! Cacao—the raw form of cocoa—actually adds shine and aids in rebuilding damaged hair follicles.
The benefits of chocolate on its own are almost too many to list; combine that with the power of CBD, and let’s just say our treats may very well be next to be indicted into the hall of “superfoods.”
Food And Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before starting a new dietary supplement program.
*Cannabidiol (CDB) is a natural constituent of hemp oil.