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Anandamide, also known as arachidonoylethanolamide or AEA, is an endogenous lipid with a high affinity for cannabinoid receptors. In fact, it is considered one of the best-known eicosanoid endocannabinoids (derived from fatty acids) and the second to be found in the largest amount. Discovered in 1992, the name of this lipid derives from the Sanskrit word for joy or bearer of joy, "Ānanda", due to the effects and relaxation it generates, and is composed of arachidonic acid and ethanolamine.

Short-lived and rapidly degraded, anandamide is a fragile molecule whose effects are short-lived in the human body. This substance is related, like other cannabinoids, with sedation, reduced vomiting and increased hunger, with improved respiratory function and relaxation. as well as problems with concentration, perception of time and memory.

It is a substance that is not produced in a particular region of the brain, but is secreted by the membrane of neurons, and has been located in different regions of the body, both inside and outside the brain. Its presence is common in the thalamus, hippocampus, basal ganglia and cerebellum, as well as in the spleen and heart. Its receptors are therefore widely distributed, being linked to the G protein.

In addition, anandamide can also be acquired through the consumption of different foods. Some of its best-known natural sources are cocoa and chocolate, with anandamide being one of the main elements that cause most people to find it so pleasant. Similarly, it is present in some fish and their roe, and in sea urchins.

Anandamide is an endocannabinoid that originates in the membrane of neurons from the hydrolysis of its precursor, a phospholipid called N-arachidonoyl phosphatylethanolamine (or NAPE) derived from the arquedonic acid characteristic of said membrane. This synthesis occurs thanks to the enzyme phospholipase D, also joining ethanolamine to end up configuring anandamide.

Anandamide is characterized by being generated only at the moment it is going to be released, unlike other neurotransmitters that are previously manufactured and stored until the moment of transmission. It is usually generated by the postsynaptic neuron, in a retrograde manner, generating stimulation or inhibition of the production of neurotransmitters in the presynaptic neuron.

At that moment, this substance is released into the synaptic space, to later be received by both neurons and glial cells. Once captured, it degrades to ethanolamine and arachidonic acid, and is then reincorporated into the membrane lipids. This substance is thus rapidly metabolized by the body, disappearing in a short period of time.

Anandamide is a very useful substance for our body, which has important roles in our brain and body functioning. As part of the endocannabinoid system, anandamide plays an important role in maintaining body homeostasis, influencing and modulating nerve transmission and interacting with multiple systems and neurotransmitters. Among others, it can inhibit the synthesis of GABA and glutamate. It also participates in lowering eye pressure.

Like the rest of cannabinoids, one of the main and most recognized functions of cannabinoids is to modulate and generate a decrease in the sensation of pain in the event of an injury, having an analgesic effect. Another of the actions carried out by anandamide, and which in fact continues to be investigated today and generates great interest, is the fact that its action prevents or decreases the cell proliferation of cancer cells, causing the death of said cells. This has been especially investigated in melanomas.

Cannabinoids also have a neuroprotective effect by having the ability to reduce arousal of the nervous system, something that in turn has protective effects against excitotoxicity.

Anandamide and the group of endocannabinoids alter and modulate eating, being in close interaction with leptin. While this is one of the main hormones that regulates satiety, anandamide on the contrary stimulates the appetite and generates the search for food.

The functioning of anandamide in the brain has also been related to learning and memory capacity, frequently being associated with areas that manage memory, such as the hippocampus. In principle, it facilitates the creation of new brain connections and the elimination of old ones.

The following exercise induces the production and release of this neurotransmitter.

During its realization it is necessary to maintain the Duchenne smile, essential for the process.

The way in which the mind will be directed is given by the "joy formula":

The abscissa axis represents the time in tenths of a second. The ordinate axis is the amount of air inside.

The zero value represents the rest state. It begins with empty lungs and a quick inhalation and is followed by a continuous inhalation while creating a state of tension in crescendo until at a sudden and unpredictable moment, a strong but short inhalation occurs, and later exhalation is repeated. the exercise.

It is basically about inducing the instinct of laughter in babies, when playing with them to get their attention ("Cu-cu"), hide and change places while the child tries to find where the tension is rising and, when he least expects it, come out with a shout ("Go!") that causes him to startle and immediately laugh.

It should be repeated until establishing a genuine laugh that arises without explanation and cannot be stopped, freeing and relaxing the body.

Don't forget to always smile.

Joy is the spontaneity of sitting in front of a pond looking at the water, inhaling deeply and holding the air, suddenly ripples form on the surface, there is silence... and a fish jumps, surprise makes you inhale a little more, you delight in its colors, its shape and its grace as you come out of the water, exhale and the fish returns to the pond. You look at the water, you know that the fish will emerge again but you don't know where, you are alert, suddenly waves form and it jumps again. It surprises you and you can't help but laugh. You are more and more concentrated but you never hit the spot where the fish jumps. The joy it brings you every time it comes out of the water grows and grows... and absorbs you.

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