​Anandamide: the molecule of pleasure,

  • Anandamide is the molecule of pleasure, which the brain naturally produces


    I find a lot of the information on this article fascinating for several reasons:

    1. It's in high concentration in cacao (chocolate, in its raw form) and, of course, cannabis
    2. The study that involved piglets and obesity reminded me of Horace the poet. This portion basically says that fats are necessary to form this chemical, which makes sense, since Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats are known to keep the brain healthy, the neurons well-connected, and therefore contributes to a healthy and happy brain.
    3. Epicurus said that pleasure starts in the belly and, lo and behold, the article says that "bile acids – which are mainly involved in the adsorption of lipids in the small intestine – modulate its biogenesis" ... in other words, the pleasure molecule is born in the small intestine.

    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • Good to hear that, but I do not accept that. Since that is one of the main causes that turned upside down the whole of our philosophy. As they connected the epicureans with good food and fine wine. To drink and eat and be merry. Moreover, we can do a hypothesis: If the molecules of the pleasure could be found in the stomach or in the small intestine then all the people that have tables with dishes full of food with cacao and omega 3, like the famous Trymalchion dinners, by Petronius would be very pleased and happy.

    However, Εpicurus in the last paragraph of his letter to Pythocles in which he describes the methodology of the Canon, he speaks for senses and the "heart" -"love" i.e. feelings, and not for the stomach and the small intestine. If the heart that is a part of a whole body, which through the brain enriches with hormones the whole body can't feel the passion (eros) for the true philosophy, there will be agitation and to the stomach and to the small intestine that would be full, but in the same time will be empty of feelings i.e. depression, since the stomach is just a sack and the small intestine is just a tube of a stupid bad-ass... and sorry for such a language.

    There are many molecules in the body and not just those of the small intestine. There is also the environment, there is a whole philosophy that units with consistency the Physics, the Canon and Ethics. And of course, there is the friendship that is developed in an environment. Based on friendship we feel those feelings of security for the food that fills the stomach and the existence of a shelter in any condition. Friendship with its security leads the persons to the bravery, to the liberty, to the autonomy, and to the self-sufficiency for making such contracts with such laws to not hurt each other ... Eating chocolate and smoking cannabis is not the solution. The solution comes from our philosophy that is a whole and leads to the goal of pleasure.

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • Thanks for both of these posts!

    I'm a big fan of dark chocolate and seafood (although not together). Yet as a newcomer to EP I find that it's sometimes a struggle to reconcile the pursuit of pleasure with the big picture of life. That is both the beauty and the challenge of EP, and it makes for a truly rewarding philosophy.

  • The body has natural endocannabinoids which are part of the end pathway of pleasure, from any source. Anandamide binds to those receptors, but the endocannabinoid receptors are possibly the most numerous in the body of any neurotransmitter receptor.

    The issue with plant molecules mimicking our own neurotransmitters is complicated-- in some cases, it may be to the evolutionary advantage of the plant to get us hooked on it and spread the plant's seeds. There can be recreational uses but also significant medical uses. For instance, CBD oil has been used successfully to treat seizures that didn't respond to any other treatment (Cannabidiol, a cannabinoid).

    We have opiate-like molecules in other foods-- like casomorphine in milk and opiate like effects of wheat-- but in such small amounts that one would not feel high. Possibly enough to contribute to wanting to eat those foods again.

    The most reliable path to activating our natural endocannabinoids is through pleasure, not through becoming dependent on a particular substance-- for most of us. For some people who are deficient in natural endocannabinoids, cannabis may turn out to be important, similar to using antidepressants-- but that is medical.

    One problem with all external sources of these pleasure neurotransmitters is that if one habitually uses them, the body starts to down-regulate its own production and also sometimes its receptors. Then when you stop-- misery!

    On the gut-- the gut has an extensive neural network and communicates with the brain closely. The brain is strongly affected by the microbiome. I tend to think of the entire nervous system as being basically part of the brain.


  • Yes the gut has its own "brain". I read that the neurons in the gut are numerous enough to form a brain the size of a cat's.

    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words