ANANDAMIDE & 2-AG: THE CANINE BODY’S NATURAL ENDOCANNABINOIDS
*Disclaimer: This article is not meant to serve as a substitute for veterinary advice. Dr.Hempdog believes firmly in the contents of this article because of the thorough research that backs it up and our own experiences with the thousands of dogs that we have helped through the years (including our own). You should always defer to your veterinarian when adding anything to your dog's unique wellness routine.
You’ve already heard of well-known cannabinoids like CBD, but did you know that your body produces several cannabinoids of its own? These natural cannabinoids (known as “endocannabinoids”) come in the form of anandamide and 2-AG, which are already helping to keep you and your dog healthy on a daily basis. We’ll give you a simple crash course on everything you need to know about anandamide and 2-AG.
Cannabinoids (natural compounds that play key roles in regulating your health) are normally found in two forms, namely:
- Phytocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids found in hemp (CBD, THC, etc.), and
- Endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that your body’s endocannabinoid system produces.
So far, scientists have discovered nearly a dozen endocannabinoids, of which anandamide and 2-AG are both the most common and the most important to your health. Notably, recent findings (which we'll discuss below) have proven that many phytocannabinoids can actually enhance the endocannabinoids in your body, which can further help to alleviate certain ailments.
The Benefits of Anandamide and 2-AG
Have you ever felt a euphoric rush after a good workout? That’s anandamide, i.e. “the bliss molecule,” activating your endocannabinoid system to create what’s known as a runner’s high. However, anandamide is responsible for far more than just feelings of joy, as studies have shown that it can reduce inflammation and pain:
A 2013 study demonstrated that raising anandamide levels in rats created a powerful painkilling effect.
- From PLoS One: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23573230/
- A paired set of 2006 studies further demonstrated that anandamide can combat inflammatory pain on its own and by synergizing with traditional medications.
- From Pain journal: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16480822/ and Neuropharmacology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16442133/
One study from 1997 found that anandamide could suppress inflammation and regulate immune system responses.
- From NeuroReport: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9223079/
2-AG is often referred to as “the other endocannabinoid,” but that isn’t doing it justice. 2-AG is the most abundant endocannabinoid of all, and studies show that, just like anandamide, 2-AG is both an anti-inflammatory and powerful painkiller:
A 2015 review concluded that both 2-AG and anandamide could significantly alleviate arthritis and inflammation.
- From International Immunopharmacology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25791728/
A 2006 study found that 2-AG was neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory, and could reduce the severity of brain injuries.
- From Neurobiology of Disease: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16364651/
In 1995, a mere three years after its discovery, one study had already found that 2-AG could reduce pain considerably.
- From Biochemical Pharmacology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7605349/
How CBD Can Enhance 2-AG and Anandamide
While anandamide and 2-AG are tremendously effective for relieving certain conditions, both are short-lived, which is where phytocannabinoids (such as CBD) can help. Studies show that many phytocannabinoids can prevent the breakdown of anandamide and 2-AG, making them last far longer:
A 2020 study found that CBD’s painkilling properties were likely due to its ability to increase anandamide levels in the body.
- From Neuropharmacology: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31706993/
A 2016 review concluded that CBD and THC could inhibit anandamide breakdown, resulting in higher concentrations of long-lasting, beneficial anandamide with anti-seizure activities.
- From Current Neuropharmacology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430692/
A similar 2011 study concluded that CBD, CBC, and CBG all inhibited endocannabinoid breakdown, strongly suggesting anti-inflammatory, painkilling, and anticancer effects.
- From the British Journal of Pharmacology: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165957/
It’s clear that the best CBD products for your dog will include a host of cannabinoids that can enhance the anandamide and 2-AG already present in your dog’s body. Studies also show that the cannabinoids and terpenes in full-spectrum CBD can provide powerful, synergistic benefits of their own for dogs suffering from many ailments, which you can learn more about from our breakdown of full-spectrum CBD products.
- From Pain journal: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32345916/ and Frontiers in Veterinary Science: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30083539/
If you’d like to learn more about how you can use Cannabinoids including CBD to supplement your dog’s health, we recommend visiting our website or giving us a text/ call at (720) 773-9595 to schedule a free consultation with our team of cannabinoid experts. You can also email us at email@example.com, and we’ll get back to you by the next business day.