With the explosion of cannabinoid research over the last 5 years, researchers are looking to other plants to see if they can locate similiar properties. Believe it or not, there are some other plants that have cannabinoidal properties.
Rosemary, black pepper, and cannabis all contain a compound called beta-caryophyllene (BCP). BCP is a terpene that acts like a cannabinoid. Terpenes are flavor and aroma molecules found in plants. BCP is what gives all three of these plants a peppery punch.
There is a difference between cannabinoid compounds created by plants and those created by animals. Animals create endocannabinoids and plants create phytocannabinoids. These chemicals are very similar to each other, but they have some differences.
Much to the surprise of many, Italian researchers have found that black truffles create anandamide (AEA). AEA, also known as the bliss molecule, is the human version of THC. This endocannabinoid is usually made by animals and binds to the CB1 receptor.
Funny thing, while these truffles don’t have cannabinoid receptors, they do produce AEA. So, the theory is that the mushrooms create the compound to attract animals that will eat them and spread around their spores.
Many of these plants contain compounds that directly engage cannabinoid receptors. Yet, other plants contain compounds that act like nonpsychoactive CBD. CBD has many functions in the body. One of these functions is blocking an enzyme that breaks down endocannabinoids (enzyme FAAH).
Endocannabinoids are the body’s own THC. Preventing the breakdown of endocannabinoids increases the amount of them in your system. This can cause a cascade of effects, including mood stabilization.
Compounds in Maca (Lepidium meyenii) called N-benzylamines block FAAH. This improves endocannabinoid tone, boosting the system overall.