Utilizing ECS with FAAH Inhibitors for Therapeutic Functions
Because of its fairly recent discovery, clinicians are still in the thick of learning about the endocannabinoid system (ECS). And with the evidence gathered so far, scientists have been able to come to a general consensus that this new system has a far-reaching impact on many of the body’s critical functions such as cognition, sleep quality, discomfort perception, and immune response. It’s not a surprise then, that nutraceutical companies for both humans and animals have taken an interest in exploring how to include the ECS in the treatment process of various health conditions.
Of course, it’s near impossible to talk about the endocannabinoid system without at least some mention of cannabis. Its recent legalization in many states has been one of the primary drivers of the increased scientific interest in ECS in general. However, with cannabis and the logistical issues that still hound its pharmacological utilization, researchers are also hard at work at finding alternatives that might have less roadblocks to enlisting the ECS in delivering positive medical outcomes. One of the most promising routes being considered is by using Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitors.
Cannabis Works, But are the Side-Effects Worth the Risk?
The anandamide is one of the first and most active types of bioactive lipid endocannabinoid discovered. Once it goes through hydrolysis and fully metabolized, it binds with CB1 receptors that control neurobehavioral processes such as discomfort perception, cognition, memory, and even pleasure according to Peter Grinspoon of Harvard Health Publishing.
The THC and CBD content in cannabis, which are chemically identical to anandamide, works by binding with the CB1 receptors which results in similar effects in regulating the body’s neurobehavioral processes and critical feedback mechanisms. However, the psychoactive effects of cannabis can range from unwanted euphoria, sedation, to hallucinations in humans which can be dangerous especially if it’s not taken under responsible supervision. In animals, on the other hand, the effects can be much more difficult to interpret or even predict. Furthermore, CB1 activation via cannabis often results in weight gain, decreased motility, and weakened cognition.
One of the most promising alternatives to utilizing the ECS for medical purposes are FAAH inhibitors. We, at alchemypet, are excited about the results of recently conducted studies and are eager to see how we can use our knowledge and technological advantage in bringing the benefits of FAAH inhibitors to our beloved companion pets.
How FAAH Inhibitors Enhance Endogenous Cannabinoid
FAAH is an enzyme responsible for activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors responsible for many of the body’s critical functions. It accomplishes this task by putting anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) through enzymatic hydrolysis. Once the process is complete, these endocannabinoids become receptor agonists with immense influence over the body’s neurobehavioral processes. Studies suggest that inhibiting hydrolysis can increase endogenous anandamide levels.
The first and most important difference between cannabis and FAAH inhibitors is that the latter does not intend to supplement the amount of natural endocannabinoid already in the system. It merely prolongs the breakdown and enhances the effects of endocannabinoid already in the system.
Because it does not involve the introduction of CBD and THC to achieve the desired therapeutic outcomes, FAAH inhibitors deliver the same results without the psychoactive effects. Furthermore, current evidence also suggests that long-term use does not have any deleterious effects. It is, therefore, considered as a more desirable approach to utilizing the ECS as a means of delivering treatment especially in medium to long-term therapy.
What are the Effects of FAAH Inhibitor-Enhanced Endocannabinoid?
There are vast studies of the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, cardioprotective, and anxiolytic properties of cannabinoid. However, the psychoactive effects makes cannabis-based cannabinoid undesirable for many. FAAH Inhibitors, on the other hand, can reproduce the same effects without any of the side-effects which makes it an excellent long-term therapeutic agent.
Manages Discomfort Perception
One effect that recurs in most studies done on FAAH inhibitors is that it can function as an analgesic. In vivo studies have shown that FAAH inhibitors can suppress peripheral discomfort perception. These compounds, therefore, are already under investigation by clinicians as an analgesic agent for both animals and humans without any of the side-effects of typical traditional analgesics. Dogs with injuries or suffers from physical trauma can, therefore, benefit a lot from taking FAAH Inhibitors during the recovery period.
Facilitates Fear Extinction
Lab experiments indicate that FAAH inhibitors can facilitate fear extinction in both humans and rodents which gives it the ability to minimize anxiety as well as antidepressant properties. This is a promising development especially for pets with separation anxiety or other behavioral issues. One promising potential application of FAAH Inhibitors, for example, is for soothing pets rescued from abusive situations.
Has Cardioprotective Properties
Researchers also allude to the potential of FAAH Inhibitors’ utility as a cardioprotective therapy due to its ability to reduce chronic anxiety. They suggest that since these bioactive lipids are free from side-effects and negative long-term outcomes, it has the potential to serve as an excellent way to protect the cardiovascular system as well.
Since CB1 receptors are widespread in regions of the brain involved in many neurological disorders, scientists also theorize that cannabinoid has a significant positive effect on spasticity and tremor in MS. By enhancing endocannabinoids through FAAH Inhibition, they also posit that patients should also experience heightened anti-inflammatory properties from endogenous cannabinoid ligands.