Chocolate – Food of the Gods, Brain Cannabinoids, and Hedonic Eating

Meals of the Gods?

Slightly nerdy stuff. Ancient Mayans believed the kakaw (cacao) was uncovered by the gods in a hill that also contained other delectable foods to be employed by them. People have used cacao going back again at least to 1910 B. C. Early dishes for cacao entailed running up the seeds into a sludgy beverage with maize, chili, vanilla, and honey. Yummy! This must have been a great way to start out the day. CBD Protein Powder

Botanists (actually, that occupied boy Linnaeus) gave it the scientific name, Theobroma cacao (see the first in Species Plantarum, 1753, if your Latin is about snuff). He chose the name ‘theo’ (from Ancient, theos, meaning ‘god’) and ‘broma’ (from Greek, message food). There you have it… food of the gods. 

Now to that chemistry that makes it so good.

Goodies in Cacao

James Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases list practically 200 known chemicals which may have been isolated from Theobroma cacao. The volume of choices fats, with a smattering of alkaloids, polyphenols, and starch. Relating to the alkaloids, urban common myths claim that cacao either has lots of caffeine or none at all. In fact, it has a tiny amount corresponding to what you might find in decaffeinated coffee. The main activator alkaloid is actually a substance called theobromine, which has a much less severe effect than does it is compatriot, caffeine.

If you were to take a spoonful of this seedling powder (think baker’s unsweet ill-flavored chocolate powder), you would gag. Therefore the early on Meso-Americans cut it with maize and flavored it with chili, vanilla, and honey. Wouldn’t you?

That awful bitter flavor of raw cacao is also behind basic European dishes for chocolate, once ri?an arrived from the Ancient World. In Europe is where it became a confection that everyone understands and loves – i. e., cacao with milk and sugar added, to make chocolate.

Brain Cannabinoids in Chocolate

Scientists call certain substances ‘brain cannabinoids’ because their effects are mediated mostly by something called cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system. It is a ridiculous name in some ways, since cannabinoids are herb substances and our brain receptors are… well, individual. (Other animals have them, too. ) They received this name from early on studies on the results of cannabinoids on our native brain receptors.

Today along comes the real reason that we have these receptors. It is not, as die-hard users of NORML could have you believe, that we co-evolved with marijuana. It is because we developed pain for native neurotransmitters… DUH! It’s just that researchers didn’t really know what they were until 1992, so we got tied to phoning them cannabinoid receptors. Structured on this discovery, our natural neurotransmitters are now termed as endocannabinoids.

THC and Anandamide

The discovery in 1992, by Devane et al., was of a natural substance, called anandamide, that was your indigenous neurotransmitter that they’d recently been looking for. This is a major discovery. Since that time anandamide has recently been found to get a wide variety of roles. In consideration to chocolate, though, the roles on most interest are in the regulation of feeding behavior and the neural generation of determination and pleasure.

Feeding patterns? Motivation? Pleasure? Whenever we are talking about real cannabinoids, we could understand feeding behavior (munchies? ) and pleasure. Maybe not so much motivation!