What is 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)?

What is 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG)?

2-AG (2-Arachidonoylglycerol) is an endocannabinoid that plays a part in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a cannabinoid ligand (ions or neutral molecules) isolated from intestinal tissue that is present in the brain in amounts 170 times greater than anandamide.

With the ECS as part of the nervous system, 2-AG is a neurotransmitter that modulates the cells that it encounters.

These happen on a certain rhythm conducted by the body’s internal clock. For example, research has shown that during the afternoon is when levels of 2-AG naturally peak; around when it’s time to relax and recharge as the day falls into night.

This particular endocannabinoid is the primary agonist for both CBD1 and CB2 receptors, which predominantly influences the immune system. Specifically, 2-AG is the primary ligand (binding molecule) for the CB2 receptor.

Like anandamide, 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) was discovered in the process of cannabis research on mammals by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam in the mid-90s. This discovery was done in his laboratory at the University of Jerusalem. 

The synthesis and degradation of 2-Arachidonoylglycerol

2-AG is made similarly to anandamide through the reaction of arachidonic acid with another endogenous molecule. Unlike anandamide, 2-AG needs glycerol rather than a free amine to make the chemical modifications needed.

Rather than directly synthesizing from the degradation of arachidonic acid 2-AG is formed when the arachidonic acid-containing phospholipid diacylglycerol (DAG) reacts with glycerol.

Arachidonic acid is an unsaturated, essential fatty acid. It is found in animal and human fat as well as in the liver, brain, and glandular organs, and is a constituent of animal phosphatides.

How 2-AG Affects Our Bodies

2-Arachidonoylglycerol is the most abundant endocannabinoid found in the body, While it modulates our immunity, it also affects our CB1 receptors in regulating mood, sleep, metabolism, pain, bone health, reproduction, memory, movement, and neuroprotection.

CBD can help increase the levels of 2-AG by preventing it from being broken down, while it also affects the response of CB1 receptors. Because 2-AG works under the body’s circadian rhythm, sleep is important in keeping the circulating levels regulated.

Since CBD helps in modulating CB1 receptors, it can help a person balance their circadian rhythm which will balance their sleep schedule. Thus keeping their 2-AG levels in check!

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