Many ceremonial cacao lovers report a notable impact on their mood. There is substantial science that explains why ceremonial cacao is so beneficial. Pure cacao contains beneficial neurotransmitters and neuro-modulators already present in our brain. It also contains reuptake inhibitors that block the pathways that our bodies normally use to break down and recycle these beneficial mood altering molecules, so the good mood lasts for longer. In the long term, regularly working with ceremonial cacao can have therapeutic health benefits, including creating new neural pathways that change our daily experience to include more joy, love, and connection.
Top Molecules in Cacao
Some of the top mood altering molecules in cacao include:
Anandamide is commonly referred to as the bliss molecule, and is associated with the runner’s high effect. It is actually the first endocannabinoid to be discovered, and it is well known for moderating pain. Cacao also has N-linoleoylethanolamine, which is the reuptake inhibitor for anandamide.
Phenylethylamine (PEA) - Helps with excitement, alertness, attention. Gives the perception of time slowing down.
Norepinephrine is commonly referred to as the joy molecule. It is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone,
Serotonin - Helps with wellbeing, and creates resistance to stress. Cacao also has MOA inhibitors that inhibit reuptake of serotonin.
Dopamine - Gives feelings of motivation and pleasure. Cacao also has MOA inhibitors that inhibit reuptake of dopamine.
Due to these molecules and many others, when you drink ceremonial cacao you may feel expansive, blissful, connected to self and/or others, inspired, connected to your intuition & vision, connected to spirit, grounded, emotions arise, and the movement of stuck energy. You can also experience increased blood flow, mood elevation, and a more expanded state of consciousness. Cacao is a vasodilator, meaning your blood vessels and muscular systems relax. When working with ceremonial doses of cacao, blood flow can increase by up to 30%, meaning that more blood (life force energy) is moving through your body and nourishing all of your systems.