Enzymes are natural substances our bodies produce to create and break down certain chemicals. For example, when a cell needs to send a message, endocannabinoids are made by breaking down fats with the help of enzymes. After the endocannabinoids do their job, they are removed from the cells by a particular protein and broken down further by other enzymes. Regarding endocannabinoids, two types of enzymes help break them down so they don't stay in our body for too long:
- Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH): findings suggest that FAAH has a natural ability to break down anandamide and 2-AG.
- Monoacylglycerol acid lipase (MAG-L): Once the 2-AG molecule has completed its function, it is taken back into the cells and broken down by an enzyme called MAGL. The body uses the broken-down product to produce other compounds.
Understanding how these enzymes work could help create new treatments for diseases like addiction.