Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) overview

There is a reported that Food and Drug Administration approved to submit an application for a clinical trial to treat COVID-19 by using a synthetic drug that mimics the action of a molecule found in marijuana.

The synthetic drug, called ultramicronized palmitoylethanolamide (micro PEA), is believed to act as an anti-inflammatory. Palmitoylethanolamide(PEA) is a “a naturally occurring fatty acid” similar to an endocannabinoid, one of a suite of molecules found in cannabis in that targets CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors are thought to modulate both inflammation and pain throughout the human body.

Since [micro PEA] has been used in Europe for 20 years, some Italian health-care providers were advocating the use of micro PEA to treat COVID-19 patients and they were discovering some success.

Severe COVID-19 is characterized by an over-exuberant inflammatory response that may lead to a cytokine storm. “micro PEA is not a virus killer, but they believe it can mitigate that immune response, which can be fatal.

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What is Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a lipid that occurs naturally in our body in the category of fatty acid amide. It is hence an endogenous lipid. PEA is also naturally produced in plants and animals.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) can be found in food such as milk, soy beans, garden peas, soy lecithin, meat, eggs and peanuts.

Nobel Prize winner Levi-Montalcini identified Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) as a naturally occurring molecule, describing its value in treating chronic infections and pains. Following her discovery, hundreds of scientific studies have been carried out to show that it is very effective and safe to use. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is described in scientific writings as a natural painkiller.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)
Palmitoylethanolamide supplement - How does PEA work for the pain?

Palmitoylethanolamide benefits – What is Palmitoylethanolamide used for?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a fatty acid amide and is synthesized and acts inside our body for regulation of various functions. It is an endogenous fatty acid amide, belonging to the class of nuclear factor agonists. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) has actually been actually widely discovered in a lots of inflammatory animal models, along with in several medical tests.

It is a natural painkiller and can be used for chronic pain and inflammation. It also exerts some other beneficial effect like neuropathic ache, fibromyalgia, several sclerosis, repetitive strain injury, infections of the respiratory tract, and many other disorders.

Some of the reported palmitoylethanolamide benefits include;

i. Supports brain health

Palmitoylethanolamide benefits in enhancing brain health are associated with its ability to fight neural inflammation and also promotion of neural cells survive. This is noted more with people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders and stroke.

For instance, in a study of 250 people suffering from stroke, palmitoylethanolamide supplement administered along with luteolin was found to enhance recovery. PEA was found to enhance memory, the general brain health as well as day to day functioning. These effects of palmitoylethanolamide powder were noticed 30 days after supplementation and increased over one more month.

ii. Relieve from multiple pain and Inflammation

Scientists provide considerable evidences of palmitoylethanolamide pain relieving properties. As a matter of fact, palmitoylethanolamide offers pain relief to diverse types of pain and inflammation. Some studies that demonstrates palmitoylethanolamide pain relief properties are;

In a study involving animals, palmitoylethanolamide supplement along with quercetin was found to offer relief from joint pain as well as improve the joint functioning and protection of cartilage from damage.

Some preliminary studies show that PEA can help reduce nerve pains in diabetic patients (diabetic neuropathy).

In another study with 12 people, a palmitoylethanolamide dosage of 300 and 1,200 mg/day given for about 3 to 8 weeks was found to lower the intensity of chronic and neuropathic pain.

A study of 80 patients suffering from Fibromyalgia syndrome found out that PEA in addition to other medicines for the disorder potentially lower the pain.

Further, several other studies show the palmitoylethanolamide pain relief potential including relieve from pelvic pain, sciatic pain, back pain, cancer pain among others.

iii. Helps reduce the symptoms of depression

PEA indirectly influences the receptors responsible for mood. Some studies demonstrate palmitoylethanolamide anxiety relief as a key role in fighting depression.

In a study of 58 patients with depression, palmitoylethanolamide supplement at 1200 mg/day along with antidepressant medication (citalopram) administered for 6 weeks was found to significantly improve the mood and the general depression symptoms.

iv. It relieves the common cold

Palmitoylethanolamide benefits in combating the common cold lies in its ability to destroy the virus responsible for the common cold (influenza virus). Surprisingly, the common cold occurs widely and affects almost everybody especially people with comprised immunity.

A study with 900 young soldiers demonstrated that a palmitoylethanolamide dosage of 1200 mg per day reduced the time taken by the participant to heal from the cold and also the symptoms such as headaches, fever and sore throat.

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Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)
Palmitoylethanolamide supplement - How does PEA work for the pain?

v. Lowers the symptoms of insular (multiple) sclerosis

With the proven palmitoylethanolamide anti-inflammatory properties, PEA is undoubtedly suitable for treating multiple sclerosis.

In a study of 29 patients suffering from advanced multiple sclerosis, PEA added to the standard dose of interferon IFN-β1a was found to lower the pain as well as enhanced the patients’ quality of life.

vi. Palmitoylethanolamide improves metabolism

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is able to bind to PPAR- α, a receptor responsible for metabolism, appetite, weight loss and fats burning.  When the PPAR- α receptor is triggered you experience high energy levels which helps the body burn more fats in exercises hence you lose weight.

vii. Palmitoylethanolamide can lower your appetite

Palmitoylethanolamide weight loss potential is demonstrated in its ability to influence your appetite. Similar to enhancing the metabolism, when the PPAR- α receptor is activated it leads to a feeling of fullness while eating thus helps you control the amount of calories consumed.

Further, PEA is considered a fatty acid ethanolamides that plays a key role in feeding behavior. In a study of overiectomized rats with high weight gain, PEA supplement at 30 mg/kg body weight for 5 weeks was found to significantly lower their food intake, fat mass and consequently the body weight.

viii. Palmitoylethanolamide anti-inflammatory effects during exercise

One may experience pain and inflammation during and after workouts due to excessive weight. Well, PEA supplement could help prevent this by stimulating anti-inflammatory activity of the PPAR- α receptor. Palmitoylethanolamide can also inhibit the release of inflammatory enzymes in the by the human adipose tissues.

Who should take a supplement of Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) supplement is fit for all suffering from adverse pain or inflammation and also anyone interested in weight loss whether on medication or not. PEA has been seen to enhance the efficacy of other drugs. It is an option for those who do not find relief in using the prescribed pain killers.

Palmitoylethanolamide anxiety relief is an excellent attribute anyone at risk of depression or suffering from depression should take PEA for.

Furthermore, one would reap more of the PEA from supplements since manufacturers seek formulations that increases palmitoylethanolamide bioavailability in your body.

What is PEA derived from?

PEA is naturally produced in our bodies and also by animals and plants. However, for people with chronic pain or inflammation, PEA occurs in insufficient amount hence the need for PEA supplements.

Palmitoylethanolamide can be derived from food sources rich in proteins such as milk, meat, soy beans, soy lecithin, peanuts and garden peas among others. However, the PEA obtained from food sources is in small amounts.  This makes palmitoylethanolamide bulk production necessary to meet this dietary needs.

Does PEA get you high?

Phenethylamine and Palmitoylethanolamide both can call PEA, but they totally different products.

Phenethylamine (PEA) is an organic compound, natural monoamine alkaloid, and trace amine, which acts as a central nervous system stimulant in humans. Phenethylamine stimulates the body to make certain chemicals that play a role in depression and other psychiatric conditions.

Taken in doses of 500mg-1.5g per dosage, every few hours, PEA provides the user a feeling of euphoria, energy, stimulation, and overall well being.

However, please kindly note that Phenethylamine (PEA) is not Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). Phenethylamine supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use.  Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a natural substance produced by the body; it is very effective and safe to use as a supplement for pain and inflammation.

Is PEAsupplement safe?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a natural substance produced by the body; it is very effective and safe to use as a supplement for pain and inflammation. No adverse palmitoylethanolamide side effects have been reported as well as no adverse interactions with other drugs.

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What are the side effects of PEA?

There are no serious side effects or drug-drug interactions have been reported so far. Palmitoylethanolamide can be taken together with any other substance. It enhances the pain-relieving effect of classic analgesics and anti-inflammatories.

Is Palmitoylethanolamide safe in pregnancy?

Not to be used by pregnant women.

Palmitoylethanolamide may help nutritionally address inflammation and chronic pain.

It should only be taken under medical supervision.

Palmitoylethanolamide half life – How long does it take for pea to work?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) can be taken together with other pain medication or alone, as advised by your health care professional, to support pain relief.

Effectiveness for pain relief is 8 hr

Results variable; results within 48 hr in some people, but use for 8 weeks for maximum results, can be used long term for chronic neurological pain.

How does PEA work for pain?

Research has shown that PEA possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive properties and taking it regularly may boost your body’s natural response to pain by dampening the response of the nervous system cells which cause pain.

Palmitoylethanolamide also works indirectly to induce the activities of some receptors such as the cannabinoid receptors. PEA indirectly stimulates the cannabinoid receptors(CB1 and CB2) by acting as enzyme (FAAH -fatty acid amide hydrolase) involved in the breakdown of the cannabinoid anandamide. This help in raising the levels of anandamide in our bodies, which is responsible for relaxation and combating pain.

What is PEA for pain relief?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a natural substance produced by the body; it is an endogenous fatty acid amide, belonging to the class of nuclear factor agonists, and can be used as a supplement for pain and inflammation treatment . PEA is a natural, protective, fatty molecule produced in our body, helping support the myelin nerve sheaths for good nerve function.

PEA is a fatty acid that is involved in various cellular functions in inflammation and chronic pain, and has been shown to have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive (anti-pain) and anti-convulsant properties. It also reduces gastrointestinal motility and cancer cell proliferation, as well as protecting the vascular endothelium in the ischemic heart. Often in people with chronic disorders, the body does not produce enough PEA, thus by taking PEA to supplement the body’s shortage is may be beneficial in helping to treat these conditions.

Is Pea an anti inflammatory?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an interesting anti-inflammatory therapeutic substance and might also hold great promise for the treatment of a number of (auto)immune disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease and inflammatory diseases of the CNS.

Is pea good for arthritis?

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) offers benefit for arthritis both in regards to reducing the development and maintenance of chronic pain but also to help limit the progress of joint destruction associated with arthritis.

What are the best painkillers for nerve pain?

PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) has been around since the 1970’s but is gaining a reputation as a new agent in treating inflammation and pain. No drug interactions or serious side effect have been identified.

PEA has demonstrated effectiveness for chronic pain of multiple types associated with many painful conditions, especially with neuropathic (nerve) pain, inflammatory pain and visceral pain such as endometriosis and interstitial cystitis.

How can I treat nerve pain at home?

PEA is a fatty molecule that helps support the myelin nerve sheaths for good nerve function.

Deficiency of vitamins from the B group can not only cause nerve pain, but also increases it.

Additional unpleasant symptoms could also occur, such as a wobbly gait, tingling and stinging of the hands and feet, a feeling as if one is walking on barbed wire or cotton wool or even numbness of the

hands and feet.

Too little vitamin B1 leads to disturbance in the functioning of the nerves and consequently to neuropathy and nerve pain. When adding vitamin B1, the pain decreases and the nerve function improves. Vitamin B1 can be taken together with PEA, this provides optimal support to the functioning of the nerves, prevents nerve pain or worsening pains. Recent studies have shown that many people with chronic pain, elderly people and diabetics have an inadequate amount of these vitamins in their blood. This is one of the reasons that these people cannot be treated only with painkillers; they need

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more than that. PEA plus B vitamins supports the nervous and immune systems in cases of nerve pain.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA)
Palmitoylethanolamide supplement - How does PEA work for the pain?

Is Palmitoylethanolamide a cannabinoid?

CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compounds extracted from hemp and marijuana. While the body produces cannabinoids naturally, CBD has been supplemented to meet the need.

Cannabinoids are the biological active chemicals produced in the body that are responsible for memory, pain, appetite, and movement. Scientists speculate that cannabinoids may be beneficial in reducing inflammation and anxiety, destroying cancer cells, offering relaxation in muscles and also enhances appetite.

PEA is a fatty acid amide also produced in the body and can be referred to as a cannabimimetic. This means it mimics the works of CBD in your body.

Both CBD and PEA acts indirectly by inhibiting the fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which usually breakdown anandamide and weakens it. This results to high levels of anandamide. Anandamide plays a major role in the mood and also motivation. The increased levels of anandamide positively influence the endocannabinoid system.

PEA has gained popularity and competes with CBD. PEA is considered a safe alternative to CBD due to the legal issues facing it and also the fact that most people cannot tolerate the high levels of ‘stone’ that comes with the CBD.

Further, PEA is much cheaper than CBD. However, PEA can be used in addition to CBD to achieve synergetic effects.

Is Pea an endocannabinoid?

NO, Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endocannabinoid-like lipid mediator with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. PEA supports the ECS via modulating endocannabinoid signaling and indirectly activating cannabinoid receptors.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is an important biological system that regulates and balances a wide range of physiological functions in the body. Research on the ECS has led to the identification of not only endocannabinoids such as anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), but also endocannabinoid-like lipid mediators such as palmitoylethanolamide (PEA). These endocannabinoid-like compounds often share the same metabolic pathways of endocannabinoids but lack binding affinity for the classical cannabinoid receptor type 1 and type 2 (CB1 and CB2).

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and Anandamide

Palmitoylethanolamide and anandamide are closely related since they are both endogenous fatty acid amide produced in the body.

PEA and anandamide are said to have synergistic effects in treatment of pain and also enhance the pain killers used.

They are also broken down by the fatty acid hydrolase enzyme in the body, hence the effects achieve when used together is more than when used on standalone supplement.

Palmitoylethanolamide VS Phenylethylamine

Phenethylamine a chemical substance that is naturally produced by the body. It is widely used for enhancing athletic performance and also can help relieve depression, aid in weight loss and enhance mood.

Palmitoylethanolamide on the other hand is a fatty acid amide that is largely known for pain and inflammation relief.

These two compounds are not related. The only thing that connects them is that they are both abbreviated as PEA.

How do I take Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) supplement?

While we emphasized the palmitoylethanolamide anti-inflammatory benefit among other benefits, it is worth bringing to your attention some more facts about PEA. PEA occurs in large particles and is insoluble in water, this makes palmitoylethanolamide bioavailability and absorption limited.

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The good news, however, is that manufacturers target formulations that enhance palmitoylethanolamide bioavailability for maximum utilization in your body. For these, PEA powder are available in normal powder form and micromized powder form.

Where to buy Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) powder?

We’re in an interesting era where online stores have become a one stop shop for everything including palmitoylethanolamide bulk supplies.  If you consider taking PEA, research widely for legit palmitoylethanolamide bulk supplement manufacturers. Most users of palmitoylethanolamide buy it from online stores and should consider their reviews for the best PEA powder in the market.


AEA: Anandamide

CB1:Cannabinoid type I receptor

CB2:Cannabinoid type II receptor

CENTRAL:Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials

FAAH:Fatty-acid amide hydrolase

NAAA:N-acylethanolamine hydrolyzing acid amidase



PPARα:Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha

PRISMA-P:Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols

VAS Pain:Visual Analog Scale for Pain

ECS:endocannabinoid system


[1] Artukoglu BB, Beyer C, Zuloff-Shani A, et al. Efficacy of palmitoylethanolamide for pain: a meta-analysis. Pain Physician 2017;20(5):353-362.

[2] Schifilliti C, Cucinotta L, Fedele V, et al. Micronized palmitoylethanolamide reduces the symptoms of neuropathic pain in diabetic patients. Pain Res Treat 2014;2014:849623.

[3] Keppel Hasselink JM, Hekker TA. Therapeutic utility of palmitoylethanolamide in the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with various pathological conditions: a case series. J Pain Res 2012;5:437-442.

[4] Keppel Hasselink JM, Kopsky DJ. The role of palmitoylethanolamide, an autacoid, in the symptomatic treatment of muscle cramps: three case reports and review of literature. J Clin Case Rep 2016;6(3).

[5] Costa B, Colombo A, Bettoni I, Bresciani E, Torsello A, Comelli F. The endogenous ligand palmitoylethanolamide relieves neuropathic pain via mast cell and microglia modulation. 21st Annual Symposium Of The International Cannabinoid Research Society. St. Charles, Il. Usa: Pheasant Run; 2011.