Alkylamides are fatty acids found widely distributed throughout the biological kingdom, most notably in higher plants and fungi. Plants containing these active compounds have been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for millennia. Over the last decade scientific interest in alkylamides has increased significantly. The reason for this interest is alkylamides interact with biological systems within the human body and can confer therapeutic effects which may assist in the treatment of conditions including inflammation, pain perception, anxiety, depression, immune function and addictive behaviour.

Our Head Candy products contain naturally derived alkylamides which are designed to reduce reliance on nicotine, using two unique properties; physical mouth feel and chemical modulation.


A physical mouth feel

A distinct effect of alkylamides is their ability to activate certain potassium ion channels found within cells on the surface of the mouth and tongue. These ion channels are involved in our perception of sensation through the activation of nerve fibres which produce a pleasant tingling effect in the mouth: providing a physical sensation to flavour. The tingling effect helps creates a deeper sense of fulfilment designed to assist with reducing cravings and mimic the gentle tingling sensation often associated with smoking.



Chemical modulation of nicotine withdrawal

Nicotine withdrawal can create unpleasant symptoms which are usually treated with products containing nicotine such as vape liquids, nicotine patches and nicotine tablets. Whilst these alleviate withdrawal symptoms, they simply prolong nicotine addiction. However, the brain chemistry is altered by continued exposure to nicotine, resulting in the elevation of dopamine (pleasure response hormone) release and reduction in hormones that lower dopamine release - gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA). Through continued exposure the body becomes dependant on nicotine to regulate dopamine levels. For those wishing to quit smoking or reduce their reliance on nicotine, alkylamides may provide a natural alternative.

Alkylamides also play a role in regulating the endocannabinoid system within the body via two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2. The full effect and regulation of these systems is still yet to be fully understood.  However, recent research has revealed it is involved in key processes such as cognition, mood regulation, the immune system and pain perception. Alkylamides have been shown to interact with these CB1 and CB2 receptors to positively alter outcomes such as pain relief, inflammation, cravings and anxiety.


A natural answer to nicotine withdrawal

Through a combination of unique physical mouth feel aimed at supressing cravings and mimicking the sensory effect of smoking and the chemical modulation of moods, cravings and inflammatory pain (headaches) within the endocannabinoid system, alkylamides aim to provide a unique two-pronged approach to reduce reliance on nicotine replacement therapies.