One of the reasons that I enjoy writing these articles is that it gives me a chance to learn about the wondrous plant known as genus Cannabis. It is such a complicated miracle of nature. Today, I will be writing about Flavonoids in cannabis, which is a group of natural chemicals known as a phytonutrients. Most notably, they provide the color in many of our fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants and cannabis strains. Along with terpenes and the cannabinoids, THC and CBD, flavonoids play a role in providing many health benefits. They also play a major role in cannabis cultivation.
As the cannabis plants grow, flavonoids are expressed and function as a UV light filter, protection from fungi and pests while attracting pollinators. They also contribute to the color, taste, smell, sensory experience and the composition of the Entourage Effect, often referred to as Whole Plant Medicine. That is why using the entire plant is much more effective than isolating individual cannabinoids.
Unfortunately, due to the federal ban on cannabis, there has been very little research done on identifying the flavonoids in the cannabis plant. Scientists are very familiar with the flavonoids that exist in edibles plants that we use every day. Over 6,000 flavonoids have been identified by researchers. Many of these occur in the fruits, vegetables and herbs that we all use in our daily food preparations. It is now known that there are 20 cannabis flavonoids.
Some of the health benefits now being attributed to flavonoids include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-cancer, anti-anxiety, cholesterol reducing properties and a significant positive impact on the cardiovascular system. Those flavonoids that occur in plants, fruits, vegetables AND cannabis are now referred to as “cannaflavins.
Examples of Cannaflavins
Quercetin is also found in green tea, red wine and berries. It is now known to have powerful antioxidant, antiviral and anti-cancer properties.
Cannaflavin-A is a potent anti-inflammatory, more powerful than aspirin. It works like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) by inhibiting “PGE-2;” a prostaglandin which elicits the inflammatory response.
Apigenin is also found in parsley, celery and chamomile. It functions as an anti-anxiety and an anti-inflammatory.
Researchers are studying Cannaflavin-B and Cannaflavin-C. Other cannaflavins such as β-sitosterol, vitexin, isovitexin, kaempferol, luteolin, and orientin are being investigated as to how they work with or against cannabis cannabinoids and terpenes.
The distribution of flavonoids within any particular cannabis strain depends on the genetics, the growing conditions and the type of flavonoid. They are known to be found in cured cannabis leaves and flowers in large enough concentrations to harvest them. Eventually, you will be able to dab some flavonoid oil or add it to your vaporizer. As we learn more about cannaflavins, the health benefits that the cannabis plant provides for us keep on growing.
Source: MerryJane.com, Everything You Need To Know About Cannabis Flavonoids, September 28, 2016, Zoe Wilder