The cannabis plant contains over 200 compounds. We’ve already written about some of the 80 cannabinoids found in cannabis and discussed the function of terpenes, but we have yet to speak about flavonoids. They account for around 20 compounds from the 200, so it’s worth learning a thing or two.
The word flavonoid comes from the latin word “flavus”, which means yellow. It goes hand in hand with their function in plants – they’re important plant pigments, producing yellow and red/blue colour in petals to attract pollinator animals like bees.
In cannabis, the flavonoids are called cannaflavins and their main function is to provide the unique smell, taste, vibrant colour and overall sensory experience of each cannabis strain. The distribution of cannaflavins depends mainly on genetics and growing conditions. It is now possible to extract them allowing for a more concentrated sample with stronger tastes and smells, that could be used to supplement your normal cannabis consumption. They do not add to the “high” as they are not psychoactive, but they have a relaxing effect similar to CBD.
Flavonoids play an important role in cultivation too. Various flavonoids are expressed during cannabis growth and operate in areas like UV filtering and prevention from pest and fungi.
Generally, flavonoids are members of the largest nutrient family scientists know. There are around 6,000 flavonoids identified so far. They’re present in many foods that we consume every day, like citrus fruits, blueberries, cacao and herbs. For example “catechins” found in green tea and cacao, and “quercetin” present in fruit, vegetables and cannabis are known for producing antioxidants. It is important that the plant is grown properly to allow for the full range of flavonoids it can offer.
Cannaflavins are currently being researched and there is still a lot to learn. Scientists are discovering how the presence of common cannabis flavonoids like β-sitosterol, vitexin, isovitexin, apigenin, kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin, and orientin work in relation to cannabinoids and terpenes under the overall entourage effect.
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