Flavonoids;

What are they & how they apply to cannabis.

Flavonoids are one of the most exciting and underrated phytonutrients. Flavonoids are not just found in cannabis. Thousands are found in nature. Flavonoids are known for giving plants, fruit & other organic matter their vivid colours. These flavonoids contribute to the taste and smell of the plant as well. Flavonoids make up roughly 10% of the known compounds found in cannabis, with around 20 varieties of flavonoids found in the cannabis plant. Flavonoids could be the next big thing in cannabis research as more discoveries are found.

What is interesting about flavonoids is that some are only found in the cannabis plant, known as Cannaflavins. Similar to terpenes, they share a role in how we perceive cannabis. Cannaflavins give the cannabis plant its pigmentation and flavour. Though Cannaflavins are one of the most understudied compounds scientists, have found over the years 20 distinct cannaflavins.

How do Cannaflavins apply to vaping cannabis?

Most compounds found naturally in cannabis do not get you high. This applies to Cannaflavins as well. It is thought that Cannaflavins help contribute to the entourage effect. The “Entourage Effect” is a word coined in the cannabis world to describe how cannabis compounds react with each other. For example, terpenes, cannabinoids and cannaflavins have been observed and shown to work in conjunction to optimise their therapeutic benefits. Cannaflavins are known to help reduce the psychoactive effects of THC as well potentially.

Cannaflavin A, Cannaflavin B, and Cannaflavin C are the most studied cannaflavins. Cannaflavin A & B were discovered way back in the 1980s by Dr Marilyn Barrett. During her time as a PhD student at The School of Pharmacy at The University of London, while working on a project researching remedies for inflammation of knee joints in individuals who went through surgery for rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory effects produced by Cannaflavin A and Cannaflavin B are believed to be up to 30x more potent than those produced by anti-inflammatories such as NSAIDs.

Despite their effectiveness, the amount of cannaflavins in cannabis is minimal. Cannaflavins are believed to make up less than 0.15% of the fresh weight of cannabis. This means that large quantities of cannabis would have to be consumed to take place for these effects. To work around this, researchers have been metabolically engineering cannaflavins separately from the cannabis plant. By doing these, researchers can identify the genes responsible for producing cannaflavins in cannabis and isolate them.

Though there is not a substantial amount of information into the science of how flavonoids and cannaflavins interact, more and more research is being done to help bring more information to us. Flavonoids are vast. As more research is conducted, we will learn about their therapeutic qualities and apply them to cannabis consumption.

Cannaflavin A,B, & C: anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antioxidant, & potential anticancer properties.

Quercetin: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective, cancer-fighting, immunoprotective, eases skin irritation with topical application.

Beta-Sitosterol: anti-inflammatory.

Isovitexin: antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperalgesia, and neuroprotective.

Vitexin: antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperalgesia, and neuroprotective.

References: Here, Here and Here