Understanding Flavonoids in Cannabis
What are Flavonoids - Understanding Flavonoids in Cannabis
What are flavonoids?
While cannabinoids and terpenes seem to be the main topics of conversation when discussing the remarkable compounds found within cannabis, flavonoids may have taken a back seat. With more than 20 varieties of flavonoids known to exist in cannabis, it’s time to take a closer look.
Flavonoids are found in a variety of plants, known to affect the pigmentation mainly of flowers for the purpose of attracting pollinators. They also play a role in protecting plants from UV rays, pests, and diseases (learn more here), and anecdotal evidence suggests that they offer antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory benefits to humans when consumed.
What role do flavonoids play in cannabis?
First, flavonoids affect the coloration, flavours, and aromas in cannabis. Certain flavonoids are responsible for the deep purple colours found in some cannabis strains, similar to the dark colours evident in berries. Flavonoids are also thought to interact with terpenes in cannabis to influence the odour and flavour of the strain.
Flavonoids are thought to be responsible for the deep purple colours often found in cannabis strains. Image source: unsplash.com
In addition to their colouring and flavouring properties, flavonoids are considered “pharmacologically active” compounds, which means they are thought to provide medicinal benefits to consumers. Though further research is required to empirically prove how flavonoids interact with terpenes and cannabinoids, and are absorbed by the body, it is thought that they play an important role in the entourage effect – a term used to describe the synergistic nature of the many active compounds found in cannabis, and how they are absorbed through the body’s endocannabinoid system.
The future of flavonoids
While we’ve learned a lot about flavonoids in recent years, the general consensus in the cannabis community is that there’s a lot more left to discover about these interesting compounds. Though cannabinoids have taken centre stage in cannabis research, with terpenes playing the supporting role, scientists, industry professionals, and consumers alike are gaining a better understanding of the role flavonoids play in cannabis products. From dried flower to extracts, concentrates, edibles, and vape products, a deeper understanding of these compounds will lead to better recreational and medicinal products, and more benefits to end consumers.
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