Cannabis Flavonoids: What Are They & What Do They Do?
- What are Flavonoids?
- What do Flavonoids Do?
- How are Flavonoids Different from Terpenes?
- How do Flavonoids Work With Cannabis?
What Are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are compounds (called phytonutrients, or plant chemicals) found in thousands of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Similar to terpenes, they contribute to plants’ overall aromas and flavors. Since flavonoids are found in countless plants in nature, cannabis-specific flavonoids are referred to as cannflavins. Cannflavins give different cannabis cultivars their unique colors and work with terpenes to create unique scents and tastes.
What Do Flavonoids Do?
Flavonoids play an important role in a plant. It may seem like giving something color isn’t a big deal, but pigmentation can be crucial to a plant’s survival. Pigmentation can attract pollinators which are essential in the propagation of most plant species. Flavonoids also play a role in protecting a plant from things like UV rays, bugs, and even disease.
Cannflavins, as they pertain to their effect on the human body, are woefully understudied. While researchers have been diving headfirst into the study of cannabinoids and terpenes, cannflavins have only just started to get their deserved attention. Right now, scientists are trying to better understand their role in the entourage effect, the theory that all cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids work together in the body to produce certain qualities.
But the problem is the amount of cannflavins in cannabis is tiny, likely less than 0.014%. So it would be impossible to consume enough marijuana to actually experience the qualities of cannflavins. So what do we do? We engineer cannflavins. This way, we can study these unique molecules and better understand their role both inside and outside the body.
How Are Flavonoids Different From Terpenes?
The truth is, flavonoids and terpenes are actually pretty similar. Flavonoids and terpenes both have unique effects on the endocannabinoid system. And most importantly, flavonoids and terpenes both work together to create the plant’s aroma and flavor. Flavonoids, however, take charge when it comes to producing color—that is a unique benefit they bring to all plants, including some of your most impressive-looking marijuana flower.
We’ve already mentioned how cannflavins are unique to cannabis, but there are even more flavonoids that can be found in different types of plants. For example, quercetin can be found in many fruits and vegetables, and catechins is a flavonoid found in cocoa and tea. If you’ve checked out our cannabis terpenes guide, you already know that there are plenty of terpenes found in nature as well, in cannabis and in other vegetation.
Wondering about cannabinoids too? Our guide to cannabinoids and their effects can answer your questions.
How Do Flavonoids Work With Cannabis?
If you’re consuming cannabis, the plant’s flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids will all work together to create the entourage effect. While some cannabis flower is given its name because of its bright colors—check out Grape Ape, Black Russian, Panama-Sedena Red, and Rainbow Kush for some truly impressive looking flower—you can’t currently consume marijuana and know you’re experiencing the benefits or properties of a specific cannflavin. This is because there just isn’t enough there to harness any known benefits of the various flavonoids. In the future, man-made flavonoids may provide new options, but currently, flavonoids can make marijuana look beautiful and contribute to the entourage effect, but that’s the extent of how they work in cannabis.
Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.