Cannabis was quite a mystery until really very recently. Nobody knew too much about it. Of course, you knew its effects rather well, its insatiable “munchies,” its sleepiness, its other delights. However, science knew near nothing about the plant. Now, we know it contains an abundance of difference compounds, the majority of which consist of cannabinoids, terpenes, and yes, flavonoids. Just what are they?
Most folks know about cannabinoids. They order weed delivery, must know about cannabidiol, or CBD, and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. THC gives the “high,” CBD is popular and widespread. We know terpenes, responsible for smell and flavor of buds. They come with helpful properties all their own. Then, there are flavonoids. Now under scientific scrutiny. What effect do they have on plants? On you?
All about Flavonoids
Flavonoids are phytonutrients, common molecules essential for plant survival. They are present in almost all fruits and vegetables. In fact, flavonoids are what give them their vibrant and tempting colors. Flavonoids are the compounds that give color to flowers. They are behind the reds, blues, and yellows so essential to attracting pollinating animals, such as birds and bees. Some argue them essential for all life.
Frankly, flavonoids are abundant. Science already counts well over 6,000 different flavonoids, with 12 unique categories to fit them all. While all flavonoids are crucial, flavan-3-ols, flavonols, anthocyanidins, flavanones, flavones, and isoflavones are among the most important for human health. They are simply the most nutritious. Therefore, they offer the most significant dietary benefit.
The Flavonoid Effect
Studies are emerging that suggest flavonoids responsible, in large part, for the hordes of dietary benefits that fruits and vegetables offer. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, data collected by the Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute reveal the therapeutic potential of flavonoids, already proven with powerful anticancer, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-thrombogenic effects.
Excitingly, that does not even begin to cover the value of flavonoids medicinally. Other evidence also exists, as discovered and referenced by Linus Pauling, to show flavonoids playing a much bigger role in the improvement of cardiovascular and metabolic health than earlier believed. Other studies show some flavonoids helping diabetics to attain better glycemic control. Their potential seems limitless.
Days of Old
Flavonoids are not only phytonutrients. No. They are much more, belonging specifically to a group of phytonutrients called polyphenols. In ancient Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic too, folks used polyphenols for a variety of medical applications, from boosting cognitive function to regulating blood pressure and sugar, even protecting the skin. It was also a popular anti-inflammatory. An antioxidant too.
With the evidence currently available to us, studies suggest that flavonoids could help greatly with:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Neurodegenerative Disorders
Already, you can find flavonoids available in supplement form. Readily too. However, according to Linus Paulus, it is not especially advisable to consume them in supplement form. They are healthier and work best in their natural state. As supplements, they can cause some dizziness, nausea, vomiting, even tremors. Rather, it is better to use cannabis, or other flavonoid-rich plants, to ingest their benefits.
There is a reason why your grandparents likely told you to not to leave the skins of fruits and vegetables on your plate: This is where many scientists believe them concentrated most. As compounds, they are also particularly vulnerable to the elements, as well as most cooking methods. Cooking flavonoids tends to destroy them, which is why a diet with raw buds, fruits and vegetables promises the highest benefits.
Flavonoids in Cannabis
As with most others in the plant kingdom, cannabis is abundant in flavonoids. Really. The vibrant colors, pungent smells, and drool worthy flavors of a particular strain rely heavily on which flavonoids and terpenes it contains. Cannabis buds are exceptionally colorful. They come in a rich diversity of greens, yellows, browns, oranges, reds, purples, even blues. Flavonoids are responsible for these pigments.
Throughout the life of a cannabis plant, flavonoids are present. It produces them constantly. Flavonoids have other important functions too, besides just coloring buds. They deter pests. Prevent disease. Filter ultraviolet rays. Unfortunately, due to past prohibition and current federal laws, scientists are only now able to study the plant freely. We now know, with certainty, that cannabis produces these flavonoids:
- Cannaflavins A, B, and C
Cannabis plants make flavonoids according to two factors: Genetics and growing conditions. This determines which flavonoids you will get. Knowledge remains limited currently. However, our understanding of flavonoids and their functions grows. With additional study, underway right now, scientists will soon know just how much of a contribution flavonoids make to the unique effects of pot.
A quick Google search will give you all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and yes, even flavonoids that you could ever need. Just order cannabis delivery. However, because flavonoids degrade quickly under heat, experts advise eating them raw to maximize their benefits. Toke your joints, puff your bowls, vape your oils; you can still do it all. Just remember to sprinkle raw bud over your food every so often too.