You’ve probably already heard of cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC. You may also be familiar with the benefits of specific terpenes, such as beta-caryophyllene or linalool.
But have you heard about flavonoids and cannaflavins? These lesser-known components of cannabis also play an important role in how CBD oil makes us feel and the benefits it provides.
What are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are similar to terpenes in that they impact how cannabis smells and tastes. And just like terpenes, flavonoids are not specific to cannabis. Flavonoids are found all throughout nature in many other plants. In addition to influencing smell and taste, they can also give plants part of their pigmentation, help protect against UV rays, and protect the plant from diseases. Flavonoids are important to the overall survival of the plant.
What are Cannaflavins?
Cannaflavins are flavonoids that are found in cannabis. Research on cannabis is limited due to its prohibition, but we do know there are around 20 different cannaflavins in cannabis. Quercetin, Apigenin, β-sitosterol are just a few. Cannaflavins A, B, and C are also cannaflavins found in cannabis, but these are unique in that they have not been discovered in any other plants and are specific to just cannabis.
Cannaflavin A has been a point of some study and is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects more potent than that of aspirin. Apigenin is believed to act on GABA receptors and have sedating or anti-anxiety effects.
Just like terpenes, cannaflavins are believed to play a role in the entourage effect by promoting a synergistic effect in the body when combined with other naturally-occurring cannabinoids and terpenes. An interesting difference to cannabinoids, however, is that flavonoids are considered water-soluble.
How Do I Get Cannaflavins?
If you’re consuming a full spectrum CBD oil, cannaflavins should already be present. While it is now considered standard practice to provide cannabinoid and terpene profiles in third party lab reports, cannaflavins are not treated the same way. Since certain extraction methods can reduce the concentration of these components, we recommend checking for a significant presence of terpenes in any given product. If those are present, then it’s safe to assume cannaflavins probably are as well.
If you’re consuming a CBD isolate product, the extract has been refined enough to remove the cannaflavins. Unlike terpenes that can be easily added in after the fact, flavonoids are not typically used in the same way. So if you want their benefits, stick to full spectrum oils, or seek them out in other ways by eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies.