Until very recently, nobody really knew much about cannabis, except that it made you hungry and stoned. Science is now discovering a wealth of information about the plant. Thus far, it has identified well over 480 different compounds in marijuana plants, which primarily consist of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. What are flavonoids exactly, and what influence do they have on effects?
Understanding Flavonoids and Their Function
Flavonoids are common plant molecules that belong to the family of phytonutrients. You find them in almost all vegetables and fruits, and they are typically responsible for giving them their bright, attractive, and vibrant colors. Flavonoids play a crucial role in plants, particularly in the coloration of flowers, producing the yellows, blues, and reds that attract naturally pollinating animals, such as bees.
There is simply an abundance of flavonoids. Currently, science knows of more than 6,000 different types of them, which it breaks down into 12 different categories. All are important, but flavan-3-ols, anthocyanidins, flavonols, flavanones, flavones, and isoflavones are the flavonoids that are most important to us, since they have the highest dietary significance.
Effects of Flavonoids on Humans
Recent scientific data shows that flavonoids are likely responsible, at least partially, for the many dietary and health benefits of eating vegetables and fruits. Data from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reveals that flavonoids have many, many benefits for human health. Plant flavonoids have powerful anti-thombogenic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties.
That does not even scratch the surface of the medicinal value of flavonoids. The research uncovered by the Linus Pauling Institute also references other evidence that suggests the role of flavonoids in improving metabolic and cardiovascular health may be larger than originally thought. Studies also show some flavonoids with the ability to help diabetic patients achieve better glycemic control.
Role of Flavonoids in Age-Old Medicine
Not only do flavonoids belong to phytonutrients, but they also belong to a specific group of them called polyphenols. In ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, people commonly used polyphenols to boost brain function, protect the skin, and regulate both blood pressure and blood sugar. Polyphenols were also popular for the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
These days, with the information we now have available, science shows flavonoids also helping with:
- Neurodegenerative Disorders
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Weight Management
- Vitality and Longevity
Flavonoids are readily available for sale in supplement form. However, taking them as supplements is not particularly advisable, as the Linus Pauling Institute warns that they have shown association with some negative side effects, including dizziness, tremors, vomiting, and nausea. It is better and healthier to consume flavonoids in their natural form.
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 fruits and vegetables promises the highest benefits.
Flavonoids in Cannabis Plants
As with many other plants, cannabis contains an abundance of healthy flavonoids. In fact, the intense coloring, smells and flavors attributed to a particular strain is the direct result of two important compounds in that specific plant, namely flavonoids and terpenes. Marijuana flowers are extremely colorful. You find different shades of green, orange, yellow, red, sometimes even purple and blue.
Throughout the lifecycle of a cannabis plant, it is producing flavonoids, which have other crucial functions, as well, such as filtering ultraviolent light, preventing disease, and deterring pests. Sadly, because of prohibition, not much study has gone into studying, identifying, or classifying flavonoids in cannabis plants. However, we do know already that marijuana definitely contains these flavonoids:
- Cannaflavins A, B, and C
The specific genetics and the conditions in which a specific plant grows determine the range of flavonoids that you will find in cannabis plants. Currently, our knowledge and understanding of flavonoids and their role in marijuana plants remains limited. However, with further study, scientists are confident that we will soon know exactly how they contribute to the unique effects of marijuana.
You can enjoy all the benefits of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids when you order cannabis delivery. Since heat kills flavonoids easily, it may be better to eat cannabis raw for the full “entourage effect,” which simply means ingesting all of its compounds. You can still smoke your blunts, vape your oils, and use it the way you most prefer, just chuck some raw weed into your food on occasion too.