Flavonoids are abundant in nature and impact the smell, flavor, and pigment of the fruits and vegetables you eat on a daily basis. They are also present in hemp flowers and are responsible for many bright and vibrant colors.
It's not just aesthetics and taste either, as flavonoids are potent antioxidants that provide a host of health benefits, ranging from anti-cancer effects to antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
In this guide, we'll look at the flavonoids commonly found in hemp and cannabis strains, while highlighting the unique benefits they provide.
Flavonoids in Hemp Flowers
Cannabinoids are incredibly effective at treating a host of ailments. These compounds are extracted from hemp and sold in their pure form. As effective as they are, though, research suggests that they work even better in their natural state.
When you smoke hemp flower, for instance, not only are you consuming cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), but you're also ingesting terpenes and flavonoids.
This is known as the entourage effect, and it's something that can be seen throughout nature. As far as hemp is concerned, individual compounds still provide a host of benefits, but in other instances, the entourage effect is even more pronounced.
For instance, we know that green tea is incredibly healthy, as it is loaded with flavonoids. Studies suggest that a few cups of green tea every day can reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and many other ailments, potentially adding years to your life.
That said, when the flavonoid compounds are isolated and consumed in extract form, not only do those benefits disappear, but they introduce a host of side effects.
Types of Flavonoids
Hemp and cannabis flavonoids fall into several different categories, including flavanols, anthocyanins, and flavones. They include all of the following:
Apigenin is found in many different plants, but its concentration is highest in chamomile. In fact, it is thought to be responsible for many of the calming and digestion soothing effects of this plant.
In some European nations, chamomile is actually prescribed for the treatment of digestive issues and if you've ever enjoyed a cup of chamomile tea, you can attest to its soothing properties.
Research conducted in 2006 suggests that apigenin could also block some of the enzymes responsible for assisting tumor growth. As a result, it may help to combat the spread of cancer and play a role in preventing its formation.
It’s important to take this information with a grain of salt as it definitely doesn't suggest that a little cannabis or a few chamomile flowers will cure cancer.
Quercetin is an abundant flavonol found in red wine and green tea. If you've ever heard health experts singing the praises of red wine and polyphenols, there's a good chance they were talking about quercetin.
It has a strong anti-oxidative effect and could provide a number of health benefits, such as reducing the risk of chronic diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Galangin possesses strong anti-bacterial and antiviral properties and has proven effective at inhibiting the growth of cancer cells under laboratory conditions.
In addition to several hemp strains, this compound is found in plants of the ginger family and in propolis, which is produced by bees in the hive.
A bitter-tasting flavonoid commonly found in kale, apples, mustard greens, and dill, along with countless other fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It reduces the risk of chronic disease by eradicating cancer-causing free radicals and strengthening the body's defenses.
An anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer flavonoid that has been studied for its impact on neurological health. It is found in vegetables like celery, peppers, and cabbages, with a large concentration in onion leaves and apple skins.
Orientin is found in several wild plants but is not as common in fruits and vegetables. There isn't a great deal of research out there on this one, but it is thought to possess antioxidant capabilities.
Catechins are the antioxidants responsible for making tea such a healthy drink and blueberries such a healthy fruit. They are one of the most studied and highly-praised flavonoids and provide a long list of potential health benefits, including weight loss, relaxation, and anti-cancer effects.
Isovitexin and Vitexin
These two compounds have long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine practices and have also been researched for their ability to reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.
Cannaflavin-A, Cannaflavin-B, and Cannaflavin-C are all unique to the cannabis plant. Cannaflavin A and Cannaflavin B were first discovered in the 80s, and Cannaflavin C came a couple of decades later.
They are some of the most prevalent and least understood flavonoids in cannabis sativa, but they are thought to have a strong anti-inflammatory effect.
Can Cannabis Flavonoids Cure Cancer?
There's no shortage of reports suggesting that terpenoids, cannabinoids, and flavonoids inhibit cancer growth and even prevent the disease from appearing in the first place. What's more, the effects of THC, CBG, and CBD on appetite stimulation and inflammation suggest they could be used during treatment and recovery.
However, just because a flavonoid displays anti-cancer properties in the lab doesn’t mean that a single dose will cure cancer in the body. Additionally, if you're smoking hemp flowers, you could be offsetting those benefits by increasing the risk of lung cancer.
It's more reason to eat a healthy balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. If you want to add a little CBD or CBG now and then, go for it. Flavonoids are not magic bullets, but if they are consumed regularly and in a natural and synergistic form, you could significantly improve your life expectancy.
Summary: A Synergistic Experience
Hemp flowers provide a wealth of active compounds and offer a number of beneficial effects, acting upon the endocannabinoid system to create feelings of relaxation, calm, and pain relief.
It is a synergistic experience and the variety provided by different concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids ensures you're never short of options when it comes to smoking this plant.
Flavonoids might not be as headline-grabbing as cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, or CBN, or as satisfying as terpenes like linalool, limonene, and myrcene, but it's still a major part of the experience that shouldn't be overlooked.