Flavonoids

Flavonoids are secondary plant substances that have unique properties, and one mainly ingests them through the consumption of fruit and vegetables. They are also known as phytonutrients. You can also find it in cannabis and many other important medicinal herbs. About 8000 flavonoids occur in nature.

When they discovered flavonoids in the 1930s, they called them “vitamin P.” The “P” here stands for the Permeability Factor, which is an expression of the property of solids to allow liquids and gases to pass through.

Naming

Some of the flavonoids give the flowers their colors. At that time, people also used them to dye textiles. After identifying the ingredients, one called that group “flavones,” which comes from the Latin word “flavus” and stands for yellow. It was recognized that many components have the same structure but have a different color or are entirely colorless, so this group of substances was called flavonoids.

You can roughly divide them into the following groups:

  • chalcones
  • flavones
  • flavanols
  • flavandiols

Prevalence

Flavonoids are universal in the plant kingdom and can be found in seed plants, ferns, and mosses. Generally, the most intensely colored plants have the highest flavonoid content. These are mainly present in the outer layers of plants and fruits. The cannabis plant also contains these so-called flavonoids.

The functions of flavonoids in plants are diverse: they form the essential group of flower pigments that serve to attract pollinators. Others protect against herbivores, while certain insects use flavonoids as a feeding stimulant.

Effect

Various studies suggest that flavonoids are significantly responsible for the many positive health properties of vegetables and fruits. Of course, the effect of these substances cannot be generalized, as they have different effects on the human organism.

They support the human immune system, cardiovascular system, stomach, intestines, and liver. They protect against UV radiation and short-wave light and positively affect blood clotting and veins.

However, according to research, the potential effect of flavonoids on our organism is not insignificant: Many of these well-known substances can have a supportive impact on specific diseases. The following medicinal properties of flavonoids can be derived:

  • antioxidant
  • antispasmodic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • circulation-enhancing
  • has a soothing effect on allergies, liver and heart problems

Many of these substances are even said to provide some protection against cancer. St. John’s wort contains the flavonoids hypericin and hyperforin, which one uses successfully to reduce stress. Even depressed patients benefit from these beneficial properties. The flavonoid apigenin has an anxiolytic and antimutagenic effect; you can find it in chamomile and parsley.

Flavonoids in Cannabis

If you take a closer look at the cannabis plant, complexity is revealed above all. It consists of much more than just the best-known cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The plant is rich in terpenes, trichomes, and that particular group of plant compounds that doesn’t provide a psychedelic effect: the flavonoid group.

As already mentioned, these are responsible for the color, smell, and taste of wide varieties, among other things. Different gradations of colors also occur within the marijuana plant: green, yellow, red, violet, and blue nuances are just a few. These are essential when it comes to the survival of the cannabis plant since the flavonoids protect against pests and UV rays.

One identified around 20 different flavonoids in the cannabis plant. Some of these occur in cannabis and other plants and vegetables; others are found exclusively in cannabis.

Cannaflavins A, B and C
These flavonoids are found exclusively in cannabis. According to one study, cannaflavin A is 30 times more potent than aspirin at inhibiting PGE-2. PGE-2 is an inflammatory mediator that is particularly important in rheumatoid arthritis.

Quercetin
Quercetin is a flavonoid widely distributed among plants. In addition to its anti-aging properties, it acts as a potent anti-inflammatory, and one generally considers it a superfood you find in blueberries and broccoli. In addition, quercetin also helps, especially with stomach and intestinal diseases.

Beta-sitosterol
This flavonoid also contains properties that are beneficial to health. According to the Food and Drug Administration, this positively reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and is often used to treat cuts and burns. One also uses Beta-sitosterol in treatments for colon cancer.

Kaempfer oil
This substance is studied for its anti-cancer properties, and you can find them in cruciferous plants.

Luteolin
Many herbs contain the flavonoid luteolin. In addition to cannabis, it is also in thyme, chamomile, and rosemary. Like cannabidiol, it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting properties. One suspects that Luteolin also has anti-cancer properties.

Some more of the now well-known flavonoids are as follows:

  • Vitexin
  • Isovitexin
  • Orientin
  • Apigenin

Weblinks