What are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are phytonutrients or naturally occurring plant chemicals. Flavonoids are the largest group of phytonutrients with more than 6,000 varying types. These phytonutrients are not exclusive to marijuana though. They can in fact be found in almost all fruits, vegetables, and plants. You likely consume them every day, depending on your diet. In plants flavonoids are commonly associated as the phytonutrients which provide colour for various plants.
Why are Flavonoids Good?
Flavonoids have a distinctly positive reputation among the wellness community because of their benefits to the human body. The attributes of flavonoids are vast and worth your time considering. Let’s take a look at some of them.
For example, a study found that consumption of flavonoids can be associated with increased longevity and contribute to significantly lower chances of heart disease and cancer. They can also help with inflammation due to their anti-inflammatory properties. And a 2002 study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that flavonoids are effective as antioxidants and could protect against certain chronic diseases.
In cannabis you can find many of these same flavonoids and also ones that are unique to the marijuana plant such as cannaflavin A which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are helpful for the body in decreasing the risk of inflammation in joints and muscles. In fact, recent studies have shown that cannaflavin A has a more powerful effect on the body than aspirin.
Many flavonoids display powerful indications as being highly effective anti-oxidants, too. This could be helpful in detoxifying tissues of the body and so decreasing the risk of cancer. A study done in Greece showed that women with higher levels of flavonoids in their system were less likely to develop breast cancer.
And finally flavonoids have a serious effect on those suffering from degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. A study that took place over the course of ten years among older men showed that higher levels of dietary intake of flavonoids lead to overall better cognitive abilities.
The Entourage Effect
This phrase was first used by S. Ben-Shabat and by Raphael Mecholum in 1998 to essentially describe the wonder of cannabis. To explain, our bodies have complex endocannabinoid systems, a vast network of receptors that reside all over us. Cannabinoids when introduced to the body via marijuana, for example, bind to these receptors and then they are further manipulated by terpenes and cannabinoids.
This combination of varying molecules contributes to make people experience different reactions. This mixture and interplay of both the biomolecule compounds and the molecular make up of our own bodies creates a synergistic effect known as ‘the entourage effect.’ As a simple example, cannabidiol (CBD) modulates and even nullifies the negative effects of THC.
Flavonoids have potentially got extremely powerful synergistic abilities. Unfortunately we still do not know enough about them to understand how they interact with cannabinoids or what particular entourage effect they really create.
More Research Is Needed
Cannabis research in general remains vastly understudied due to legal restrictions in certain countries and of course popular opinion concerning marijuana and its applications. But considering what we already know it’s not unlikely that there will be much more studies done. Whenever cannabis research becomes more commonplace we hope that there will more emphasis placed on the positive effects of flavonoids.
Hopefully in the future more laws are passed that allow scientists to examine the healing properties of cannabis, so we can understand flavonoids that much better. With the surface only being scratched for the benefits of marijuana for those suffering from cancer or undergoing chemotherapy or dealing with degenerative neurological diseases the future can only get brighter with more research.