Cannabis flavonoids extend their health benefits

At present, science has identified close to 500 compounds in cannabis1, although most remain neglected. This is perhaps due to many well-known health benefits of cannabinoids. However, slowly science is realising that these lesser-known compounds may play an equally important role in the potency of CBD.

Flavonoids are potent antioxidants with many health benefits. They are found in abundance in nature,  fruits, vegetables, herbs, and also in cannabis. They provide tea or wine its distinct character and may potentiate both the flavour and health benefits of CBD1.

Flavonoids have numerous health benefits

Flavonoids are not a single compound, rather a name for a number of compounds with similar chemical structure and properties. Thus, there are flavonols, iso-flavonoids, anthocyanins, chalcones, and so on. They are responsivle for providing intense flavours of fruits like blueberries, strawberries.

It would be wrong to say there they are just antioxidants. Science has already discovered a wide range of properties of these compounds. Thus, they have an anti-cholinesterase activity which may play a role in improving nerve conduction and may explain their role in treating the specific painful conditions. They have anti-inflammatory action through COX-2 inhibition- an effect similar to many well-known anti-inflammatory drugs. They modulate the activity of steroids. Flavonoids may help fight infections by countering antibiotic resistance. Some studies suggest that they may act as insulin mimetic2.

Synergism of flavonoids and cannabinoids

Science has long noticed that many active compounds identified in natural sources fail to help in an isolated form. This is because natural extracts like CBD contain hundreds of additional beneficial phytochemicals in small amounts. These, so-called other compounds may strongly potentiate the action of cannabinoids.

Modern science frequently uses the term “the entourage effect” to describe the synergy between the various natural compounds- especially in context to cannabis.

Modern science has little understanding of how this synergism happens, though they have noticed it in all-natural remedies and supplements. Unlike pharmacological drugs that are made up of one or two active compounds, natural supplements work through the synergistic action of tens and even hundreds of beneficial compounds3.

Flavonoids may reduce the risk of metabolic diseases

In medical research, systemic reviews or metanalysis are regarded as the most dependable way to understand the safety and efficacy of any substance. These are studies that try to pool the data from numerous high-quality studies done over a prolonged period.

Systemic review regarding consumption of flavonoid shows that they can have a range of health benefits, and a diet high in flavonoids may help reduce the risk of diabetes, and other metabolic disorders4.

References

  1. Pollastro F, Minassi A, Fresu LG. Cannabis Phenolics and their Bioactivities. doi:info:doi/10.2174/0929867324666170810164636
  2. Panche AN, Diwan AD, Chandra SR. Flavonoids: an overview. J Nutr Sci. 2016;5. doi:10.1017/jns.2016.41
  3. Caesar LK, Cech NB. Synergy and antagonism in natural product extracts: when 1 + 1 does not equal 2. Nat Prod Rep. 2019;36(6):869-888. doi:10.1039/C9NP00011A
  4. Xu H, Luo J, Huang J, Wen Q. Flavonoids intake and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(19). doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000010686

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