About Cannabinoids & Flavonoids

Cannabinoids & Flavonoids

Posted on June 16th, 2023 to Cannabis 101

There are over 140 cannabinoids that have so far been isolated from the cannabis plant. Here is a list of the most studied and commonly known natural occurring cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant.

THC—More Than Getting You “High”
THC is the cannabinoid that gets a bad reputation in therapeutic contexts because it gives the user the “high” sensation.

THC is the principal component of cannabis, and as such, it is extremely beneficial. The compound targets mostly the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, and is largely responsible for the pharmacological — and psychoactive — effects associated with cannabis use.

THC exhibits strong anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), neuro-antioxidative (protects nervous tissue), and antispasmodic (relieves spasms) effects.
The compound is known to help alleviate chronic pain, insomnia, symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, ulcers, and work as a muscle relaxant.

CBD: The Non-Psychotropic Compound
CBD is the second most known cannabinoid, which rose to popularity because of its non-psychotropic effects. In other words, CBD won’t get you high.

One of the ways CBD affects the body is by inhibiting the enzyme that blocks anandamide. Anandamide — also known as the “bliss molecule” — is an endocannabinoid that affects sleep patterns, anxiety, pain, and the immune system. By inhibiting the mechanisms of the enzyme that blocks anandamide, CBD contributes to increased levels of anandamide. This has been proven beneficial for diseases such as epilepsy, where lower levels of anandamide have been noticed.

CBD is an important compound because it also reduces the side-effects of THC. CBD shows anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, antipsychotic, antifungal, antibacterial, and immunomodulatory properties.

After THC and CBD, the most abundant naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG) — a non-psychoactive cannabinoid abundantly found in cannabis, offers a multitude of beneficial properties. CBG acts as a muscle relaxant, providing relief from pain and inflammation. Additionally, it exhibits neuroprotective qualities and has shown potential as an antidepressant, further enhancing its therapeutic value.
  • Cannabichromene (CBC) — has shown promise in various areas, including potential anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It may also support brain health by promoting neurogenesis and the growth of new brain cells. Additionally, CBC has been studied for its potential anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects.
  • Cannabinol (CBN)— is a cannabinoid that is naturally produced as cannabis plants age, and the THC within them oxidizes. CBN is known for its mild sedative effects, making it useful for promoting relaxation and aiding in sleep. It has also shown promise as a potential analgesic or pain-relieving compound. Additionally, CBN may have antibacterial properties and could play a role in promoting bone health.
  • Cannabivarin (CBV) — this cannabinoid is found in the plant in low concentrations, and its pharmacology has yet to be explored.
  • Cannabidivarin (CBDV) —is a lesser-known cannabinoid that is structurally similar to CBD (cannabidiol). Early research suggests that CBDV may have anticonvulsant properties, making it a subject of interest for potential use in managing seizure disorders such as epilepsy. CBDV has also shown promise as a potential treatment for various gastrointestinal disorders. It may help alleviate symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, making it an area of exploration for conditions like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
  • Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) — is a cannabinoid that is found in raw, unheated cannabis plants and is non-psychoactive. CBDA is converted into CBD through a process called decarboxylation, which occurs when cannabis is heated or undergoes prolonged exposure to light. CBDA is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may also have anti-nausea, analgesic (pain-relieving), and potential anti-cancer effects.
  • Cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) — is considered the “mother” or “stem cell” cannabinoid, as it serves as a precursor to other major cannabinoids in cannabis, including THC, CBD, and CBG. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and neuroprotective effects.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) — Unlike THC, THCA is non-intoxicating and does not produce the psychoactive effects typically associated with cannabis consumption. Instead, THCA offers its own potential therapeutic properties. Research suggests that THCA may have anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antiemetic (anti-nausea) effects. It may also act as an analgesic, potentially providing pain relief.

What Are Flavonoids and What effects do they provide?
Flavonoids are a group of natural substances found in fruits, vegetables, roots, flowers, tea, and wine, usually providing color pigmentation. These compounds are often passed by, but they produce beneficial therapeutic effects for which they are isolated and included in both medicinal and pharmaceutical applications. Flavonoids have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic effects.

Cannabis is rich in naturally occurring flavonoids, with more than 20 different types identified. Some of the most common flavonoids found in cannabis include:

  • Apigenin — Known for its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, apigenin is found in various plants and herbs, including cannabis. It may contribute to the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis.
  • Luteolin: This flavonoid exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been studied for its potential neuroprotective effects and its ability to modulate the immune system.
  • Kaempferol: Kaempferol is recognized for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is found in many fruits and vegetables and has been associated with various health benefits, including potential anti-cancer properties.
  • Quercetin: Quercetin is a widely studied flavonoid known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It has been investigated for its potential to protect against various chronic diseases and support overall health.
  • Cannaflavin A and Cannaflavin B: These unique flavonoids are exclusive to cannabis. They have shown promise as potent anti-inflammatory agents, potentially surpassing the anti-inflammatory properties of commonly used over-the-counter medications.

Both Cannabinoids and Flavonoids are natural compounds found in plants, and their presence in cannabis contributes to its potential therapeutic properties. However, it’s important to note that research on the specific effects and benefits of these compounds, both individually and in combination with other compounds in cannabis, is still ongoing.

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