Coming from the Latin word, flavus, meaning yellow in color, flavonoids are all over the world. This unknown compounds carry out important functions in plants, such as ultraviolet light filtration and reproduction. They also act as chemical messengers and physiological regulators. In short, they are essential for the functioning and survival of plants.
So, why should you learn about them? Turns out that flavonoids are found across the different plant species, including cannabis, in the flora kingdom. They are consumed by humans through dietary intake. Let’s learn a bit about cannabis flavonoids, their benefits, and specifically focus on the flavonoid luteolin.
What are Cannabis Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are referred to as the second metabolites, which are rich in the diversity and pigmentation of the plant. Over the years, thousands of flavonoids have been discovered in nature in various plants, from fruit flowers to vegetable plants.
Cannabis plants share the same rule of nature, consisting of some commonly found flavonoids. However, cannabis tends to have a flavonoid that only exists in a cannabis plant known as Cannaflavins. Flavonoids have a dominant stake in the pigmentation of the plant or their by-products, such as their flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
For example, flavonoids provide heavy pigmentation in flowers to attract pollinators. Most non-green vegetables and fruits get their shiny bright pigmentation from flavonoids.
Stealing the spotlight, terpenes are what we generally give all the credit for the flavor and aroma of a cannabis strain. However, flavonoids also play an important role in giving each cannabis strain its distinguishing characteristics. The balance and combination of the terpenes alongside the flavonoids results in the strong pigmentation, desired aroma, and taste.
For example, Anthocyanins and Anthoxanthins are the flavonoid compounds in the Purple Haze strain that result in its marvelous color and flavor, as those who have experienced it already know. Cannaflavins also contribute to some highly pharmacological benefits in the cannabis plant. The 23 flavonoids present in a cannabis plant show antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and highly effective pain relief qualities.
What do Flavonoids Do?
One of the most prominent nutrient families in the plant world is Flavonoids. They are known to provide nutritional value while also delivering health benefits to human beings and the plants they are derived from.
These compounds help with the seed development and the growth process of plants by executing essential functions such as cell progression. Flavonoids are also known to act as a defense mechanism for plants. They help in preventing damage from environmental stressors like fungi, insects, pests, viruses, bacteria, and the sun's UV rays.
Alongside simply controlling the growth process and providing protection, flavonoids deliver various health benefits too and contribute a lot to the medicinal benefits of cannabis plants. As such, they collectively work with cannabinoids and terpenes to interact with the chemical receptors through the endocannabinoid system present in our body.
In this interaction process with the body's chemical receptors, Cannabis flavonoids show anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, neuroprotective, and antioxidant properties.
What are Cannabis Isoflavonoids?
Flavonoids are divided into three classes: flavonoids, isoflavonoids, and neoflavonoids. Isoflavonoids, also known as phytoestrogens, are known for its medicinal use in the treatment of a wide range of medical issues such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), depression, etc.
Health Benefits of Luteolin Flavone
Luteolin is a common flavonoid present in various fruits, vegetables, and cannabis strains. Cannabis flavonoid Luteolin provides various health benefits and pharmacological properties, such as:
- Neuroprotective: Luteolin flavone has a highly effective neuroprotective and nerve development property. Cannabis flavonoid Luteolin reduces glutamate levels, fights brain inflammation and oxidative stress, and also prevents protein mutation.
- Depression: Luteolin flavone has shown a calming effect in cases of depression and anxiety.
- Alzheimer's disease: With its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, Luteolin is an effective cure for Alzheimer's disease. Cannabis flavonoid Luteolin tends to enhance coordination, cognition, and memory.
- Seizures: Similar to Alzheimer's disease, Luteolin flavone's anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties boost glutathione and reduce oxidative damage.
- Antimicrobial: Luteolin flavone possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties, resulting in the treatment of various major bacterial and viral diseases, such as Epstein Barr virus, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), and Hepatitis B virus.
- Cardiovascular Disease: Luteolin flavone strengthens heart cells, stabilizes heart enzymes, and boosts contraction. It also protects the cell from oxidative stress and prevents tissue damage.
- Diabetic Complications: With the rise of glucose levels in the human body, the blood vessels are damaged, causing various types of diabetic complications. As oxidative stress plays a big role in diabetic complications, Luteolin flavone relieves oxidative damage.
- Skin protection: Antioxidants such as Cannabis flavonoid Luteolin protect the skin from inside and prevents UV-infused issues.
Luteolin and Brain Fog
Brain Fog is a group of mental health-related issues such as inability to concentrate or multitask, reduced cognition, and short- and long-term memory loss. Brain Fog shares several symptoms from Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and early stages of Alzheimer's Disease.
Cannabis flavonoid Luteolin has potent antioxidants (most beneficial for preventing oxidative stress in Brain Fog), anti-inflammatory properties, and impedes auto-immune T cell activation. With its neuroprotective properties, cannabis flavonoid, Luteolin shows drastic effects on the symptoms mentioned above.
Terpenes vs. Flavonoids
There have been thousands of flavonoid discoveries over the years, 20 of which are uniquely found only in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids and terpenes very easily corner flavonoids in terms of credits, but flavonoid plays a very important role for the plant and human body after consumption.
Flavonoids are highly antioxidant, which helps in the regulation of cellular activities, protection from toxins, bacteria, and viruses, and decreases chronic health problems. In addition, flavonoids are one of the major elements providing the look, fragrance, and flavor of your favorite cannabis bud.
On the other hand, terpenes are organic compounds found in a cannabis plant, responsible for the taste and odor of the strain and the plant, and provide an effective and beneficial psychological effect.
Terps also show therapeutic characteristics, affecting the high and the experience. There are over thousands of terpenes found in cannabis plants, with each having its unique experience and concentrations.
Flavonoids and Terpenes can be used separately to benefit from neuroprotective, therapeutic, and their medicinal properties individually. Or they can be used together, including cannabidiols, to achieve an experience called the entourage effect. Flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids work together and magnify each compound's medicinal and other properties.