Flavonoids in Cannabis sativa

Cannabis sativa is a medicinally useful plant. The main active principles in Cannabis sativa are phytocannabinoids, a group of molecules that include tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Whereas the former is psychoactive, the latter is not. Use of cannabis oil that contains no tetrahydrocannabinol has been shown to have a number of therapeutic roles in medicine showing that cannabidiol is medicinally therapeutic. However, cannabis plants also contain other medicinally important groups of phytochemicals including flavonoids. One group of flavonoids synthesised by Cannabis sativa are the cannaflavins which are prenylated (C5) and geranylated (C10) flavones that are relatively unique to Cannabis sativa. The main cannaflavones are cannflavin A, B, and C. As with all polyphenolic compounds, it is likely that cannaflavins are able to confer antioxidant capacity on cannabis oil because of their cyclic ring structure, and this may explain some of the health benefits attributed to its consumption. 

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Bautista, J. L., Yu, S. and Tian, L. 2021. Flavonoids in Cannabis sativa: Biosynthesis, Bioactivities, and Biotechnology. ACS omega. 6(8): 5119-5123

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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