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Flavonoids: what are they and what do they do?

If you’re like most CBD users, you probably think of terpenes as the main compounds responsible for the unique flavours and aromas of various cannabis strains. But what about flavonoids? While they may not have the same savoury appeal as terpenes, cannabis flavonoids play a crucial role in the overall effects of cannabis.

In this post, we’ll explore what flavonoids are and what they do. We’ll also take a look at some of the most common flavonoids found in cannabis, their effects, and how they can help you. 

Keep reading to learn more!

What are flavonoids and where do they come from?

Flavonoids are pharmacologically active compounds found in all plants. They are responsible for the colour and flavour of fruit and vegetables. Flavonoids come from two sources: plants and plant-based foods. Plants produce these compounds in order to protect themselves against harmful insects.

Foods that contain flavonoids include red wine, black tea, dark chocolate, cocoa powder and certain fruits such as grapes.

There are six different types of flavonoid found in food, and your body breaks each one down in a different way.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help your body fight everyday pollutants. Consuming extra flavonoids can help your body stay healthy and may decrease your risk of chronic health issues.

The different types of plant flavonoids


the flavonoids flavanols give onions their flavour
Flavonoids protect cells from damage and help keep them healthy

These flavonoids are said to have antioxidant qualities and may help in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols are found in the following foods:

  • onions
  • kale
  • grapes and red wine
  • tea
  • berries
  • tomatoes


Foods containing the flavonoid Flavan-3-ols are rich in nutrients

Foods with these types of flavonoids are very rich in nutrients. They include:

  • Black, white and green tea
  • Apples
  • strawberries
  • cocoa and chocolate products


Flavanones are found in citrus fruits

Flavanones are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and may help manage your weight and cholesterol levels. Flavanones are found in citrus fruits such as:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons and limes
  • grapefruit


Isoflavones are mainy found in soybeans and legumes

Isoflavones seem to help keep hormones balanced in your body. They are mainly found in:

  • Soybeans and soy products
  • legumes such as fava beans, lentils, beans and peas


Anthocyanins give some cannabis plants their distinctive purple colour

Anthocyanins are red, blue and purple pigments. They’re predominantly found in the outer skin of berries and berry-based products. such as:

  • Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries
  • red and purple grapes
  • red wine

They also give some cannabis plants their distinctive red or purple colour.


Flavones  are natural pesticides
Flavones are natural pesticides

Flavones are pigments found in blue and white flowering plants. They are a natural pesticide, and protect plants from harmful insects.

Flavones may also help with inflammation in the body. You can find them in:

  • Peppermint
  • parsley
  • red peppers
  • celery
  • chamomile

What flavonoids are found in cannabis and what do they do?

The Cannabis plant has its own set of flavonoids, known as cannaflavins. So far, 20 different cannaflavins have been discovered in cannabis.

Flavonoids found in cannabis are:

Cannaflavin A 

This has powerful anti-inflammatory properties which studies show may be stronger than those of aspirin. Studies are still being conducted to discover the properties of Cannaflavin B and C.


Outside cannabis, this is also found in Milk Thistle and many studies attest to its incredible properties which include: antioxidant, anti aging, antiviral, anti-inflammation, vasodilatation and cardioprotective, radioprotective and neuroprotective. Wow!!!


Silymarin has antioxidant and membrane stabilizing properties. It protects tissues and organs from chemical damage, and can be used to prevent liver damage.


This flavonoid blocks the action of enzymes that break down histamines, reducing symptoms of allergies. It can improve exercise performance and reduce blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. it may also have brain-protective, and anti cancer properties. 


This flavonoid can protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and reduces the risk of chronic diseases, particularly cancer

Kaempferol can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases
Kaempferol can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases

How do flavonoids impact the flavour and effects of cannabis products?

Flavonoids (like anthocyanins) are responsible for the deep purple colours in some cannabis strains, similar to the dark purples and reds of berries. They play an important part in the famous entourage effect of medical cannabis and CBD products, interacting with the terpenes and cannabinoids to amplify the benefits and psychoactive effects. They have antioxidant properties, and the flavonoids present in your medical cannabis will affect both how it makes you feel, and the health benefits it bestows.

Some flavonoids give cannabis plants their distinctive colours

Are all cannabis strains high in flavonoids, or are some strains lower in this compound than others?

There is a great deal of variation between strains of cannabis with respect to the concentration of flavonoids present. Some medical marijuana strains are high in flavonoids, while others have lower levels. Many flavonoids are generally present in higher concentration in the leaves and flowers of female plants, but they can also be found in male cannabis as well.

How can you tell if a cannabis strain has high levels of flavonoids?

The amount of flavonoids present in a cannabis strain is not typically listed on the packaging. However, there are a few ways to tell if a cannabis strain has high levels of flavonoids. One way is to look at the colour of the cannabis. If the cannabis is a deep green or purple, then it likely has high levels of flavonoids. Another way to tell is to smell the cannabis. If it smells fruity or floral, then it likely has high levels of flavonoids.


Flavonoids are a serious matter when it comes to medical marijuana. They contribute towards the effects users feel, and they play an important role in the overall experience of using cannabis. And, as this Danish study shows, a moderate intake can help you live longer.

Now that you know about their health benefits, you can start incorporating them into your diet. There are many ways to do this – from adding hemp seeds to salads or smoothies, to cooking with extracts or oils. The sky’s the limit when it comes to flavonoid-rich foods, so get creative! 

If you have any questions about how to use them for your specific health needs, or any great recipes to share, please get in touch! 

If your cannabis smells fruity or floral, it probably has high levels of flavonoids
If your cannabis smells fruity or floral, it probably has high levels of flavonoids


Are there any side effects associated with cannabis flavonoids?

There are no known side effects associated with cannabis flavonoids. However, further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of using these flavonoids.

Are there any other ways to benefit from cannabis flavonoids aside from supplementation or ingestion?

There are other ways to benefit from cannabis flavonoids aside from supplementation or ingestion. Topical application of cannabis-infused lotions or balms can provide localized relief to aches and pains. Inhaling cannabis vapors can also provide relief, particularly for conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Do flavonoids have any medicinal benefits?

Yes, flavonoids have a variety of medicinal benefits. Some of these benefits include:

-Preventing cancer

-Reducing inflammation

-Protecting the heart

-Improving cognitive function

-Fighting infection

Flavonoids are found in many different fruits and vegetables, so incorporating them into your diet is an easy way to reap their health benefits. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about how you can add more flavonoids to your diet. There are also flavonoid supplements available if you find it difficult to get enough flavonoids from food alone.


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