What are Flavonoids in Cannabis?


The main three components of cannabis plants which are throught to provide you with the benefits of the entourage effect are phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

We have previously covered the entourage effect. If you are confused about what terpenes are, you can read about terpenes here.

So what are flavonoids in cannabis and why are they important?

Flavonoids are compounds in plants which give plants their pigmentation (color), filter out UV rays, attract pollinators, and prevent plant diseases. 

There are about 20 flavonoids in cannabis.

Flavonoids are important because they have shown to have beneficial effects such as: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic activity.

Quercetin, Apigenin, and Cannaflavin A are three flavonoids found in cannabis. Cannaflavin A is uniquely found in cannabis and is a strong anti-inflammatory.

Quercetin is also found in green tea, red wine, and berries. Quercetin acts as an anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-cancer agent.

Apigenin is also found in parsley, celery, and chamomile tea. Apigenin has anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties.

I have yet to see a lab analysis of CBD hemp oil which covers the flavonoid concentrations. I don't know if they are difficult to test for or just not a common test to run.

Cannabinoid content and terpene content are common test points in cannabis lab reports. I will be on the look out for flavonoid testing for CBD hemp oil and report back if I find it.

Please ask questions below if you have any.

~ CBD Professor 

  • Paige Thompson says:

    Hello, my name is Paige Thompson and I am a research assistant at Tennessee State University. I was wondering if you have information on testing flavonoids in hemp varieties.
    – Is it something labs are doing commonly now?
    – Do you know anyone analyzing flavonoids in cannabis currently?
    – Do you know where the most updated list of flavonoids in cannabis can be located?

  • Hey Paige. Thanks for your great questions. I have yet to encounter a lab which tests for flavonoids in hemp, though I cannot see why it would not be possible. I’d love to explore this more. The most common flavonoids in cannabis of which I am aware are Quercetin, Apigenin, and Cannaflavin A. I’m sure there are others. I recommend you look into Cannaflavin A as it’s unique to cannabis, specifically the sprouts of hemp seeds. Here is a good resource to check out and this is a good presentation as well.

  • Steve says:

    Is there a relationship between cannabinoids, terpenes,
    and flavonoids, and their respective optimization on CB1 receptors versus CB2 receptors? I hear CB1 is all about brain neurology, and CB2 is all about body neurology.

    Is there research being done on what would be in effect “designer” CBD cocktail oils, where the terpene profile, the flavonoid profile, and the cannabinoids are being optimized for one condition versus another (anxiety versus depression versus insomnia, versus inflammation, versus anti-cancer support) in the ECS?

  • Hi Steve. Thanks for that excellent question. Some terpenes do interact with cannabinoid receptors. One example is beta-caryophyllene and the CB2 receptors. There is indeed research being done to determine the ideal cannabinoid and terpene profiles for various uses such as sleep, relaxation, or anti-anxiety and more.

  • Cecilia Rego says:

    Is there any relation with the flavonoids found in CBD and the ones found in Grapefruit? I ask because the flavonoids in grapefruit, if mixed with a number of medicines can cause overdose or make the medicine not be properly absorbed by the body and I’m wondering if the same can happen with the use of CBD with other medicines?

  • Hi Cecilia. Please read this article to learn more. CBD can interact with drugs in the same way as grapefruit. We never considered if this is because of similar flavonoids. That’s a very interesting thing to research. Let us know if you find out! 🙂

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