Cannaflavins A and B, hailing from an overlooked class of cannabis compounds known as flavonoids, may well turn out to be the newest cannabis extract to claim the medicinal spotlight, thanks to a new study highlighting extended-dormant claims of their anti-inflammatory powers.

Cannaflavins A and B are two of the 23 flavonoids that have so far been identified in cannabis. Though these two flavonoids are special to cannabis, most of the other flavonoids it consists of are present elsewhere — in fruits, vegetables, and other plants.

As in most other plants displaying non-green pigmentation, cannabis owes some of its coloring to flavonoids such as anthocyanins, which can give rise to purplish coloration in each cannabis flowers and berries. These colorations can safeguard against UV exposure. 

With each other with terpenes like limonene and pinene, flavonoids also assistance to provide the odor and flavor that customers seek — but pests favor to stay clear of. And even though tiny has been verified to date, researchers think that flavonoids are amongst the compounds that perform in synergy with cannabinoids to produce the “entourage impact,” which increases the plant’s effects a lot more than the intake of individually extracted compounds.

On their personal, flavonoids have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. But given that they are present in such little quantities, they have verified tricky to extract in an economically feasible way — at least till now.

Cannaflavins A + B: A Replacement for Aspirin?

In the 1980s, Dr. Marilyn Barrett very first identified Cannaflavins A and B although she was a PhD student at the College of Pharmacy of the University of London. She was hunting for compounds that would counter the inflammation in the knee joints of sufferers undergoing surgery for rheumatoid arthritis.

Her team’s final results, published in 1985 in the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, located that these cannaflavins had anti-inflammatory effects 30 occasions higher than aspirin. But due to the laws surrounding cannabis study, the difficulty of extraction and synthesis, and the presence of stronger NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in countering inflammation, these final results had been under no circumstances followed up on.

Not too long ago on the other hand, situations have changed. Canada’s Cannabis Act of 2017 has led to the flourishing of cannabis-associated study, and there is higher interest in organic treatments more than side impact-laden NSAIDs, the use of which can lead to kidney harm. And a group of researchers out of the University of Guelph’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology in Ontario, Canada may well have resolved the second difficulty, in establishing a technique of price-productive extraction and purification called “in silico” genome mining.

“You cannot just develop fields and fields of the plant and count on to get sufficient of the bioactive compound out of them, mainly because they’re in such low amounts and, given that they’re complicated chemical substances, they’re tough to get at,” Tariq Akhtar, the assistant professor who leads the venture, told The Star. “Extracting and purifying them is achievable, but it is not economically viable.”

Cannaflavins are present in about .014 % of the plant by dry weight. The new approach identifies the genes in cannabis accountable for the cannaflavins, producing it achievable to metabolically engineer Cannaflavin A and B without the need of increasing the complete plant.

In collaboration with the University of Guelph, the researchers patented the technique. Now healthcare cannabis firm Anahit International has licensed the approach with an eye toward industrial improvement.

Akhtar feels that the resulting compound may well be an advance in discomfort management. “What’s exciting about the molecules in cannabis is that they in fact cease inflammation at the supply,” Akhtar told The Star. “And most organic goods do not have the toxicity that is related with more than-the-counter discomfort relief drugs, which, even even though they’re really productive, do come with wellness dangers. So, hunting at organic goods as an option is a really desirable model.”

Other researchers have attempted to isolate Cannaflavins A and B as effectively. In 2014, researchers writing in the journal PharmaNutrition recommended that sprouting hemp seeds, which do not create cannabinoids, could potentially serve as a wealthy supply of flavonoids. Though this approach hasn’t but yielded industrial fruit, it is one more sign that flavonoids could turn out to be a household name faster than one particular may count on.