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What Are Phytocannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids?

By MaryAnn Stanger ND  •  0 comments  •   7 minute read

Cannabis Hemp Leaf Flower Terpenes

Welcome to our blog, where we will embark on an exciting journey to unravel the mysteries of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. If you're curious about these terms but feel a little lost in the jungle of scientific jargon, fear not!

So, what exactly are phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, and why should you care? Let's break it down step by step, starting from the basics. We hope to help you understand these terms and appreciate their fascinating role in the world of cannabis products.


What Are Phytocannabinoids?

Phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids) are any cannabinoids produced by the cannabis plant. Fun fact about cannabinoids: did you know that humans and other mammals actually produce their own version of cannabinoids?

Our endocannabinoid system (ECS) produces these cannabinoids and sends additional cannabinoids we give them through eating plants. Our ECS is designed to work with vital organs and our central nervous systems to help maintain homeostasis. Make those cannabinoids highly valuable in promoting wellness and balance.

When phytocannabinoids are extracted and consumed, these phytocannabinoids interact with the human body's endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids work with receptors (CB1 and CB2) to produce therapeutic physical and mental results.

You can find more than 100 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. However, the most popular cannabinoids are CBD, THC, CBC, CBN, and CBG.

What Are The Benefits of Phytocannabinoids?

Phytocannabinoids assist the human body in many different ways. You may not realize how vital cannabinoids are for our survival. As mentioned above, without the body's endocannabinoid system, we wouldn't be able to achieve homeostasis. Cannabinoids play an important role in maintaining homeostasis.

Homeostasis is how our body manages itself to maintain stability and adjust to conditions for our survival. It works much like your home's thermostat. When the thermostat senses a rise in temperature, it will blow cold air to lower it to the set temperature.

Our body works similarly to the thermostat reference. If we are experiencing high levels of stress or pain, our endocannabinoid system responds to assist the problem. Our body's natural function is solving problems and returning to a normal, balanced state.

Because our bodies can use cannabinoids to regulate many body functions, introducing more cannabinoids allows our ECS many opportunities to utilize those cannabinoids. Our ECS will allocate cannabinoids to assist our body's comfort, mood levels, and sleep.

Common Phytocannabinoids and Their Benefits

  • Cannabidiol (CBD): Soothe discomfort, reduce unhealthy mood symptoms, and improve relaxation.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC): Soothes discomfort, reduces unhealthy mood symptoms and feelings of euphoria, has psychoactive effects, and improves relaxation.
  • Cannabinol (CBN): Improve relaxation, provide a sense of calm, and assist with sleep.
  • Cannabigerol (CBG): Soothe discomfort and reduce unhealthy mood symptoms.
  • Cannabichromene (CBC): Reduce muscle and joint discomfort.


What Are Terpenes?

You may not know what terpenes are, but you would be surprised to know that you've come in contact with terpenes on many occasions.

Terpenes are a part of our daily life and can be found everywhere. For example, think of the aroma of your favorite perfume, the flowers in your garden, or the smell of fresh fruit.

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that plants create to attract or repel insects. They are responsible for all smells, from the uplifting fragrance of lilacs to the pungent scent of Marijuana.

Women smelling hemp flower for terpenes

Cannabis is known for having a high concentration of terpenes. Both Cannabis Sativa (Industrial Hemp) and its cousin Cannabis Indica (Marijuana) are amongst the richest terpene-producing plants.

However, when the cannabis plant is dried or cured, the terpenes are altered by a chemical reaction caused by UV rays and CO2. That chemical reaction causes terpenes to become terpenoids. To produce Full or Broad-spectrum CBD oils, the plant must be dried or cured. These types of CBD oils will contain terpenoids.


What Are The Benefits of Terpenes and Terpenoids?

Terpenes and terpenoids are found in many plants, including cannabis. They offer many benefits beyond just making things smell nice. These natural compounds can have positive effects on both our bodies and minds.

For instance, some terpenes, like limonene found in citrus fruits, may help lift our mood and promote a sense of happiness. Others, such as linalool found in lavender, could have a calming effect, making it easier to relax. Additionally, terpenes like pinene, which is abundant in pine trees, might help improve focus and alertness.

Overall, terpenes and terpenoids contribute to the diverse array of benefits that plants offer us. Making plants more than just pretty scents—they are nature's way of supporting our well-being. The cannabis plant contains terpenes as well.

Common Cannabis

  • Myrcene: general relaxation, reduced joint and muscle discomfort, muscle relaxation, and mood support.
  • Pinene: Energy boosting, Discomfort relief, Respiratory support, Stress relief, and Improved focus.
  • Linalool: Anti-microbial properties, Stressed induced Immune support, Discomfort relief, and Mood Support.

Common Cannabis Terpenoids

  • Caryophyllene: Anti-microbial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-bacterial, and Anti-oxidant properties
  • Eudesmol: Fights against free radical damage
  • Guaiol: Respiratory support, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial

Not only can you enjoy the benefits of taking CBD products with terpenes in them, but you can also benefit from smelling the hemp plant. If hemp was a better-smelling plant, it might be worth it, but we don't recommend it as it does not smell good.


What Are Flavonoids?

Just like terpenes, you have come in contact with flavonoids before. The colors found in plants are because of flavonoids. Flavonoids give the plant its color, attract pollinating insects, filter out UV rays, and prevent plant diseases.

About 6,000 flavonoids are found in herbs, fruits, vegetables, and other plant types grown worldwide. The cannabis plant contains twenty different flavonoids.

Women holding hemp plant

What Are The Benefits of Flavonoids?

The flavonoids found in fruit, vegetables, and other plants are highly beneficial for our overall health. The different flavonoids found in each have different benefits.

Flavonoids found in the cannabis plant offer benefits for boosting our immune system and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids play a major role in the "entourage effect." The entourage effect is when terpenes, flavonoids, and phytocannabinoids work together to improve the benefits that each has to offer.

As mentioned above, the cannabis plant has over 20 different flavonoids, but the main three that are found in CBD products are:

Common Cannabis Flavonoids

  • Cannflavin: Powerful Anti-inflammatory, Pain management support
  • Anthocyanin: Anti-diabetic, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Supports heart health
  • Quercetin: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-oxidant, Reduce swelling, Supports heart health, Assist blood sugar levels


How Do These Compounds Work Together?

In the world of CBD, it's not just about the individual components like phytocannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids—it's about the magic that happens when they all come together. Let's explore how these three groups of compounds work in harmony to enhance the effects of CBD:

Enhanced Therapeutic Potential

Phytocannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) are well-known for their potential therapeutic benefits, from promoting relaxation to supporting overall wellness. However, the therapeutic potential can be improved when combined with terpenes and flavonoids in full-spectrum CBD products.

This synergy is often referred to as the "entourage effect," where the combined action of multiple compounds produces greater effects than any single component alone.

Terpene Influence on Effects

Terpenes, the aromatic compounds found in plants, not only contribute to the flavor and aroma of CBD products but also play a crucial role in modulating its effects.

For example, the terpene linalool, commonly found in lavender, is known for its calming properties and may enhance the relaxation effects of CBD. Similarly, limonene, found in citrus fruits, may contribute to mood elevation when combined with CBD.


Flavonoids are another group of plant compounds that are not just responsible for taste and color. In CBD products, they offer their own health-promoting properties.

Studies suggest that flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Which can complement the therapeutic benefits of CBD and contribute to overall wellness.

Optimizing CBD Formulations

Understanding the synergistic relationship between phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids allows CBD manufacturers to create more effective formulations. By carefully selecting and preserving the natural balance of these compounds, manufacturers can maximize the therapeutic potential of their products.

Whether it's through full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or CBD isolate formulations, the goal is to harness the power of nature to provide holistic wellness support.


Sum It Up!

In conclusion, the combination of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in CBD products offers a natural approach to wellness. By working together synergistically, these compounds enhance the therapeutic effects of CBD, providing users with a more comprehensive and effective solution for their health needs.

Whether you're seeking relaxation, relief from discomfort, or overall balance, CBD products rich in these natural compounds offer a promising avenue for natural wellness support.


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For educational purposes only FDA DISCLAIMER

*FDA DISCLAIMER -These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

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