The recent discovery of how cannabis plants synthesize them could transform how we treat pain.
Despite the hundreds of compounds Cannabis sativa plants produce, just two cannabinoids—THC and CBD—have dominated discussions about the medicinal and therapeutic properties of cannabis. And for good reason. THCA and CBDA, the inactive acidic forms of THC and CBD, are the most abundant chemicals produced by cannabis plants, making them both the most commercially viable and the easiest to research. Studies that investigate the potential medical applications of these cannabinoids continue to link their versatile therapeutic effectiveness to their ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body. But the reality is that THC and CBD aren’t the only compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
In fact, they may not even be the most potent pain-relievers cannabis has to offer. That honor might actually belong to a different family of cannabis compounds altogether: flavonoids. You may have heard of flavonoids before if you’ve ever looked into the health benefits of certain “superfoods.” Several studies have shown how plant flavonoids offer humans (and other animals) antioxidant, anticancer and neuroprotective properties.
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