New Compounds to Look Out For In Cannabis


When an alcohol bonds with a carboxylic acid, esters are formed. They can be found everywhere from nature and food to fragrances and essential oils. In cannabis, esters do not bind to receptors in our endocannabinoid system and are considered inactive. However, they have been shown to increase the functionality of cannabinoid receptors. Some common examples are methyl cinnamate (strawberry) and beauty butanoate (pineapple). One of the coolest ones is benzyl salicylate, an ester that people perceive to have different aromas. Additionally, esters have been shown to add to or even change the profile of terpenes.


Flavonoids are plant derived phytochemicals usually responsible for the non-green pigmentation of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. One of the most well-known flavonoids is anthocyanin, which provides purple, red, or blue pigments. In cannabis plants they are the reason some have a darker, purple hue, but it is also found in many berries, grapes and flowers. Cannabis has about 20 flavonoids that we know currently, with a few unique to cannabis such as cannaflavins a, b & c. Flavonoids and other phenolic compounds have the potential to interact synergistically with other compounds in the plant like cannabinoids.


These aromatic organic compounds are formed from the dehydration of alcohols. They can have sweet odors, such as vanillin (scent of vanilla extract) or cinnamaldehyde (cinnamon), so they are often added to many fragrances and found in a variety of foods. However, certain aldehydes can also be responsible for those more pungent scents as well. Additionally, studies suggest they have the potential to influence terpenes by chemically changing their makeup, similarly to how esters change or mask scents of terpenes.



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MCR Labs

MCR Labs

MCR Labs is an independent cannabis testing & research laboratory located in Framingham, Massachusetts devoted to cannabis safety and education.