Background: Although Cannabis sativa L. is one of the most versatile plant species with multipurpose use both as medical, alimentary source and as psychoactive abuse, its biomedical relevance focused the attention on major cannabinoids. Phytochemical characterization of cannabis highlights the presence of various non-cannabinoids constituents including flavonoids, spiroindans, dihyrostilbenes, dihydrophenanthrenes, lignanamides, steroids and alkaloids. This review aims to identify polyphenols present in this plant, their biosynthesis, their bioactivities and their synthesis, when this occurred.
Methods: We undertook a systematic research focused on bibliographic databases including all noncannabinoids phenolics in various C. sativa strains from their isolation, structural elucidation, their biological activity to their synthesis.
Result: Nevertheless, attention has so far been focused only on cannabinoids (more than one hundred isolated), cannabis is a complex plant able to produce more than 480 chemical entities that represent almost all of the different biogenetic classes. Regarding phenolic compounds, the plant biosynthesises a plethora of unique non-cannabinoids second metabolites, such as prenylated flavonoids, stilbenoids derivatives and lignanammides.
Conclusion: Cannabis is a plant with high pharmacological and nutrition values, its potentialities and applications are not only circumscribed to cannabinoids biological activities, but also defined by noncannabinoid compounds. The combination of other cannabinoids together with noncannabinoid components could enhance the beneficial effects of THC and could reduce undesirable side effects.