Science

Hops: Are There Cannabinoids in My Beer?

Heather Ritchie
Written by Heather Ritchie

Most people associate cannabinoids with only cannabis, but, they’re found in other plants too, such as the Coneflower (Echinacea), Electric Daisy (Acmella oleracea), Liverwort (Radula marginata), and hops (Humulus lupulus).

Even our historical counterpart’s saw the similarities between hops and cannabis. In the past, botanists classified plants by structural similarities and appearance. Both plants were classified under a large order named Urticales because of their similarities in appearance. These similarities were later confirmed when molecular biologists began sequencing plant DNA in the 1990’s, however they discovered that they were both actually part of the Cannabinaceae family.

The flavorful terpenes also associate cannabis and hops in flavor and aroma, but there are critical differences between the two plants as well. Compounds in hops called alpha acids, like humulone, work to bitter the beer, providing its unique character,and the hops plant doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Of all the cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) is quickly becoming popular for medical patients and those that don’t want the intoxicating effects of THC. As the demand for CBD products increases, alternate cannabinoid sources could present unique opportunities to the medical industry.

One of the First CBD Products Made from Non-Cannabis Sources

Isodiol International Inc., a global consumer and pharmaceutical cannabis company, announced September 5, 2017, that it had created a sophisticated and innovative technology that can extract cannabinoids from non-cannabis sources. This proprietary technology essentially opens up more treatment options for patients and consumers around the world.

On November 16, 2017, Isodiol, announced the launch of their non-cannabis CBD product ImmunAG in the United States. ImmunAG is a time-released CBD pill extracted from the hops plant and has increased the world’s interest in the healing properties of CBD.

While hops don’t portray as many medicinal compounds that cannabis does, its legal status has made it easier for scientists and researchers to study without fear of criminal prosecution. Perhaps the compounds of these two plants may one day work together to increase the medical efficacy of CBD. Both plants have played essential roles in society for thousands of years and it’s likely that their uses will continue to evolve as science advances.

About the author

Heather Ritchie

Heather Ritchie

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