Researchers have discovered a new CBD-like compound in Trema micrantha, a plant species native to Brazil and other South American countries. This discovery expands the potential use of cannabidiol (CBD) for medicinal purposes without legal barriers. Unlike many other plants that contain cannabinoid-like compounds, Trema micrantha is an actual cousin of cannabis and hops, falling in the Cannabaceae family. With THC restrictions making it difficult to extract CBD from hemp, this new plant could eliminate that problem altogether.
Although chemical analysis did not show any THC-like compounds in Trema micrantha, it showed promise as a game-changer for CBD production since hot hemp is a major headache for the hemp industry with traces of THC. The plant is fast-growing and known for its hardiness, making it a common weed found in urban landscapes. However, in its native habitats, Trema micrantha plays an important ecological role by providing fruits as a food source for a variety of bird species and contributing to seed dispersal and biodiversity.
The results of the study have not yet been published. Molecular biologist Rodrigo Moura Neto of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro plans to ramp up the study to better identify the best methods to extract CBD from the plant and analyze its effectiveness in patients with conditions currently treated with medical cannabis. Neto’s team recently won a $104,000 grant from the Brazilian government to fund the research, which he estimates will take a minimum of five years to complete.
The global CBD market is projected to reach a value of $47.22 billion USD by 2028 at a CAGR of 21.20% over the forecast period. Consumer awareness of health and fitness has increased tremendously, leading to the explosion of the CBD market. With this new avenue worth exploring, Trema micrantha could provide a new source of CBD in this massive global market.