Scientists Discover Cannabidiol-Like Compound in South American Shrub

Scientists Discover Cannabidiol-Like Compound in South American Shrub

Researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery in the world of cannabinoids. A CBD-like compound has been found in Trema micrantha, a plant species native to Brazil and other South American countries. This finding further supports the notion that cannabinoid compounds are not exclusive to cannabis.

In recent years, scientists have identified cannabinoid-like compounds in various plant species. For example, a psychoactive THC-like compound was found in the liverwort genus Radula, and CBG-like compound and five other cannabinoids were discovered in Helichrysum umbraculigerum. These discoveries suggest that the properties of cannabis compounds are not limited to one species.

Unlike the previously mentioned plants, Trema micrantha is part of the Cannabaceae family, making it a close relative of cannabis and hops. This means that it could potentially be used as a source of CBD, which is known for its various medicinal benefits.

One of the main challenges in extracting CBD from hemp is the presence of THC, which can lead to “hot hemp.” Hot hemp refers to hemp that contains traces of THC above legal limits. This can pose problems for the hemp industry, as THC restrictions make it difficult to extract CBD without risking legal complications.

The researchers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) have stated that Trema micrantha could be a game-changer in CBD production. Chemical analysis did not reveal any THC-like compounds in this plant species, making it a promising source of CBD without the risk of hot hemp.

Molecular biologist Rodrigo Moura Neto explained, “It’s a legal alternative to using cannabis… This is a plant that grows all over Brazil. It would be a simpler and cheaper source of cannabidiol.”

Trema micrantha, also known as Florida trema, is a fast-growing deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 10 meters. It is commonly considered a weed due to its resilience and ability to thrive in various soil conditions. In its native habitats, this plant plays a vital ecological role by providing food and shelter for various bird species, contributing to seed dispersal and biodiversity, and preventing soil erosion.

The results of the study have not yet been published, but Neto plans to continue his research to identify the best methods for extracting CBD from Trema micrantha and analyze its efficacy in patients with conditions currently treated with medical cannabis.

This discovery opens up a new potential source of CBD in the global market. The CBD market was valued at $4.9 billion USD in 2021 and is projected to reach $47.22 billion USD by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.20%. As consumer awareness of health and fitness increases, the demand for CBD products is expected to grow significantly.

Neto’s team has received a grant of $104,000 USD from the Brazilian government to fund their research, which they estimate will take at least five years to complete.

In conclusion, the discovery of a CBD-like compound in Trema micrantha is an exciting development in the field of cannabinoids. This plant species could potentially provide a legal and cost-effective alternative to cannabis for medicinal purposes. Further research is needed to fully understand the efficacy and extraction methods of this compound, but it holds great promise for the future of CBD production.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

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