Have you ever wondered if Hops and Cannabis are related?
Yes, they are, at least that is what research has found.
I guess I’m not the only one who is curious about the similarities between both Humulus Lupulus (hops) and Cannabis sativa (marijuana). They fall into the family Cannabinaceae, a taxonomic family that biologists created when searching for structural similarities between plans to place them in groups. After a whole lot of shake-up and re-configuring, the consensus is that these two plants are very closely related.
First, let’s take a quick and oversimplified look at the reproductive cycle that both plants share. Both have female and male plant DNA. Female hops plants have flowers and cones containing the acids and oils that impart aroma and bitterness. Male plants produce pollen that can be carried by the wind to female cones, resulting in fertilized female flowers. In the Cannabis sativa universe, the female plant creates the cone or flower containing the acids and oils that impart aroma, and the male plant pollinates, however, pollination is frowned upon until a certain age for the female Cannabis plant. Both Hops and Cannabis can become Hermaphrodites – self-pollinating under certain stress-related circumstances. This is undesirable by the breeders because it causes the DNA strain to weaken.
This is a highly specific topic that can be researched more deeply if you like see below for more topic related articles.
Let’s Now Jump to Terpenes
Terpenes, are what you smell and they are the aromatic oils that offer the distinctive characteristics in both hops and cannabis with some similar pine, berry and citrus aromas overlaps. And let’s not ignore the adjectives used for describing both hops, and cannabis – are they not just a wee-bit similar? Naturally! Of course, terpenes are found in other plants and fruits too.
On another topic, if you want to learn more about the discrete biological effects of how terpenes affect our human body and cells therapeutically, please, by all means, check it out. It’ll be good for you.
My professional connection to terpenes is by having used terpenoids in cleaning my paintbrushes and thinning oil paints for years. I can go on for another page or two on the differences of turpentine and how after years of painting, I did notice my affinity for the product. However, it is meant to clean brushes and toxic for consumption. I encourage you to explore the extensive topic of plant and insect-derived terpenes and the nuances between the varieties of terpenes.
Just in case you’re asking the question… hops do not naturally contain CBD, although scientists have created a new hops strain rich in Cannabidiol. And yes, there are other plants that contain Cannabinoids such as; Echinacea, Cacao, Electric Daisy, to name a few. (Echinacea) I believe I also read in passing that hops will soon be engineered to contain CBD. But, don’t take my word for it!
To sum it all up, as suspected Hops and Cannabis are indeed related. I am not a scientist or an expert on any one of these topics, but I am a curious individual. Although both plants grow physically different, the two go back for eons and may have inhabited the planet before man or woman took to believing they are agriculturally in control of what grows naturally on this planet. And whether or not it can be taxed.
As for the tidbits of trivia I laid on the table, I feel that you are wondering one more thought… Can hops be smoked?
Hoppy R and D.
Read on if you are curious. Here are a few articles I tripped across looking for my answers.