Scientists Create New Hops Strain Rich In Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol, more popularly known as CBD, is one of the hottest new trends in medicine and wellness, and patients and physicians across the country are uncovering new uses for this natural extract, ranging from the treatment of epilepsy to pain relief and anxiety.

Humulus kriya is a specially-bred hops variety which, like cannabis and hemp, contains high levels of CBD. Researchers from California who bred the strain from Asian hop varieties have now created the very first CBD oil not derived from cannabis or hemp.

Ever open a bottle of beer and find that, just for a second, it smells a little bit like cannabis? Well, turns out cannabis and hops (Humulus) are very closely related. So close, in fact, that hops may even contain CBD, a phytocannabinoid which, until now, was only thought to exist in cannabis and hemp.

CBD Derived From Hops

Peak Health Foundation is a San Francisco-based nutrition company that recently launched a CBD product made from a special breed of hops. The process began over a decade ago after scientists at Peak Health found CBD in native hop samples from Asia.

The team at Peak Health then worked to specially breed these hop varieties to create a new strain, now known as Humulus kriya, which produces up to 18% CBD (like hemp and cannabis). Kriya hops also contain terpenes like humulene and beta-caryophyllene.

Earlier this year, Medical Marijuana Inc. launched a new brand of CBD oil made using this variety of hops. The oil, marketed as Real Scientific Humulus Oil (RSHO-K), contains under 1% CBD. It is currently only available in 4oz (118ml) bottles with a total CBD content of 1000mg. This is notably less than other hemp or cannabis-derived oils, some of which contain up to 20% CBD (like our 20% CBD Hemp Seed Oil).

The Legal Framework Surrounding Humulus

Unlike hemp or cannabis-derived oils, “Humulus oil” is a lot easier to distribute because hops are legal all around the world. In the US, for example, hop extracts are “generally regarded as safe” by the Food and Drug Administration. The same can’t be said for cannabis; while hemp oils are available in all 50 US states, CBD oils derived from cannabis are still federally illegal substances.

However, the low concentrations of CBD in this Humulus oil are concerning. Most CBD oils contain at least 2% CBD, which is almost double the strength of the oil sold by Medical Marijuana Inc. Nonetheless, the oil offers a solid alternative for those consumers looking to try CBD who cannot access oils derived from cannabis or hemp.

Dr. Bomi Joseph, Director of Peak Health Foundation, explained that he was looking to work with CBD that didn’t come from cannabis or hemp. He eventually looked into hops, a member of the Cannabaceae family, and found that a few samples from Asia (where hops grow naturally) did in fact contain trace amounts of cannabinoids.

Working with a few samples of these different varieties, Dr. Joseph and team were able to create a new strain of hops that consistently produces high levels of CBD. Since it’s discovery, Peak Health has let Medical Marijuana Inc take care of the oil distribution. How this innovation will ultimately affect CBD breeding, extraction, and distribution is yet unclear, especially as cannabis is finally being released from the shackles of prohibition. Still, it is a fascinating step forward in truly understanding cannabinoids and their multifaceted nature.

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