Hops and cannabinoids

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Research has shown that Humulus lupulus (the plant that makes hops) and Cannabis sativa (also called hemp and marijuana) are closely related,[1][a] and it may be possible to create novel strains of hops that express valuable chemicals similar to commercial hemp. Both hops and cannabis contain terpenes and terpenoids; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a terpenoid.[3][4] Hops lack the enzyme that could convert cannabigerolic acid into THC or CBD,[5] but it could be inserted using genetic engineering as was reported in 2019 for yeast.[6][7]


  1. ^ See also subsection titled "The incredibly parallel histories of cannabis and its closest relative, humulus (hop)" in Small (2016)[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Briggs et al. 2004, p. 228.
  2. ^ Small 2016.
  3. ^ Andre, Christelle M.; Hausman, Jean-Francois; Guerriero, Gea (2016), "Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules", Frontiers in Plant Science, 7 (19): 19, doi:10.3389/fpls.2016.00019, PMC 4740396, PMID 26870049
  4. ^ Harbison, Martha (November 15, 2012), "BeerSci: What's The Connection Between Hops And Marijuana? Because they sure look and smell alike.", Popular Science
  5. ^ Kaplan, Josh (July 12, 2018). "Does CBD Only Come From Cannabis and Hemp?". Leafly.
  6. ^ Bushwick, Sophie (February 27, 2019). "Rising High: GM Yeast Generates Known and Novel Marijuana Compounds – Engineered microorganisms churn out THC, CBD and rarer, less-understood cannabis cousins". Scientific American.
  7. ^ Luo, Xiaozhou; Reiter, Michael A.; d’Espaux, Leo; Wong, Jeff; Denby, Charles M.; Lechner, Anna; Zhang, unfeng; Grzybowski, Adrian T.; Harth, Simon; Lin, Weiyin; Lee, Hyunsu; Yu, Changhua; Shin, John; Deng, Kai; Benites, Veronica T.; Wang, George; Baidoo, Edward E. K.; Chen, Yan; Dev, Ishaan; Petzold, Christopher J.; Keasling, Jay D. (February 27, 2019), "Complete biosynthesis of cannabinoids and their unnatural analogues in yeast", Nature, 567 (7746): 123–126, doi:10.1038/s41586-019-0978-9, S2CID 71147445{{citation}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)