The cannabis extract CBD has the potential to treat intractable epilepsy, chronic pain and many other conditions, but it's difficult for patients to get their hands on because marijuana is still a federally prohibited substance in America. Now researchers may have found a way to get around those obstacles with a form of CBD that's derived from hops.
CBD has become an increasingly popular drug throughout the US, with usages ranging from treating anxiety (in people as well as dogs) to replacing beeswax in makeup. A CBD-based epilepsy drug has even received approval from the FDA. Despite this, CBD continues to be unavailable in states that don't have medical marijuana programs, and in numerous world markets.
That's something Dr. Bomi Joseph hopes he can get around with his new Real Scientific Humulus Oil, a form of CBD derived from the humulus plant—better known as hops . While this is not exactly the same thing as hops (or humulus lupulus), the stuff beer is brewed with, it comes form the same family of plant, which means it doesn't have the same legal barriers that cannabis faces.
Typically, hops don't produce CBD. But when Joseph discovered a crop of hop that had been cross pollinated with cannabis in Northern India he began to search for hop plants that were producing CBD.
"I knew that there was a chance of this [cannabis-humulus cross-pollination] actually happening," Joseph told Westword. "But we looked at thousands of samples before we found one or two that had CBD in it."
Joseph and his team have since developed a hop plant that can reliably produce CBD and has begun selling his Humulus Oil across the country in partnership with Medical Marijuana Inc.
"This is certainly going to help change the dialogue for not only many parents whose children have epilepsy, but various other world markets which still, of course, consider cannabis part of the United Nations single convention treaty on narcotics," says Medical Marijuana Inc. CEO Stuart Titus.
Now Titus and Joseph are planning to expand their hop-based oil so that patients in countries with the toughest cannabis laws can gain the benefits of CBD.