Are cannabis and hops somehow related? Hemp and hops are herbs that we like to associate with a very pleasant state of intoxication. Each in its own way, unique! While the hops flower needs to be turned into beer first, the cannabis flower can be consumed directly after drying. However, the combination of the two can result in a loss of control. But let’s move on to the interesting part! This is the information that hops and cannabis are actually related to each other! I would like to take a closer look at the biological relationship between the two plants.
The cannabis family consists of several genera and about 170 different species. The most versatile is the cannabis plant. Another product that is equally popular in this family is hops (Humulus Lupulus). These two plants, namely cannabis, and hops, actually have a lot in common! I want to take a closer look at these similarities. An interesting combination of the two plants is the ease with which their flowers can be used. Just as the flower of the female cannabis plant is used for recreational purposes, the brewmaster uses female hops flowers to make beer. This is due to the hops oils, bitterness, and tannins in the flowers of the female plant. As with the cannabis plant, these hops oils and bitter substances are formed in the glands (trichomes).
Also, the texture of the leaves of the two plants is very similar. For example, both are characterized by the arrangement of stem leaves. The edge of the serrated leaves of both plants is also quite characteristic. The unique cannabis scent can sometimes make many users smile in public. These fragrance and flavor flavors are produced by the terpenes produced by the marijuana plant in addition to cannabinoids. Anyone who has passed through a brewery may have noticed a very strong odor there as well. These are the same chemicals that give the famous brewery its flavor, namely terpenes. Terpenes are basic chemicals that can be found in many of the plant species.
Understanding that hops and marijuana are interrelated and therefore very similar is important. How about a beer with a fine and very special flavor? After smoking cannabis, you’d rather listen to the relaxing sounds of reggae music than blast pop songs with chants; That’s exactly what California’s Tony Magee has to offer. In 1993 he founded the Lagunitas brewery. The company has repeatedly made headlines with the lawsuit over its close relationship with marijuana after the legalization of cannabis in the United States. The US state reversed this trend somewhat. Now the brewery is considering a beer made from hemp extracts that contain the THC psychoactive substance. The brand is called Hi-Fi Hops and can be expected with curiosity. Recently, there are several cannabis beers on the European market. Of course, they are made for the local market and therefore do not contain THC.
Now that we have discovered how closely hops and cannabis are related, the question is whether or not hops flowers can actually be smoked arises. With all the common features of the two plants, this should be possible. And hops (Humulus lupulus) can do more than just make beer. Hops can be consumed in various forms such as infusion drinks. However, what is much more interesting is that hops can also be smoked so that a psychoactive effect can be achieved. Just collect a bunch of female hops you want to smoke, like the cannabis plant! If you want an intoxicating effect, you should drink lupine hops. Lupulin is the shiny resin substance in the cone-shaped hops flower.
The elimination of outer pottery was simulated. Just mix 1: 1 with tobacco and voila! Of course, you can also evaporate the hops in a vaporizer. Its effects are often described as calming and very soothing. Absolute relief! So if you have insomnia, you might want to smoke hops occasionally. While crossbreeding is possible within a plant family, not all species and genera are cross. A few years ago the Japanese produced “pseudo-hemp”. It was possible to cross Japanese hops with hemp. This should be particularly beneficial for outdoor growers, as the cannabis plant cannot be directly identified in this way. However, the flower developed quite normally, including the usual fragrance development. During this time, this trend has evolved and there are several types of fake cannabis.
Close Relatives: Hops and Cannabis
No other plant is as close to cannabis as hops. Both are economically important single members of the botanical family Cannabaceae, which includes a total of 270 aromatic species. While cannabis was grown for a variety of uses, from low-THC hemp to the most beautiful green buds, the hops plant has had a more focused career as the main ingredient in fermentation. It is used both for its taste and for its antiseptic properties that inhibit the growth of unwanted microbes. Still, it may be surprising to learn that hops flowers are easy to smoke and can affect your mood.
Like hemp, growing hops is prohibited in the USA. Hemp still suffers from federal bans and hinders the natural growth of a potentially very profitable industry. The ban on alcohol in the 1920s affected hops. A Rogue Farms blog post titled Hops and Everything You Didn’t Know About the Ban reported that by then that thousands of small breweries were lost, never returning.
As with hemp, only essential resins and oils found in female flowers and glands were sought. These resins and oils have been used in pollinated flowers, so hops growers carefully remove male plants. Does it sound familiar to you? As with cannabis production, these female flowers have been developed for several different flavors, each with its own name and specific qualities. Interestingly, many of the basic flavor categories (flower, pine, citrus) are also similar to hemp. Even the names can look similar. A 2014 article named What Makes English Hops Unique in the World of Hop? celebrates the popular Brewer’s Gold variety that was launched in 1934 and is now the main source of all the world’s bitter hops varieties.
To give this research a local voice, I spoke with Michael Smith, chief brewer of Eel River Brewery in Scotia, California. Michael said the hops come from the Pacific Northwest, ie Yakima Valley in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. These varieties offer different locations for different flavor profiles. He confirmed that the brewers complemented and balanced the sweetness of malt with the bitterness of the hops. He also mentioned two different ways that hops growers are famous for enhancing this bitter quality or enhancing flavors that emphasize floral, pine, or citrus fruits.
Traditional formulas that honor their beer roots in Europe lean towards the sour side and Eel River Brewing does it. Michael was delighted to introduce me to what he called the new school style like several West Coast IPAs that revolve around the most delicious hops. Eel River’s Double and Triple IPAs emphasize the aromatic side of hops rather than being two to three times bitter. Emerald Triangle Double IPA is based on flavors described on their website as a pine character with notes of strong citrus and tropical fruits. You can also try the special Earth Thirst Double IPA, whose experimental hops are grown in Oregon.
The bitter and aromatic aromas of hops come from chemical groups that brewers call alpha acids. This includes the terpenes that cannabis and hops have in common. One of these terpenes, beta-caryophyllene, binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, according to a 2008 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. The study shows that this cousin of cannabis may be effective in treating inflammation. Hemp and hops flowers have a long history as herbal remedies with soothing properties. The University of Michigan Medical School lists the most common ailments where hops are used to treat as insomnia, anxiety, and poor digestion. Other medications carry dried hops flowers in addition to a valerian-like supplement and are used for anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.
Other hops sources recommend that interacting alcohol with hops to enhance the calming effect. We know that hemp resins, like hops, are soluble in alcohol. How can the different amounts and types of alpha acids in hops interact with the effects of alcohol? It seems like there should always be a little drug interaction, I’ve never talked about that anywhere. This author experienced the mild sedative effects of hops. I was delighted to find some dried hops flowers in the main section of my food cooperative after I heard somewhere that hops can blow you away. I brought it and experienced it. Once the outer shell of the hops flower has been removed, the insides with their resins create a slight feeling of relief, which is also legal. Brewer Michael said he has no personal knowledge of the subject, but you can find anecdotes about brewers making hops online.
The Evolution History of Hops and Cannabis
Once, hemp (cannabis) and humus (hops) were the same plants. About 27 million years ago, hemp and hops differed from their common ancestors and evolved into separate botanical species. Today, hemp and hummus are defined as separate species within the same Cannabaceae plant family. A family resemblance can be seen in the iconic serrated leaves of both plants. Family ties are also shown in the fact that cannabis seeds and pollen resemble humus seeds and pollen. These similarities make it difficult to distinguish fossilized remains of the two plants. How did scientists understand that cannabis has become a unique strain of the Cannabaceae family?
Cannabis prefers flood-affected alluvial soils and is produced in a pollen accumulation dominated by tall pastures, grains, the vegetation of the flowering plants of wormwood, and chicken’s feet family. If there are traces of these plants, it is more likely to have cannabis among them than hops. By comparison, Humulus colonizes a more humid ecological niche that thrives near poplars and willows, for example. If traces of these plants are found with cannabis / Humulus seeds or pollen, the suspect is probably “hops”. Based on chloroplast DNA sequences and radiocarbon dating, experts suggest that cannabis emerged as a separate botanical species 27.8 million years ago and that its region of origin is the Tibetan plateau.
In addition to their common physical properties (leaves, seeds, pollen), hemp and hops are similar in other ways. Some of the same ingredients, including terpenes and other plant nutrients, are found in female inflorescences of both species. Cannabis has a rich history of medicine that goes back to prehistoric times, just like hops. Long before it became a bitter medicine in the brewing industry, the tips of hops flowers were used in traditional Eurasian cultures to treat restlessness and sleep disorders. The same goes for flowering cannabis strains. In addition to sedative and sleep properties, hops and hemp have other important therapeutic properties. Both herbs have powerful antibacterial and cancer-fighting properties according to the latest scientific discoveries.
Xanthohumol is one of the many phenolic compounds found in hops with remarkable medicinal potential. This prenylated flavonoid was found to be a broad-spectrum cancer chemopreventive drug in a 2004 Oregon State University preclinical study that suggested further research into its program implementation. Later research in Belgium showed that xanthohumol effectively inhibits the proliferation of prostate cancer. Chinese scientists reported that xanthohumol was effective against HIV infection, and suggested it was an interesting lead compound to develop a new therapeutic agent. It could work for HIV.
Another flavonoid found in hops flowers, 8-prenylnaringenin, is a potent phytoestrogen that may be useful as a dietary supplement for treating post-menopausal hot flashes. This flavonoid compound also has antidiabetic potential, according to a 2018 report by German and Italian scientists.
The Amazing Plant Family: Hops and Cannabis
Hemp and hops are closely related in terms of origin, genetics, taxonomy, and terpene content. I have written a lot about cannabis, but this is my first post on hops. I’ll devote most of the following paragraphs to hops. In the following paragraphs, I will examine the similarities and differences between them, list the many medicinal benefits of hops, and discuss a study on the possible benefits of using tab acids to manage the metabolic syndrome.
The Cannabaceae family, which consists of 170 types of flowering plants, includes hemp (cannabis) and humus (hops). The genealogy relationship between cannabis and hops is stronger than other species in the Cannabaceae family. The two species are believed to share a common ancestor in Central Eurasia millions of years ago. The resin obtained from flowers or hops cones creates the bitterness of the beer while at the same time acting as an antimicrobial agent to protect it. Hops cones also contain essential oils as well as alpha and beta acids that provide a variety of medicinal benefits. These include:
- Sedatives as a sleep aid
- Antihyplipidemia, which can lower LDL cholesterol
- Hypoglycemic features
- Anti-obesity properties
- Controls metabolic syndrome (MS), including lipid metabolism, glucose tolerance, and body weight management
- Diuretic properties
- Increases bile secretion.
- It increases the functioning of the stomach system.
- Strengthens immune function
- Promotes better brain function
- Protects the liver
- It can improve symptoms of neurogenerative and cardiovascular diseases.
Both hemp and hops contain flavonoids and terpenes. In addition to hemp and hops plants, non-pollinated female plants are selectively grown for rich resin and oil production. Marijuana’s terpene content is more diverse than humus. While hemp has about 15 terpenes in significant amounts, Humulus contains:
- Myrcene is the most common terpene.
- Humulene is also very abundant
- Caryophyllene is the third most common terpene.
- Limes – small amounts
- Pinenes (alpha and beta forms) – small amounts
Flavonoids provide aroma and taste to plants, pigmentation, and protection against ultraviolet rays. The main flavonoid in hops is xanthohumol (XN), which shows its potential to provide anti-cancer properties. Other flavonoids include isoxanthohumol (IX), 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN), and 6-prenylnaringenin (6-PN). Some flavonoids are found only in hemp called cannaflavinoids. They offer anti-inflammatory properties.
The use of hops was already documented in Roman times and was mentioned in a book by the Roman scientist Gaius Pliny Secundus, also known as Pliny the Elder. They were originally used as a herb that you can find in your kitchen. The edible sprouts found in the spring were eaten like asparagus. In the 9th and 10th centuries, French and German brewers used hops as a flavoring and preservative in beer. Bavarian hops became famous in the 11th century. Until the 16th century, British brewers replaced hops with traditional herbs from Alehoof and Alecost beers. Hops were introduced to North America by the Massachusetts Company in 1629. It took another 170 years for hops to become an important crop. Today, hops are grown primarily in OR, WA, ID, and CA.
Strig connects the jump cone to the container. It also contains most of the tannins of hops found in polyphenols that are full of medicinal properties. Polyphenols are antioxidant-rich foods from some plants. Hops between 4% and 6% by weight contain some of the highest polyphenol contents, which play an important role in determining the hardness or sweetness of bitter substances. Bracts make up the entire structure of the jump cone. They also contain polyphenols. The coil, which is considered to be the small coil, is the leaf-shaped inner structure of the jumping cone. Lupulin glands, which contain resins and essential oils, are found in casing leaves and protected by casing leaves. When you open a hops cone, you will immediately see yellowish pollen containing essential oils and the two main types of acids.
Alpha acids, including humulone, co Tohumlone, and ad Tohumlone, are responsible for the bitterness of the beer. They are not bitter in their own right but are converted into iso-α-bitter acids (IAA) during brewing. They have a mild antibiotic and antibacterial action against certain bacteria, are antioxidants, prevent diet-related obesity, and improve hyperglycemia.
Beta acids add flavor and are added at the end of the brewing process to create unstable essential oils.
A Japanese study published in Frontier in Aging Neuroscience was conducted at the University of Tokyo, the Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Tokyo, Japan, and the Food Technologies and Health Sciences Research Laboratory. They studied the effects of alpha acids, iso-α-acids, on the brains of old mice. The result suggested a reduction in inflammation in the brain that prevented the cognitive decline associated with aging. It also showed that iso-α-acids prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. This is a very interesting breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease research. People have used both cannabis and hops for their medicinal properties for thousands of years and with good reason!
More Information on Hops: The Raw Material of Beer
The hops, which belongs to the Cannabaceae family, resemble small cones in appearance. This herb, which has been used in alternative medicine for centuries, is rich in essential oils, bitter substances, resins, wax, and tannins. I will tell you about hops, which has a strong sedative effect, in the following paragraphs. So what are the benefits of hops? Hops bloom in green and white in July and September. There are hard hairs on its leaves. Hops, which are collected and dried in August, are used in alternative medicine in the production of natural medicine. In addition, its oil is utilized in the cosmetic industry.
In the middle of the female flower group, namely the cone, there is a stalk with 8-10 bends. One bract and two bracteoles fit on each elbow of this. On the underside of the bracteoles, there are couplet-shaped, sticky, yellow, and powdery particles. These are called lupulin. Lupulin particles also affect quality. The bitter resins and essential oils that give the beer the distinctive bitter taste and smell are found in lupulin grains. The parts of the grass on the ground dry out every year. The main thing is the perennial part, more precisely the root stem under the ground. This part gives new shoots every year in the spring. That part that climbs up to 10 m is these shoots. Although it varies, usually 2-6 shoots are pruned in autumn or spring, before the sap is transferred to the shoots.
The most basic method of processing hops is to boil it for long periods (30-120 minutes) in boilers. At the end of this boiling, alpha acids are isomerized and transformed into iso-alpha acids, which are more stable and soluble, giving bitterness. Separated by Hayduck as alpha and beta resins, bitter resins are actually resinous modifications of substances that crystallize in hops. Since these have an acid character, they were initially called alpha and beta bitter acids. However, this was not a correct definition. Because this acidic substance was not only a modification of a single substance but also a substance in the ketone structure. Therefore, alpha acid is called humulone, and beta acid is called lupulin. These substances are obtained by extracting lupulin with petroleum ether boiling at low temperatures.
In addition to soft resins, hops also contain gamma resin called hard resin. This resin has no importance in brewing and its presence is not desired. Here, during the storage of hops, if the protection is not done under suitable conditions, soft resins with bitter acids turn into hard resin and naturally reduce the brewing value of hops. The amount of this bitter substance varies depending on the year and place the product was grown, climatic conditions, harvest time, and storage conditions. In the legal regulations of the European Union, hops are grouped under three groups as varieties rich in bitter substances, varieties rich in essential oils, and others according to their quality.
Combining with unwanted proteins, tannins, and flobafen form insoluble complexes and cause the proteins to collapse to the bottom. Tannin is 2-5% in hops. Tannin is found in the leaves forming the cones with the flower axis. With the oxidation of the grain, a dark red colored flobafen is formed. Beers made with de-tanned hops are sweeter. The pectin found in hops plays an active role in clarifying both the must and the beer. Almost every plant product contains two separate groups of oils that can differ in their vaporability. While fixed and relatively non-volatile oils like oils in hazelnuts are not very effective on aroma, essential oils are of course volatile. Therefore, we can control their presence or absence by simply sniffing.
Although the amount of essential oil in hops products is between 0.5-3% by volume, its contribution to the beer product is substantial. Any beer is produced with approximately 1/2 ounce of hops per gallon. Assuming that only 10% of the oils can be used, their proportion of beer is more than 0.001% (10 ppm) by weight. Essential oils, a light yellow-greenish yellow liquid, belong to the terpene group of hydrocarbons. The essential oil between 0.3-1.7% is obtained from female flowers produced in Europe through water vapor distillation. Analysis of the essential oils of hops showed that there were at least 18-20 different compounds in it. Depending on the country it grows, the most important compounds found in hops are myrcene, α-humulene, β-caryophyllene, limonene, xanthohumol, bornyl, valerian, humulone, linalool, methylone, ketone, α-pinene, β-pinene. These are all compounds found in high amounts in hops.
It acts as a raw material in many natural creams and tonics. Nausea and vomiting, which have been the leading stomach diseases for centuries, both invite various diseases and are among the symptoms. Hops are almost a natural remedy for these diseases. Thanks to its soothing effect, experts give tea to their patients who have psychological problems in years when technology is not developed. Hops, which are green in spring and healing in autumn, are dried in the shade and sold in herbalists. Hops, which have incredible benefits for human health, also have some harms. Therefore, it is useful to consult an expert without consuming it. Hops’ benefits include:
- Hops, which contributes to the physical development of women, also relieves the aches and pains of the menstrual period.
- Hops, which has pain-relieving properties, is used as a cream for bone pain caused by rheumatism. It also protects oral and dental health by improving toothache due to inflammation.
- It removes inflammatory toxins, especially in the liver, from the body. It also prevents the formation of stones and sand in the kidneys.
- It calms the body by reducing the deformed cells in the nerve cells, thus helping you have a comfortable sleep.
- Hops tea, consumed in a glass a day, facilitates digestion. It prevents discomfort such as indigestion.
- This herb, which is also made in its cream, is used to heal wounds quickly.
The oil of this herb, which has soothing properties, is good for body aches. However, it should not be mixed with other oils and used. It is recommended to massage with this oil every two days for knee pain, joint stiffness, and especially for those who work sitting for long periods. It can also be mixed with rosemary oil on the neck and forehead during migraine attacks. Hops support the physical development of women and are used in injuries. It is recommended that women who want to enlarge their breasts should be applied regularly, especially around the breast. To obtain this cream, boil a pinch of hops and use a blender when it reaches the consistency of cream. Hops can also be used by drying herbs. It is brewed like tea. This tea is recommended to be consumed one hour before bedtime, especially for those suffering from chronic insomnia. You can consume it by adding honey to hops tea, which has a pungent smell.
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