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January 08, 2024 3 min read

The botanical world harbors intriguing connections, and one fascinating relationship lies between cannabinoids and hops. Both cannabis and hops belong to the Cannabaceae family, sharing not only genetic ties but also some chemical similarities. This article delves into the evolution of cannabis and hops, examining the shared cannabinoids and the distinctive paths each plant has taken.


 The Cannabaceae Family - A Common Ancestry

The Cannabaceae family serves as the botanical home for both cannabis and hops. Despite their differences in appearance and usage, these plants share a common genetic ancestry. Exploring this family tree provides insights into the evolutionary divergence of cannabis and hops.

The Cannabaceae family includes both cannabis (Cannabis sativa) and hops (Humulus lupulus) While they share a common genetic ancestry and belong to the same plant family, they are distinct species. Hops and cannabis are not the same plant, but they have some similarities, including the presence of cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD) in both. The connection lies in their shared family roots rather than being direct parts of one another.


Cannabinoids in Cannabis and Hops

Cannabinoids, the chemical compounds responsible for the unique effects of cannabis, are not exclusive to this plant. Hops also contain cannabinoids, albeit in different concentrations and compositions. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a notable cannabinoid found in both plants, but how do these shared compounds influence the characteristics of cannabis and hops?


The Evolutionary Journey of Cannabis

 Tracing the evolutionary journey of cannabis reveals its adaptation to various climates and environments. From its wild origins to cultivation for medicinal and recreational purposes, cannabis has undergone significant changes. Understanding this evolution sheds light on the diversity of cannabinoids present in different cannabis strains.


Hops - Beyond Beer Bitterness

Hops are traditionally known for their role in brewing beer, contributing bitterness and aroma. However, their history extends beyond the brewing kettle. Exploring the diverse applications of hops, from herbal remedies to potential therapeutic uses, showcases the versatility of this plant and its cannabinoids.


Shared Terpenes and Aromas

Terpenes, aromatic compounds found in both cannabis and hops, contribute to the distinctive smells and flavors associated with these plants. Examining the shared terpenes between cannabis and hops provides insights into the sensory experiences they offer and the potential for cross-breeding to enhance specific characteristics.


Cross-Breeding and Hybrid Strains

The shared genetic heritage of cannabis and hops opens the door to experimentation through cross-breeding. While cannabis and hops have distinct purposes, the possibility of creating hybrid strains with unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles sparks interest among researchers and enthusiasts alike.


Cannabinoids and Hops in Research

Scientific exploration into the potential health benefits of cannabinoids from both cannabis and hops is ongoing. Researchers are investigating the therapeutic properties of these compounds, exploring their anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and neuroprotective effects. The synergy between cannabinoids and hops compounds adds another layer to this research.

Hops contain compounds known as humulones, which are considered analogs to cannabinoids found in cannabis. Studies suggest that these humulones exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, contributing to their potential therapeutic effects. Researchers are exploring the impact of hops-derived cannabinoids on various health conditions, including inflammation-related disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. The anti-inflammatory nature of hop compounds may offer insights into developing treatments for conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Additionally, the neuroprotective qualities of hops cannabinoids are being investigated for their potential in addressing issues related to cognitive function and brain health. While the research is in its early stages, the exploration of cannabinoids from hops opens new avenues for understanding their role in promoting overall well-being.



The relationship between cannabinoids and hops unveils a captivating story of shared ancestry, distinct evolutionary paths, and the potential for cross-pollination in the world of plants. As research continues, the connection between these two plants may deepen, offering new insights into both the recreational and therapeutic applications of cannabinoids and hops.

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