New Source of Cannabidiol Not Derived From Cannabis or Hemp

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One of the many chemical cannabinoids found in a garden-variety cannabis sativa plant is cannabidiol (CBD). While CBD is either non-psychoactive altogether or far-less psychoactive than cannabis with high levels of THC, the compound is still listed as a Schedule I drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency because it is derived from either sativa or hemp plants that are illegal.

A San Francisco company, Peak Health Foundation, recently announced its first CBD product derived from a strain of humulus, more commonly known as hops. Not the ones used to make beer, but a strain discovered in India that contains no THC but high levels of CBD and is not derived from a plant that remains illegal.

Once a variety of hops was found in the wild with a reasonably high CBD content, Peak Health founder Bomi Joseph cross-bred the plants to create a new variety known as Kriya brand humulus. Joseph has patented the plant, which has a CBD concentration of around 18%.

CBD is classified GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That means that CBD can and has been used in a wide range of products from oils to edibles. Because the CBD has been derived from sativa or hemp plants, however, these products still run afoul of federal law.

The company Medical Marijuana, which trades on U.S. over-the-counter markets, distributes the humulus-derived CBD oil under the name Real Scientific Humulus Oil (RSHO-K). A four-ounce bottle containing 1,000 mg of CBD sells for $165.99 at the company’s website and is available in all 50 states, not just those that have passed legislation permitting the sale of medical marijuana products.

For more detail on how the plant was discovered, check out this story in Westword.