Scientists Scale Up Study of New CBD Source in Brazilian Non-Cannabis Shrub

Scientists Scale Up Study of New CBD Source in Brazilian Non-Cannabis Shrub

In November 2023, shared the news that Rodrigo Moura Neto of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and his team had discovered the flowers and fruits of the Trema micrantha blume shrub contained CBD (cannabidiol). He also learned the plant does not contain THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the cannabinoid that is a psychoactive substance. At the time of his announcement, he had been awarded a $104,000 grant to expand the project, and now he is ready to advance the effort.

The grant awarded to Neto was to identify the best methods for CBD extraction from Trema, followed by studying the CBD extract as a potential medical marijuana substitute. In June 2024, Neto reported he is now ready to scale up his study to explore the best CBD extraction process and analyze its effectiveness in patients who currently take medical cannabis for various health conditions.

As explained in a December 2023 project information date, the Trema micrantha blume is also called the Jamaican Nettletree and is native to the Americas. The possibility of a widespread growing small shrub that people consider a weed is a potential source of CBD is major news. THC remains illegal in many countries, so the major cannabinoid CBD is the best option for millions of consumers. This research has made Dr. Neto an academic celebrity of sorts in the CBD industry.

“This is a plant that grows all over Brazil. It would be a simpler and cheaper source of cannabidiol,” Neto said.

Producing CBD extract from a common plant would be an economic boom for the global CBD industry.

This is not the first time that CBD has been discovered in a plant that is not a cannabis plant. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel found that the woolly umbrella plant (Helichrysum umbraculigerum) had six cannabinoids that are in the cannabis plant. The South African woolly umbrella plant is an herb related to lettuce, daisies, and sunflowers.

The popularity of CBD continues to grow, meaning demand for CBD will also increase. Precedence Research projects the U.S. CBD market will exceed $31.11 billion from 2024 to 2033, and the global CBD market is projected to grow to $69.72 billion for the same period. Developing a CBD extract from a common plant would enable producers to keep up with demand. The main factor slowing consumer market growth is government laws and regulations.


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