Commonly known to come from the cannabis plant or hemp, cannabidiol (CBD) can also be found in a range of other plants. And research shows that non-cannabis derived CBD may be more effective than CBD derived from cannabis.
One alternative source of CBD is the Humulus plant. A variety of hops, although hops do not traditionally contain cannabinoids, the Humulus plant got its cannabinoids by cross-pollinating with cannabis in India.
Health and wellness company, Peak Health, thus began studying these hops to see whether their CBD could be useful in a therapeutic context. In doing so, they selected Humulus strains with large amounts of CBD and cross-bred them to create a plant with even higher quantities of the compound. Known under the name 'ImmunAG', the resulting plant has a CBD concentration of 18%, making it a competitive alternative to cannabis on the CBD market.
To test its effectiveness against regular CBD, researchers tested for its ability to reduce valvular interstitial cell calcification (the hardening of cell tissue by calcium deposits) in the human heart. Valvular interstitial cells (VICs) are vital for heart health, and calcification can lead to diseases such as calcific aortic valve disease.
In the end, they found that ImmunAG was more effective at reducing calcification than cannabis-derived CBD at 'every concentration'.
"The research demonstrated that a combination of high bioactivity CBD, BCP, and HUM reduces VIC calcification more than high bioactivity CBD alone," said Donish Cushing, lead author of the study. "As phytoceutical approaches to medicine continue to gain traction, an uncovering of the ways that each of these properties interact will constitute an exciting new frontier for science."
Although further studies are needed to confirm the benefits of non-cannabis-derived CBD across other conditions- such as depression, anxiety, epilepsy, and sleep, the researchers behind the study and Peak Health are optimistic about its overall benefits.
Given the legal hurdles currently surrounding CBD products for being linked to classified substances cannabis and hemp, should non-cannabis versions of CBD prove effective, they may be an easy way to circumvent laws that make it difficult to market CBD.