CBD Discovered in Common Brazilian Plant
Scientists have made a significant discovery by finding cannabidiol (CBD), a compound known for its therapeutic potential in cannabis, in a commonly found plant in Brazil. This breakthrough opens new doors for the production of CBD from alternative sources.
The Brazilian Find
A team of scientists stumbled upon CBD in the flowers and fruits of a plant called Trema micrantha blume, a shrub widely spread across Brazil, often referred to as a weed. Rodrigo Moura Neto, a molecular biologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, revealed this discovery.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is increasingly used to treat conditions related to chronic pain, epilepsy, and anxiety. It’s one of the key active compounds in cannabis, distinct from THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant. CBD’s effectiveness as a medical treatment is still under research.
The Legal Alternative
According to Neto, the presence of CBD in “Trema” without THC raises the possibility of finding new sources of CBD that don’t face the legal and regulatory challenges associated with cannabis. He described it as a “legal alternative to using cannabis” and highlighted the plant’s widespread growth throughout Brazil, making it a simpler and more cost-effective source of CBD.
Previously, CBD was also discovered in a related plant in Thailand. Neto’s ongoing research aims to scale up the study to optimize CBD extraction from “Trema” and assess its effectiveness in treating conditions that are currently addressed with medical cannabis. His team secured a 500,000-real (US$104,000) grant from the Brazilian government to support this research, which is expected to take at least five years to complete.
Expanding CBD Market
CBD has gained immense popularity in recent years for its potential health and wellness benefits. A study by Vantage Market Research estimated the global CBD market at nearly US$5 billion, with projections of exceeding US$47 billion by 2028, driven by its growing use in the health and wellness sector.
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