Cannabis and Beer – Cousins?
We first reported that cannabis and beer were related in our recent blog post, 18 Fun Facts About Cannabis. In that post, the 2nd fun fact read, “Beer & cannabis are COUSINS! Beers hops are in the same family of flowering plants as cannabis. We are family.” We wanted to know more. How exactly are beer and cannabis related? The answer is a quick one, but here’s what we found out.
Hops and cannabis are two closely related species in the Cannabaceae family. Like cannabis, or hemp, hops stems are fibrous and both plants contain terpenes, such as myrcene and beta-pinene. Unlike cannabis, there are no cannabinoids in hops (though the plant does contain the essential oils and bitter resins that give beer its trademark flavor).
Because of similarities in plant structure, many growers have cross-grafted hops and cannabis in an effort to create a cannabinoid-rich hops plant. Alas, at least to date, it appears that cannabinoids do not transfer in the cross-grafting process.
Likewise, brewers have added cannabis flower to the beer-making process in an attempt to create a super-beer, but most people agree that the results have been less than amazing.
Hops and cannabis—related, but definitely individual super stars!