Cannabis is popular, but not nearly as popular as its cousin, which is a global powerhouse.

Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, but its similarly aged cousin is still more popular on a global level. You might think Coco-Cola was popular when it had a more active coca component, but it is not the OG version of fun. Cannabis is related to hops, which is a base for most beer. This biggest clue to their relationship is in the smell. You can tell since they both have a bit of a dank aroma.

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While marijuana is becoming widely accepted, it has a ways to go to be as popular as its cousin. Globally, when you look at the beverages we consume, most North Americans would be surprised. Water, followed by tea are the top two drinks in the world. Surprisingly, beer is the third…making hops valuable and highly consumed. Coffee, is the fourth most drank beverage.

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Hops comes from the plant humulus lupulus and marijuana comes from the cannabis plant. Both are parts of the relatively small family of Cannabaceae. They basically are cousins, sharing a key ingredient called terpenesans. Cannabis contain terpenes and terpenoids; tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a terpenoid. Hops lack the enzyme which could convert cannabigerolic acid into THC or CBD. While THC is what makes you high, hops doesn’t contribute to the alcohol content of beer, but rather the weight and flavoring. On its own, hops has been used for anxiety, sleep disorders, restlessness, symptoms of menopause, and other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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While in humans, cousins shouldn’t marry, the same is not true in the hops/cannabis world. In 2022, the Canadian and US marijuana beer market was estimated at $190+ million. Beverages are a growing populations and mainstream beer makers have taken notice. Coors, Molson, Anheuser-Busch, and more have developed beers with cannabis, with some looking toward the non-alcoholic market.

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