Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Inside Totally Different Plant


Cannabidiol (CBD) has become an increasingly popular substance in recent years. Also known as CBD, it is one of the main active compounds found in cannabis, along with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is used by some people to help treat conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety and more. While research into its effectiveness is still ongoing, the demand for CBD products has risen rapidly. Traditionally, CBD is derived from cannabis plants, which can face legal restrictions in many places around the world. However, scientists in Brazil have recently made an exciting discovery - finding CBD in a common plant native to the country.

Scientists Find Cannabis Compound Inside Totally Different Plant

Trema Micrantha Blume Shrub Contains CBD With No THC

Scientists have found cannabidiol (CBD) inside the fruits and flowers of the Trema micrantha blume shrub, which grows widely across Brazil. The research team was led by Rodrigo Moura Neto, a molecular biologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In an interview given in June, Neto explained how analysis showed the Trema micrantha contains CBD but not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is significant because THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for producing the ‘high’ effects of cannabis.

The discovery of a plant containing CBD but not THC opens up potential new opportunities for obtaining this increasingly popular substance. Trema micrantha is considered a weed in Brazil, making it an abundant new source that would avoid the legal issues surrounding cannabis. As Neto stated:

“It’s a legal alternative to using cannabis. This is a plant that grows all over Brazil. It would be a simpler and cheaper source of cannabidiol."

Have you heard about this new development regarding a different plant containing cannabis compounds? What do you think of using the Trema micrantha shrub as an alternative CBD source compared to cannabis?

Why Is Non-Cannabis CBD So Significant?

The ability to extract CBD from the Trema micrantha plant is highly significant for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a straightforward legal avenue to obtain CBD in locations where cannabis is outlawed or tightly controlled. This includes Brazil, where cannabis remains illegal at the federal level despite recent legalization efforts. Having CBD available from a common non-cannabis plant makes the compound more accessible for research and therapeutic use.

Secondly, sourcing CBD from the Trema micrantha shrub would likely lower production costs compared to cannabis-derived CBD. Growing cannabis and extracting compounds from the flower remains a labor-intensive and expensive process. The Trema micrantha is considered an abundant weed in Brazil that should be cheaper to cultivate and process.

Finally, this discovery opens up potential new research into the medicinal qualities of CBD. Scientists can explore the effects of CBD sourced from Trema micrantha compared with cannabis-derived versions. This may uncover new medical applications for this non-intoxicating cannabis compound.

How Was This Exciting CBD Discovery Made?

The research confirming cannabidiol (CBD) in Trema micrantha was led by Rodrigo Moura Neto at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Neto revealed in June 2022 that chemical analysis had found the shrub contains CBD but not THC. This built on a previous study that had identified CBD in a related plant species native to Thailand.

The project to analyze Trema micrantha for cannabis compounds was funded by a $104,000 grant from the Brazilian government awarded in 2021. Neto estimates the total research effort will take a minimum of five years to complete. He now plans to scale up the work by identifying optimal methods to extract CBD from the Trema micrantha plant.

The research team will also analyze the effectiveness of Trema micrantha-derived CBD in treating medical conditions. This includes exploring which conditions respond better compared to CBD sourced from traditional cannabis plants.

Have you heard of any other examples where cannabis compounds have been found in surprising plant species? Do you think five years is a reasonable timeline for completing this research on the Trema micrantha shrub?

What Medical Uses Could Non-Intoxicating CBD Have?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been gaining popularity as a supplement and medicine in recent years. However, research into its effectiveness for various conditions is still in relatively early stages.

Future Outlook for Non-Cannabis CBD Production

The future looks promising for extracting cannabidiol (CBD) from the Trema micrantha plant and other non-cannabis sources. The global market for CBD products was valued at nearly $5 billion in 2021, and some projections estimate it could grow to over $47 billion by 2028. This rising demand is being driven by increased awareness of CBD for health and wellness uses.

Sourcing CBD from plants like Trema micrantha that naturally contain it should enable more economical large-scale production. Avoiding the legal issues and growing challenges with cannabis plants removes major obstacles to CBD access. It may also enable cultivation in a wider range of geographical regions beyond typical cannabis-friendly locations.

In terms of research, the Brazilian team’s planned work analyzing medical applications and extraction methods for Trema micrantha CBD should uncover improved production processes. Other scientists will also likely explore additional CBD-containing plant species beyond cannabis. Altogether, these developments point towards an exciting future where CBD becomes cheaper, more abundant and easier to research.

What future applications for non-intoxicating CBD extracted from plants like Trema micrantha are you most looking forward to? Do you foresee any challenges hindering access to CBD, even if sourced outside of cannabis?


The recent discovery that the Trema micrantha plant native to Brazil contains significant quantities of CBD is a potential game-changer for this increasingly popular cannabis compound. Scientists being able to extract cannabidiol from a common non-cannabis shrub provides a legal avenue to obtain CBD in locations where cannabis is prohibited. It also offers opportunities to reduce production costs compared to cannabis-derived CBD.

Research into the medical effectiveness of Trema micrantha CBD is still in its early stages. But initial studies analyzing its anti-seizure, pain relief, anti-anxiety and substance abuse treatment applications look promising. As knowledge expands in areas like optimal CBD extraction methods and usage in human trials, this non-intoxicating compound is primed to become more abundant and accessible worldwide. The future looks bright for CBD as a therapeutic supplement and medication as new CBD-containing plants are discovered.

What is Trema micrantha?

Trema micrantha, also known as the Jamaican nettle tree, is a species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family. It is native to tropical regions of the Americas. The shrub is considered a weed in many areas, including Brazil, where it grows prolifically.

Where was CBD discovered in Trema micrantha?

In 2022, scientists at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil published research confirming the presence of CBD in the fruits and flowers of Trema micrantha plants. Previous studies had also identified cannabidiol in a related plant species found in Thailand.

How did researchers analyze Trema micrantha for CBD?

The scientists used analytical chemistry techniques like chromatography and spectrometry to screen plant samples for the presence of CBD and other cannabis compounds. This allowed them to detect and measure the levels of CBD within the Trema micrantha fruits and flowers.

What makes Trema micrantha a significant CBD source?

The researchers found Trema micrantha contains substantial CBD concentrations but no THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. This provides a legal source of CBD that avoids regulatory issues surrounding cannabis plants. As an abundant weed, Trema micrantha is also a potentially economical CBD source requiring less cultivation than cannabis.

Are there any risks to using Trema micrantha-derived CBD?

Research into the safety and efficacy of CBD from Trema micrantha is still in early stages. However, since it does not contain THC, this CBD source should not cause the intoxicating effects sometimes seen with cannabis-derived CBD. As with any supplement, there may be risks of side effects or interactions with medications.

How is CBD being researched for medical uses?

Scientists are studying CBD from both cannabis and non-cannabis sources for treating conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse recovery. Research indicates CBD may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects, but more clinical trials are still needed.

When will CBD from Trema micrantha be commercially available?

The Brazilian research team estimates at least 5 more years of studies to optimize CBD extraction methods and evaluate medical efficacy. Government approval of CBD as a pharmaceutical drug may also be required before sales of Trema micrantha CBD products. So commercial availability may still be years away.

What is the future outlook for non-cannabis derived CBD?

Market analysts forecast increasing demand for legally-sourced, affordable CBD for supplements and medicine. As more CBD-producing plants like Trema micrantha are discovered, researchers predict abundant sources of plant-derived CBD will become available beyond traditionally used cannabis strains.

Where can I find more information on CBD research?

Reputable sources for CBD research updates include scientific journals, university medical center news sites, government health organizations like NIH and CDC, and non-profit medical associations. Avoid unverified sources making unfounded claims about CBD benefits.


A research team at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro recently confirmed the presence of substantial amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) in the leaves and flowers of the Trema micrantha plant. Trema micrantha is a flowering tropical shrub considered a weed in Brazil where it grows prolifically. Using analytical techniques, the scientists showed Trema micrantha contains CBD but not tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound causing cannabis' high effects. This finding is significant because accessing CBD from this common, non-cannabis plant provides a legal pathway to obtain the compound in countries where cannabis is prohibited. It also offers a potentially more economical CBD source compared to resource-intensive cannabis cultivation and processing. The Brazilian researchers now plan further studies to optimize CBD extraction methods from Trema micrantha and analyze its medical efficacy. Early research indicates CBD may have therapeutic properties for treating conditions like chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, and substance abuse disorders. The discovery of abundant CBD in a low-cost, widely available plant like Trema micrantha could tremendously expand access to CBD's promising health benefits. It highlights the potential for identifying additional non-cannabis plants containing beneficial cannabis compounds.

Sign up to our newsletter and enjoy 10% off one order

Which product do I need?
As Seen On: