Rare Moss Mimics Cannabis
Among the world of botany, Cannabis has always stood apart from the others with its uniqueness and originality but a rare moss has been discovered to possess similar properties to those of THC. While it is most likely not a competition to Cannabis, it has definitely been gaining more attention.
This moss called Liverwort, is known to have several different characteristics. Recent discovery shows that it contains, Radula, which produces a chemical called perrottetinene (PET) that is similar to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The first discovery of PET was by Japanese phytochemist, Yoshinori Asakawa in 1994. However, this is the first time PET and THC will be studied to compare its similarities.
Researchers discovered that synthesized forms of PET attaches to the same brain receptors as THC and activated cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. However, it was detected that PET is less potent than THC and has a much weaker psychoactive result. Regardless, when tested on mice, researchers observed similar effects as THC, such as lowered body temperature and slower movements.
They also found that PET helped reduce inflammation on molecules known as prostaglandins, which THC does not affect. This means that PET can potentially be more effective at fighting inflammation than the cannabinoids in cannabis.
Researcher Michael Schafroth stated in an article for Scientific American, “These prostaglandins are involved in many processes such as memory loss, neuroinflammation, hair loss and vasoconstriction. PET is highly interesting for the medicinal applications, as we can expect few adverse effects while still having pharmacologically important effects.”
Therefore, current researchers proposes that the moss will be far more popular medicinally rather than recreationally.
In an article for Forbes, Director of Research and Development for International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute (ICCI) and neurologist, Ethan Russo explained “perrottetinene differs from THC in a key way that makes it potentially useful medically, in that it reduces levels of prostaglandins D2 and E2 in the brain without producing COX inhibition, and thus may provide an effective anti-inflammatory and pain-killer with a low risk of intoxication, formation of ulcers, or production of heart attacks or strokes.”
So the questions is, where does this moss come from and how do we get it? First of all, the plant can only be found in New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Japan, and is not easy to transport or grow in North America. Because it doesn’t reproduce seeds, the process for cultivation is challenging and complex. Scientists are currently researching the possibility of using synthesized forms of PET for medicinal purposes.
As of right now, the effects of PET suggest that it won’t be a competition for replacing cannabis. People believe that it’s simply isn’t potent enough. However to be compared side-by-side with cannabis, it is a great achievement in the world of medicinal plants.
Rare Moss Mimics Cannabis