Liverwort: A CBD Alternative?



Liverwort: A CBD Alternative?

CBD dominates the health and wellness industry. Influencers rave about the cannabinoid left and right. Society is falling under its spell.

Yet, people are already mumbling about liverwort. Whispers echo across the internet. An offshoot of the CBD industry has been determined to find a replacement cannabinoid. And it worked- sort of.

Liverwort Research

Cannabis plants are rich with CBD and THC. CBD is lauded for its health benefits while THC is famously intoxicating. Researchers discovered a compound similar to THC nestled within liverwort, a type of moss. The compound, called perrottetinene or PET, reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

“Nobody really notices [liverworts] because they’re so small,” Douglas Kinghorn, a phytochemist at Ohio State University, said. “Sometimes you find important medicinal compounds in plants from unexpected sources.”

Picture of the Liverwort Plant

Liverwort is being considered as a potential CBD rather than THC replacement because it’s unlikely to get humans high. The PET level naturally found in liverwort is far too low to produce a psychoactive response. However, it’s possible that it still has medicinal value.

“This natural substance has a weaker psychoactive effect and, at the same time, is capable of inhibiting inflammatory processes in the brain,” the study authors wrote.

Their claims are untested. Few studies have looked at the effect of liverwort in humans. Researchers exploring PET used mice to tease out the benefits.

There’s no guarantee that PET will react the same with humans. It’s interesting research, however, because cannabinoids are derived from cannabis plants. The fact that other plant species produce similar compounds is intriguing.

CBD or Liverwort

Trying to smoke a mass of liverwort would probably be an unpleasant experience. There’s no way for consumers to access PET alone.

CBD is different. Its reputation has been muddied by its connection to cannabis, but society seems to be shaking off its bias. CBD benefits are far more certain, and, perhaps most importantly, they’re more accessible. Everyone in the U.S. can purchase CBD.

One school of thought believes that the different cannabinoids work together synergistically. CBD by itself, they claim, has less value than CBD that’s interacting with the rest of the cannabis plant.

It’s not clear if PET responds to other compounds the same way. Researchers created and studied a synthetic version. Liverwort’s medicinal value, if it has any, might exist solely in the minuscule amount of PET it produces.

Liverwort has exciting potential but it’s not ready for human consumption. There are far too many unknowns.

CBD is safe, available, and tested. If you’re interested in all-natural medicine with almost no side effects, CBD is a fantastic choice.