No, it’s not marijuana. It’s a close cousin, known as Humulus lupulus, better known as “hops.” You know it as a key ingredient in beer, but its fat, resinous flowers are also prized for their flavor and their medicinal properties. We’re just starting to unlock the biochemical secrets of hops, and discover why this plant is so magical.
Looming hops shortages spell potential price increases for users both large and small, and people are beginning to panic. We’ve been using and trading hops for centuries, and not just for brewing beer — but it’s only now, that we’re in danger of running out, that we’re starting to understand the history of hops and its relationship with people.
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