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Study shows cannabinoids protect hemp plants
New York Ag Connection - 11/17/2023

Cannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds found in hemp plants, may have evolved to deter pests from chewing on them. This is according to a new study that found that hemp leaves with higher concentrations of cannabinoids were less damaged by insect larvae.

The study's lead author, George Stack, says the findings could lead to the development of new pesticides from cannabinoid extracts. However, he notes that such pesticides would likely be limited to non-edible plants, due to the pharmacological properties of cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids have been the focus of research for decades for their medicinal and intoxicating effects. However, it has never been clear why plants evolved to produce these compounds in the first place. Scientists have hypothesized that cannabinoids may protect plants from ultraviolet light, pathogens, and herbivores.

The new study provides evidence that cannabinoids may play a role in protecting hemp plants from herbivores. The study's authors say their findings could help to develop new hemp cultivars that are resistant to pests.

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