- An alternative, legal cannabinoid to THC
- Extracted from the liverwort Radula
- Native to New Zealand and Tasmania, here in Australia
- Psychoactive effects similar to THC, but not as strong
- Anti-inflammatory properties could mean it’s a more effective medical compound
Perrottetinene is already being dubbed as legal marijuana
Scientists have identified perrottetinene (cis-PET or PET) as being very similar to THC (Tetrhydrocannabinol) -- the popular psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana. However, this naturally occurring THC-like cannabinoid is found in liverwort Radula, a moss plant native to a handful of countries including New Zealand and Australia’s own Tasmania.
Like THC, PET can get you high. It also comes with the same medicinal properties of THC. However, unlike THC, this cannabinoid’s psychoactive effects aren’t that strong, and its medicinal properties seem to be even more beneficial.
PET is being hailed as the perfect alternative to cannabis. The compound is also legal, given its unregulated source -- liverworts. This is a boon for medical and recreational users alike.
How psychoactive cannabinoids get you high
For a long time, cannabis was believed to be the only plant with cannabinoids. This was especially true for psychoactive cannabinoids like THC that draw recreational users to the plant, as well as governmental bodies and opponents who demand that it be regulated.
Humans produce cannabinoids as well, which regulate a number of biological mechanisms that trigger several actions such as appetite, our immune system, and more. The cannabinoids in cannabis then interact with our brain, where receptors (CB1 and CB2) in our endocannabinoid system cause the reactions we experience while using the substance.
The liverwort Radula has now been discovered as another source of cannabinoids that also interact with our endocannabinoid system. PET, in particular, is extremely similar to THC, interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to create that “high” feeling that recreational users crave.
The medicinal lure of THC is due to the same interaction with our endocannabinoid system. Similarly, PET follows suit by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, where the effects are mediated to create the therapeutic treatments craved by medical users.
For those who are more interested in the medical use of cannabinoids, PET may provide an even better option. While THC has been found to increase inflammation in the brain in some cases, PET actually has anti-inflammatory properties.
PET is psychoactive, but smoking liverwort will hardly get you high
Although PET is only recently becoming a mainstream compound, it has been around for a while. Scientific research into the compound date back to as early as 1994 by Japanese phytochemist, Yoshinori Asakawa. In fact, the Maori people of neighboring New Zealand have been using liverwort Radula as a traditional herbal medicine for a very long time.
But many people are interested in PET’s recreational potential. The plant is already being sold online as legal cannabis, with the methods of use being the same as marijuana.
However, although PET is a psychoactive cannabinoid, the amounts in the liverwor Radula plant are pretty low. As a result, smoking liverwort won’t get you high, unless you smoke a whole lot of the plant, in which case you probably still won’t be as high as you would if you smoked marijuana.
To use PET as a recreational drug, enough would have to be extracted, perhaps in a synthetic manner, to be used in a concentrate form. Scientists created such a concentrated form for research purposes, called trans-PET, which bound to CB1 receptors in a manner similar to THC and produced similar effects. In such a case, consuming enough PET concentrate will result in you failing a drug test. Such concentrated PET extracts will likely lead to governmental regulation for the same reasons THC is regulated.
The fact that the psychoactive effects of PET aren’t as strong as THC makes it a prime candidate for medical use. In this regard, PET is similar to low THC cannabis, which contains less than 0.8% THC and is embraced by medical users for its lack of noticeable psychoactive effects. This also makes PET a prime candidate for scientific research, as governments are less likely to restrict or over-regulated the compound.
The efficacy of PET: A better medicinal compound than THC?
As stated, THC has been found to cause some inflammation in the brain by increasing the levels of prostaglandins. PET, on the other hand, reduces prostaglandins in the brain, acting as an anti-inflammatory compound in that regard. This fact alone makes PET a safer cannabinoid, but there’s even more.
After ads and sales of liverwort as legal weed were popping up online, scientists Dr Jürg Gertsch and others conducted an in depth study into PET, comparing its effects to that of THC. These scientists found extreme similarities between the two compounds, but PET seemed to dominate THC in medicinal effects.
THC and PET molecular structures are extremely similar, and so are their effects. src
THC produces four key effect when bound to CB1 receptors -- decreases sensitivity to pain, reduces movement, reduces body temperature, as well as muscle rigidity. In the study, PET was found to have the same exact effects, but in even bigger amounts.
How does Perrottetinene fit in with Citrus CBD and other non-cannabis derived products?
Today’s cannabis climate is more tolerant than before. The crop is becoming increasingly accepted for its medicinal properties, as well as being tolerated as a legal recreational substance in some locations. But the vast majority of nations still consider cannabis as an illegal substance.
Here in Australia, cannabis is legal for medical use, but it remains illegal for recreational use. However, obtaining cannabis products for medical purposes is a huge feat that’s riddled with several bureaucratic barriers. As a result, there’s an increasing interest in alternatives that the government haven’t banned -- not yet, at least.
PET is now one of those alternatives, and its source -- the liverwort Radula -- is native to Tasmania, right here in Australia. This is attractive for obvious reasons, chief amongst them being the fact that liverwort Radula is very much legal in Australia.
Besides PET, there are also other alternatives to cannabis-based cannabinoids that are legal as well -- citrus CBD and lichen CBD are two others that are growing in popularity.
Citrus CBD is extracted from citrus by-products and evergreen bark native to South Asia. The cannabinoid is 100% THC-free and its CBD content after extraction is at least 99.7%. Citrus CBD also has effects similar to cannabis-based CBD, but its lack of THC and its citrus source make it a legal alternative that can be purchased over the counter without a prescription.
Lichen CBD is much like citrus CBD. It is extracted from lichen and is THC-free, making it legal and obtainable over the counter without a prescription. The lichen plant can be seen growing on trees in damp, shaded areas.
These cannabis alternatives are quite new, but they are growing in popularity because of the discussed benefits. Citrus CBD is already being sold online for as low as $16, while lichen CBD is already very popular in the United States, where a company called Grön Chocolates specialises in several lichen-based CBD products.
How much is PET and where can I buy it?
If you want to try PET, you’d have to purchase liverworts or liverwort extracts, which are primarily sold online. A bottle of liverwort liquid extract can be purchased for around US$24. Other liverwort Radula products are generally sold as synthetic cannabis, spice, or incense.
The legal hurdles associated with cannabis-based products have led to a search for alternatives, and PET is an interesting alternative to THC. However, PET is found in liverwort rather than cannabis, making it legal. The compound also has psychoactive effects (albeit a lot weaker than THC) and its medicinal properties are similar to THC but believed to be even stronger. For those interested in THC for medical use, PET is a great alternatives without legal barriers. As usual, be careful where you purchase PET products from -- a lack of regulation isn’t always a good thing, as those selling it may exaggerate its effects or even low quality or fake products.