This ingredient is a small flowering plant called humulus, of which the female flowers are commonly referred to as ‘hops’. Though hops are classified in the taxonomic family Cannabaceae with marijuana, they do not contain its main psychoactive component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Hops are used during the brewing process to keep fermentation from happening too quickly. This is because hops contain an acid that inhibits the growth of bacteria, which allows brewing yeast to operate almost exclusively in the brewing process. Varying the amount of hops used can also alter the taste of the final product considerably. Drinkers that prefer a more bitter type of beer often go for varieties that are high in hops such as pale ales and bitters.