CBT: A most uncommon cannabinoid
We’ve been doing a lot of research into minor cannabinoids recently and the latest one to grab our attention is the CBT cannabinoid.
If you’re wondering, like us, what is the CBT cannabinoid, and what does it do?, then stick with us we explore what makes this cannabinoid special, as well as share the latest research and into its effects and benefits.
What is the CBT cannabinoid?
As some of you already know, scientists have discovered over 140 different cannabinoids in cannabis and hemp plants. What you may not know is that that number includes nine different types of cannabitriol (the full name for CBT) and, interestingly, they all have a similar chemical structure to THC.
CBT is a di ether cannabinoid compound first discovered in 1966, but it wasn’t until 1976 that it was isolated and its chemical structure was profiled. The CBT family of cannabinoids are classed as both rare and minor cannabinoids as they’re only found in a handful of cannabis strains, in very small amounts.
CBT is more common in hemp
Researchers have noticed that CBT cannabinoids are more commonly found in type III cannabis strains (a term used to describe high-CBD, low-THC cannabis, AKA hemp) as opposed to type I cannabis strains (high-THC, low-CBD cannabis). So CBD flower, broad-spectrum, and full spectrum CBD products are much more likely to have CBT in them than other cannabis products.
CBT is already proving useful
CBT is also the last cannabinoid to be retained on the chromatography column (a test that determines what compounds are present in a given sample), which means it can also be used as a marker to signify that no further cannabinoids are present in a specific strain or sample.
CBT led to the discovery of another “mother” cannabinoid
The rarity of the CBT cannabinoids made them fairly difficult to study in the past, but it was only through studying CBT that scientists came to realize that CBG wasn’t the only “stem cell” or “mother” cannabinoid in cannabis after all. Another fact that makes CBT a very special cannabinoid indeed is that it is actually produced by the CBC cannabinoid!
Each different type of CBT features a very small difference in its arrangement of atoms. The two types of CBT that have gained the most interest so far are cannabitriol and cannabicitran.
If you hear the term CBT, you should know that it usually refers to the first CBT cannabinoid discovered, cannabitriol, also known as CBT-C5 (just to complicate matters).
Sometimes you’ll see CBT being called cannabicitran, but while cannabicitran is a type of CBT, it is more specifically referred to as CBT-C.
CBT cannabinoid effects
As mentioned previously, CBT’s molecular structure is very similar to that of THC, of which there are just seven different types. Does this mean that the CBT family of compounds will also make you feel high and intoxicated? The short answer is no, not necessarily, as just a small alteration in a compound’s chemical structure can result in huge differences to the effects and benefits offered.
What does the research say?
Research into the effects of CBT are almost non-existent, but a small amount of studies have suggested that CBT may help to catabolyze and metabolize other cannabinoids, meaning it ‘s more likely to affect us in a similar way to CBD as opposed to THC.
In support of this theory, a 2007 study identified cannabitriol as being a major degradation product to THC, thereby mitigating the intoxicating effects of the THC compound. So, not only does CBT appear to be non-intoxicating, but one day it might be used to treat marijuana abuse by having an anti-psychoactive effect.
What do the people say?
Anecdotal evidence also points to CBT showing great success in enhancing the effectiveness of other cannabinoids, especially CBD. Interestingly, however, many people are actually choosing to combine CBT with Delta 8 and apparently achieving much more well-rounded, less chemically-feeling highs.
Some liken the combination to be more psychedelic and much closer to the high achieved by Delta 9 and there are still no reports of any anxiety from what I’ve heard.
Could it be that CBT is protecting your brain from some of the THC (like CBD does), but enhancing the Delta 8 to allow other aspects of the classic Delta 9 high to shine through?
Users that had experience taking CBT at more concentrated doses tended to liken the feeling to a broad-spectrum, multi-cannabinoid product, offering greater energy and focus.
Users taking CBD:CBT at a 1:1 ratio also noted an energizing “caffeine-like” effect, as well as a hyper-focused state of mind. Double dosing this particular combination also left one user feeling a little bit too racy for their liking, with a complete lack of appetite.
Does CBT have a future in energy-giving, cannabinoid enhancement, and weight loss? Only time will tell, but its popularity is already growing fast.
CBT cannabinoid benefits
As you may have guessed, little is known about the potential benefits of CBT at this point, also due to the fact that there have been so few studies carried out.
One study in 1983 showed that CBT effectively reduced intraocular eye pressure, so it may prove to be useful in the treatment of glaucoma, along with many other cannabinoids.
As with the enhancement of effects, CBT is also likely to contribute to a much larger therapeutic offering possessed by hemp. Cannabinoid synergy has been proven time and time again (it’s referred to as “the entourage effect”), where each cannabinoid adds something unique to the plant and enhances the effects of all the others.
Some people search out CBD flower strains with CBT in them for this reason and I’ve heard a couple of whispers that the presence of CBT may enhance CBD’s effects on pain relief in particular.
A 2011 study also successfully isolated a substance from Chinese rhododendron that is chemically identical to CBT-C. Chinese rhododendron has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for thousands of years to treat respiratory illnesses (asthma and bronchitis), joint pain, congestion, as well as for the prevention and treatment of diseases of the heart.
GVB Biopharma are hoping to fund further research into CBT as (they say) “It could be argued that TCM practitioners have been using CBT for centuries, lending legitimacy to modern CBT research.”
Another piece of research, published just last year in 2021, found that cannabitriol was also an effective estrogen receptor agonist. Much more research is needed to confirm their findings, but the team concluded that cannabitriol “could have relatively better inhibitory activity than tamoxifen [an estrogen modulator currently used to treat breast cancer] and could be a better and patent therapeutic candidate in the treatment of BC”.
Is CBT safe?
CBT is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid in hemp and hemp has a very good safety profile, so logic would lead us to believe that this compound is as safe as all the others. But without any actual studies into the safety of CBT, it’s impossible for anyone to be able to answer this question for sure.
Is CBT legal?
Hemp-derived CBT cannabinoids are legal at the federal level according to the 2018 Hemp Farming Act. To our knowledge, CBT has not been banned at state level anywhere in the US, since it’s not part of the tetrahydrocannabinol group of cannabinoids.
Where can I buy CBT?
Slowly but surely, CBT distillate is becoming more widely available. Vendors like Vivimu, ExtractLabs, and 3Chi should have it in stock. Secret Nature also has a THCV and CBT vape cartridge available if you prefer to vape.
If you’re looking for CBT weed, then check back with us as we’re reaching out to farmers right now to find out which strains we should be looking out for. Or you can have a look yourself by checking out the lab reports of any given strain (please tell us in the comments below if you find any!).
CBT vs CBD: Summary
CBT may just be one of the most interesting cannabinoids I’ve come across so far! Despite its molecular similarities to THC, it’s looking much more likely that CBT will eventually prove to be more similar to CBD in the effects and benefits it offers.
One major difference between the two compounds is that CBD crystalizes and CBT (like CBC) can prevent CBD vape oil from crystalizing, so we’re probably going to see CBT being used a lot more in the future, especially on the vaping market!