Dubbed the plant of the “thousand and one molecules¹,” cannabis is always providing us with new opportunities for discovery. Though it isn’t the latest discovery in the world of cannabis, the potential uses of the rare cannabinoid, CBT, were lamentably unexplored until recently.
With the latest advancements in cannabis science, it’s becoming possible to imagine a world in which even the rarest cannabinoids are commonplace. In this guide, learn what CBT is, and find out why you should be keeping track of the rapid evolution of the CBT hemp industry.
What is the cannabinoid CBT?
Cannabicitran (CBT) is a rare—yet naturally occurring—hemp cannabinoid that was first discovered in 1974². CBN has been a primary target of research and development operations since 2019.³ In fact, industry leaders are currently in the early stages of developing a variety of CBT products that could revolutionize the hemp industry by reliably unlocking the unique benefits of this highly promising cannabinoid.
There are quite a few subtypes of CBT, and we’re still learning about all the different ways this cannabinoid might affect the human body. Like CBD and CBG, however, CBT appears to be non-intoxicating, and its potential benefits are significant enough to be worthy of growing attention from the international scientific community.
What kind of research is being done on CBT?
Research into CBT is highly limited at present. In 2011, Japanese researchers isolated a substance chemically identical to CBT⁴ from Chinese rhododendron, a plant extensively used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It could be argued that TCM practitioners have been using CBT for centuries, lending legitimacy to modern CBT research.
Then, an exhaustive 2018 study published in Natural Product Communications⁵ provided more background regarding the origins of CBT in cannabis. An unstable cannabinoid easily altered by enzymatic reactions, cannabichromene (CBC)⁶ serves as the origin of CBT in cannabis, not CBGa, raising new questions regarding the metabolism of cannabis flower during maturation.
The scientific community is eagerly looking forward to the results of research into CBT. This rare cannabinoid’s unique benefits are just now being uncovered, and what we’ve learned so far has the potential to revolutionize the global cannabis industry.
Who is the target audience for CBT?
Right now, CBT most appeals to adventurous cannabinoid consumers who always want to try the next best thing. It is still somewhat of a scientific mystery how this cannabinoid affects the human body and mind at present, but fans of CBD and CBG are endlessly eager to try new, non-psychoactive cannabinoids that may impart unique benefits not offered by other hemp compounds.
What are the effects of CBT?
Based on limited anecdotal testimony, CBT appears to have non-intoxicating effects that largely resemble the effects offered by CBD, CBG, or any other hemp cannabinoid that doesn’t cause intoxication. As one of the most obscure and least-used hemp substances, there isn’t enough anecdotal evidence yet to draw any firm conclusions regarding how CBT will affect individuals on a case-by-case basis.
What are the benefits of CBT?
In the cannabis industry, CBT is already sometimes used as an anti-crystallization ingredient since it helps compounds like CBD resist reverting to their natural crystalline states. Chemically, CBT has the same relationship to CBD as CBD has to THC, making this hemp substance useful in identifying cannabinoids in a sample.
A 1984 study⁶ researched the impact of CBT on glaucoma, potentially making this cannabinoid a non-intoxicating cannabis option for glaucoma patients currently using THC. Given CBT’s unique process of development within the cannabis flower, we can expect to be surprised regarding what we learn about this cannabinoid’s unique benefits over the coming years.
CBT Cannabinoid Comparisons
To further elucidate the unique benefits of CBT, let’s compare it to a few other cannabinoids:
CBT vs. CBD
Chemically, CBT bears a close resemblance to CBD. The two cannabinoids also appear to have similar effects, making CBD and CBT an ideal pair especially given the boosting effect of CBD’s ongoing popularity.
CBT vs. CBG
As a fellow non-intoxicating cannabinoid, CBT and CBG (cannabigerol) are more similar than they are different. CBT is a few branches separated on the cannabinoid family tree, however, from CBG, the “parent molecule” from which all the most popular cannabis compounds spring.
CBT vs. CBL
Based on what little we know already, CBT and cannabicyclol (CBL) appear to be quite similar. They’re both derivatives of CBC, and they’re both non-intoxicating. While CBT emerges via enzymatic processes, however, CBL comes into existence when CBC oxidizes.
CBT vs. THC
CBT and THC aren’t very similar. THC is one of the few cannabinoids to cause intoxicating effects, a trait CBT doesn’t appear to share. From a regulatory perspective, THC and CBT are also quite different since THC remains a Schedule I drug while CBT products are typically considered to be in the usually considered industrial hemp category of cannabis products.
Which cannabinoids compliment CBT products?
When CBT becomes available, it will initially be challenging for products containing this novel cannabinoid to gain traction unless they’re paired with a substance that people are already familiar with. To this end, we suggest combining CBT with either CBD or CBC: CBD to take the well-traveled route, CBC to approach from a more experimental perspective.
The gold standard of hemp cannabinoids, CBD is now as trusted as any over-the-counter medicine or natural remedy. As such, it’s the ideal cannabinoid to pair with CBT—especially since CBD and CBT appear to offer similar effects. It’s the most popular cannabinoid on the market, so CBD is available in the widest array of bulk ingredient types.
CBC is just as ideal of a match for CBT as CBD but for different reasons. CBD and CBT may be chemically interrelated, but the same can be said for CBT and CBC, and CBC offers the allure of a new cannabinoid that is nonetheless more familiar and approachable than CBT. Like CBT, CBC is non-intoxicating.
1. Andre, C. M., Hausman, J. F., & Guerriero, G. (2016). Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.00019
2. Bercht, C., Lousberg, R. J., Küppers, F. J., & Salemink, C. A. (1974). Cannabicitran: A new naturally occurring tetracyclic diether from lebanese Cannabis sativa. Phytochemistry, 13(3), 619–621. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0031-9422(00)91362-1
3. (2019, December 9). GVB Biopharma Begins Research on CBT (Cannabicitran), Unexplored Cannabinoid [Press release]. https://www.biospace.com/article/releases/gvb-biopharma-begins-research-on-cbt-cannabicitran-unexplored-cannabinoid/
4. Iwata, N., & Kitanaka, S. (2011). New Cannabinoid-Like Chromane and Chromene Derivatives from Rhododendron anthopogonoides. Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 59(11), 1409–1412. https://doi.org/10.1248/cpb.59.1409
5. Pollastro, F., Caprioglio, D., del Prete, D., Rogati, F., Minassi, A., Taglialatela-Scafati, O., Munoz, E., & Appendino, G. (2018). Cannabichromene. Natural Product Communications, 13(9), 1934578X1801300. https://doi.org/10.1177/1934578×1801300922
6. Elsohly, M. A., Harland, E. C., Benigni, D. A., & Waller, C. W. (1984). Cannabinoids in glaucoma II: The effect of different cannabinoids on intraocular pressure of the rabbit. Current Eye Research, 3(6), 841–850. https://doi.org/10.3109/02713688409000797
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By GVB Biopharma