As you familiarize yourself with cannabis and everything related to this plant, you hear terms such as cannabinoids, THC, or CBD. Cannabinoids are natural compounds in cannabis responsible for the effects of different strains of cannabis.
These compounds, called cannabinoids, occur naturally in the resinous glands of cannabis flowers, and the most widely popular are undoubtedly THC and CBD. They are the principal cannabinoids because they are the ones that are found in greater quantity and are the main ones responsible for the effects that cannabis generates in the body.
But THC and CBD are just the tip of the iceberg in a glacier of different cannabinoids. In fact, there are actually dozens of different cannabinoids classified as secondary cannabinoids that can also interact with our neurotransmitters.
All these secondary cannabinoids appear in smaller quantities, and most of them have minor effects and benefits on their own. Nevertheless, they all participate in cannabis synergy. This effect is aptly called the "entourage effect.” Within the group of natural compounds and secondary cannabinoids that play a role in this effect, we find CBT. We don't currently have CBT strains, but check out some of our CBG options.
What is CBT?
CBT is a minor phytocannabinoid, classified as a di-ether compound, whose molecular structure is extremely similar to THC. This secondary cannabinoid is found in meager amounts in only a handful of cannabis strains.
Although CBT is relatively new to the scientific community, some studies have come up with a couple of quite interesting facts that could catapult researchers' interest in this cannabinoid to understand better what exactly it is and all the things it could do for us.
In 1966, researchers Obata and Ishikawa first discovered the cannabinoid CBT. But it wasn't until 1976 that researchers determined the exact molecular structure of this still mysterious cannabinoid. CBT is not present in all cannabis strains, and when it is, it's in very small concentrations. Because of this, it has been difficult for researchers to extract and isolate CBT for processing, study, and full understanding.
So far, there are nine different types of CBT. Within the group of the nine different variants of CBT. There is CBT-C or cannabicitran, a type of CBT that is normally confused with cannabitriol. Crombie and Ponsford first synthesized cannabicitran in 1971. At the time, they called it citrylidene-cannabis. Then, in 1974, researchers isolated this secondary cannabinoid for the first time from Lebanese hashish.
So far, the configuration of the CBT-C remains a mystery. Nonetheless, in 1977, the derivative of CBT-C, called C10-ethoxy, was successfully isolated. In 2011, the scientific community confirmed the discovery by officially listing CBT-C as a cannabinoid.
CBT Cannabinoid Effects
The sheer popularity of major cannabinoids like CBD and THC often dwarfs interest in other minor cannabinoids and the wide range of effects and benefits that these could bring. Although CBD, THC, and even CBG are the predominant cannabinoids in most cannabis strains, more than 120 secondary cannabinoids also influence the effects that each cannabis strain can generate.
There are virtually no studies on the effects of CBT on the human body yet. Nevertheless, some studies suggest that it could generate some effects similar to CBD in catalyzing and metabolizing other cannabinoids. However, there are no subsequent studies to confirm this belief.
Added to this, CBT, like the rest of the primary and secondary cannabinoids present in cannabis strains, can play an influential role in the famous entourage effect that happens when all the natural compounds of cannabis, including cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, work together. This generates a better overall performance of the properties of each of these compounds, making them act better together in our body than they would on their own.
CBT Cannabinoid Benefits
The fact that this cannabinoid appears in very low concentrations and in select strains, together with the laws and regulations regarding cannabis, has made studying CBT and other secondary cannabinoids difficult.
However, some studies suggest that CBT could have some therapeutic applications. As already mentioned, CBT can have effects similar to CBD in terms of assimilating other cannabinoids. A 2007 study on the addictive effects of THC found that CBT could function as an antidote, mitigating the psychoactive components of THC by catalyzing complex chemical transformations and helping treat marijuana abuse.
This suggests that CBT could diminish the different psychoactive qualities of THC and function as a non-psychoactive agent. Since the first isolation of this phytocannabinoid, or di-ether, many theories and disputes have arisen regarding its effects and benefits. One of those theories suggests that CBT could generate some effects that could have some therapeutic applications for ophthalmic conditions such as glaucoma.
CBT and Glaucoma
A study conducted in rabbits by researcher Mahmoud Elsohly found that CBT could lower intraocular pressure, suggesting that CBT could be a potential treatment for glaucoma and other related conditions. This is because CBT shows wide expression in ocular tissues involved in the regulation of ocular tension.
By activating the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBT, like other cannabinoid agonists, demonstrates an ocular hypotensive effect and neuroprotective effects on retinal ganglion cells. This suggests, at least at an experimental level, that CBT and other cannabinoids could act as ideal drugs in the management of glaucoma by showing good tolerance after topical application.
We still need more studies to confirm these hypotheses. Still, without a doubt, these findings have attracted the scientific community’s attention regarding the potential applications and benefits of CBT.
Is CBT Safe?
In short, we could say that CBT is safe. However, it would be a bit irresponsible of us to claim that CBT is completely safe in every way. The truth is that we need more research into this secondary cannabinoid and the effects it can generate.
We can highlight that there are no studies that prove any side or adverse effects of CBT in the body. On the contrary, some preliminary studies and the theories of various researchers found some benefits and therapeutic applications in CBT to treat some medical conditions.
Is CBT Legal?
Although CBT and CBT-C are not scheduled in the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances or programmed in the United States Controlled Substances Act, we always recommend checking your local state laws regarding cannabis before purchasing any product derived from this plant.
Although cannabinoids such as CBT, CBT-C, CBD, CBG, or CBN are not considered controlled substances, we can't affirm that they are definitely legal substances because the laws regarding cannabis are usually ambiguous or have gray areas.
The dizzying growth currently taking place in the cannabis sector and the constant legislative changes aiming to regulate cannabis consumption and possession could place you in an unwanted situation. That's why we recommend being discreet and careful when carrying and consuming any cannabis substance or derivative.
Does Hemp Contain the CBT Cannabinoid?
There is a long way to go concerning CBT because it is still a very rare cannabinoid. CBT mostly appears in marijuana plants with high THC content, although there are some hemp varieties in which this cannabinoid also occurs naturally.
In fact, CBT usually appears in higher concentrations in distillates of high-CBD hemp, extractions, or full-spectrum distillates. So, although CBT is far from being abundant in hemp, a few strains could contain it.
Does CBT Get You High?
At least for CBT-C, a short answer to this question would be a simple no. However, more research is needed on this subject, as we can't ensure that all the variants of CBT can generate the same effect as CBT-C.
As we said, CBT is extremely structurally similar to THC. The CBT-C variant can actually work as an effective dampener of THC effects on the body. It achieves this by neutralizing the chemical transformations caused by THC. Also, CBT contributes to the entourage effect.
How to Buy CBT
Despite the veil of mystery that surrounds CBT and everything related to it, some companies have managed to isolate and synthesize this natural compound artificially and successfully. There are some pages online where you can already find some CBT products, such as isolates, oils, and tinctures, available for sale. Some of the places where you can get CBT products are:
- Buy CBD oil online / isolated CBT oil
- Pot luck expo / Hemp CBT distillate extract
- Precision plant molecules / CBT Cannabicitran isolate
- Spyglass CBD / CBT vapes and tinctures
How to Extract CBT
The extraction of this secondary cannabinoid can be quite complicated, and it has been one of the biggest impediments for researchers and scientists when studying this cannabinoid. This is because the various extraction methods already known specifically target different types of cannabinoids.
We can classify the most common extraction methods for hemp and cannabis into two groups: Solvent-based extraction methods for hemp and cannabis:
- Ethanol extraction (alcohol or ethyl alcohol)
- CO2 extraction (Carbon Dioxide)
- Hydrocarbons (Butane, Propane, and hexene, among others)
- Vegetable oil extraction (Coconut, Olive Oil, etc.)
- Water and ice extraction (Mechanical Separation)
- Cold-pressed extraction
- Rosin-pressed extraction
- Screened and/or hand-pressed, some companies have extraction
Each extraction method targets specific cannabinoids and results in different types of concentrate. The main issue when extracting CBT is that it only appears in microscopic amounts. Most CBT concentrates available on the market are derived from hemp or CBD-rich plants or biosynthesized from other precursor cannabinoids.
Strains High in CBT
Due to the difficulty of the extraction and identification of CBT, there is still no official information about which strains of cannabis could be high in this secondary cannabinoid. Currently, CBT concentrates are artificially biosynthesized from precursor cannabinoids through catalysis and chemical transformation.