Cannabitriol (CBT) is one of the minor cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBT was first discovered in 1966 by Obata and Ishikawa, but its chemical structure was later determined by researchers in 1976. As of now, there are nine known types of CBT. CBT is not always present in cannabis, but when it is, its concentration is always very low. Because of this, it has been very difficult for scientists to extract and study. Although CBT is structurally similar to THC, it is unknown as to whether or not CBT has similar psychoactive effects.
Cannabicitran is also known as CBT-C. It was first synthesized in 1971 by Crombie and Ponsford. At the time, they named it citrylidene-cannabis. Then, in 1974, it was isolated from Lebanese hashish. As of now, the configuration of CBT-C is unknown. As well, in 1977, the C10-ethoxy derivative of CBT-C was successfully isolated.
CBT is not scheduled under the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances. It is also not scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States.
There have been virtually no studies done regarding the benefits and adverse effects of CBT. However, in 2007, one study was conducted that focused on the addictive effects of THC. The researchers were seeking antibodies that could potentially mitigate the psychoactive components of THC. Their findings showed that CBT was “the major degradation product of this reaction, demonstrating the ability of an antibody to catalyze a complex chemical transformation with therapeutic implications for treating marijuana abuse.” There are no other studies to confirm this finding, but if it is true, this means that CBT is likely a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that, when present alongside THC, can lessen THC’s myriad psychoactive effects.
Despite the lack of knowledge about CBT, many scientists are proponents of the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to the idea that the presence of all cannabis compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) will create a synergistic effect that may produce more optimal health benefits than the presence of only a few compounds. If this theory is correct, then CBT may be an essential component in producing those beneficial effects. However, this is effectively just speculation.
Because almost nothing is known of CBT’s health benefits, there is also nothing known regarding CBT’s potential adverse effects.