Cannabicitran, or CBT, is one of more than 130 phytocannabinoids and counting. The minor cannabinoid is chemically similar to THC, though it likely produces no intoxicating effects. In fact, some researchers suggest that CBT may help mitigate THC’s intoxicating properties by blocking the chemical transformations that produce a THC high.
Though CBT naturally occurs in minuscule quantities and in limited cultivars, processors can now synthesize the molecule from other cannabinoid distillates. In doing so, they can create a pure cannabicitran isolate, which manufacturers can then use in a variety of ways.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at cannabicitran, outline some proposed applications, then discuss how CBT affects the future of cannabinoid research.
What is Cannabicitran?
Cannabicitran is a minor cannabinoid that was first discovered in 1966. A decade later, scientists outlined its chemical structure, but it wasn’t officially declared a cannabinoid until 2011. There has been minimal research on the compound since then, due in part to restrictive legislation and relative difficulty procuring the element.
Importantly, cannabicitran (CBT-C) is chemically distinct from another cannabinoid called cannabitriol, which shares the same abbreviation (CBT). This obviously causes some confusion, but basically, it breaks down like this:
- Cannabicitran develops from CBDA
- Cannabitrol develops from THCA
As such, cannabictran is more prominent in hemp-type cannabis, whereas cannabitrol is more prominent in marijuana-type cannabis. In both cases, the cannabinoid develops in small quantities and only in certain cultivars. For the sake of discussion, this article specifically refers to hemp-based CBT, cannabictran.
CBT Properties and Applications
CBT is a minor cannabinoid because its density and therapeutic potential are small. However, researchers have noted that CBT seems to minimize the effects of THC despite its similar structure. Another early study suggests that CBT may help reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in rabbits.
Interestingly, CBT also developed in the Chinese medicinal plant, Rhododendron Anthopogonoides, which was often used to treat respiratory issues. Though current CBT research has not confirmed its application as a bronchodilator, we certainly have reason to investigate this potential further.
Having said that, we really have a limited understanding of CBT’s proposed therapeutic potential. What we do know is that it does not crystalize like other cannabinoids, making it an effective thinning agent for vaporizer cartridges. Consequently, manufacturers can use CBT to create pure vapeable cannabinoid-based oils and cartridges.
Cannabicitran and the Future of Cannabinoid Research
Restrictive legislation stunted cannabis research for years, which limited study access to only a few specific cultivars. Fortunately, recent legislative efforts have increased access to many varieties and made it easier for researchers to fund and study them. As such, we can now study minor cannabinoids like cannabicitran to help us more broadly understand the entourage effect. As we discover and map new cannabinoids and synthetic processes, we gain a better understanding of cannabis, the endocannabinoid system, and how they all work together to promote plant-based wellness.
Soon, we will be able to fine-tune our cannabinoid in-take with precisely measured cannabinoid-based products. Dosing and consumption methods will also become more standardized, thus improving legalization efforts and overall access to these amazing compounds.
Final Thoughts About Cannabicitran
Cannabictran, or CBT, is just one of many exciting new cannabinoid discoveries. This non-crystalizing cannabis compound can lend to the purity of other cannabinoid-based oils. Additionally, it could add therapeutic potential by contributing to the entourage effect, though we need more research to confirm CBT’s specific health benefits.