WHAT IS CANNABITRIOL?
Cannabitriol (CBT) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of the 130 (and rising) cannabinoids that exist. CBT shares a similar chemical structure to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBT was first discovered in 1966 following a study of different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Since CBT is found in minute quantities, there have not been very many studies performed on the compound yet.
In 2014, a Jamaican researcher was able to isolate the compound while working to identify and name other compounds. A couple of potential health benefits have been discovered recently, but studies are still ongoing and further analysis is needed.
Like every other strain of cannabinoid that exists, CBT is obtained from the cannabis plant during its chemical formation. CBT can also undergo the process of decarboxylation. Decarboxylation involves either heating or drying the cannabis plant which removes an acid group and activates the cannabinoids.
HOW DOES CBT WORK?
Researchers still don’t know how CBT functions. Although it has a similar structure to THC, CBT is thought to prevent some of the psychoactive effects from THC.
Most cannabinoids contain two major groups, an alcohol group, and a phenol group. These groups influence the overall benefits and how each cannabinoid interacts with the body.
Although the structure of CBT closely matches THC, both CBT groups are alcohols, unlike THC. This means that there is a difference in what we should expect from this compound in terms of benefits and effects. Many other cannabinoids contain a phenol group, but CBT does not.
POSSIBLE THERAPEUTIC BENEFITSCBT is still being studied, but the few research studies that have been published show some promising health benefits.
A study conducted by Mahmoud Elsohly showed that CBT reduced intraocular pressure (IOP) in rabbits. While there have been no human studies done regarding CBT and glaucoma, this initial study looks promising and we look forward to further research.
Reduction of THC Psychoactive Effects
A study published in 2007 showed that CBT may be one of the primary cannabinoids responsible for decreasing the psychoactive effects of THC. This has great therapeutic potential for people who may be interested in the health benefits of THC, but are not interested in the psychoactive effects.
Previous studies have shown that the health benefits of cannabinoids such as CBD are amplified in the presence of other cannabinoids like THC. While there aren’t many studies on CBT yet, it is assumed to participate in the cannabinoid entourage effect due to its chemical structure.
- Unlike other forms of chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, CBT is found in very minute quantities.
- Due to the similarity in characteristics and chemical structure, CBT often can be mistaken for THC.
- CBT is not found in every cannabis plant, only certain cannabis strains contain CBT.