What Is CBTC?

Cannabicitran (CBTC) is plentiful in your hemp products, but we know very little about it.

Dr. Abraham Benavides is an international cannabis science advisor, health coach, and full-tuition merit scholar of the GW School of Medicine. Abe pioneered and published first-author research with the Cannabis...

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Cannabicitran (CBTC) is actually one of the most abundant and oldest-identified cannabinoids in hemp. Similar to CBD and CBC, CBTC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and likely shares similar effects.

It hasn’t formally been studied in humans yet to determine clear benefits or side effects – but CBTC is already in your hemp products.

Surprisingly, little preclinical research has also been conducted to date on CBTC. There is basic bench science that suggests CBTC could be useful for Alzheimer’s disease, pain, headaches, metabolism, cancer, glaucoma, skincare, and even sunscreen. Some of these potential uses are already patented with CBTC formulations.

What Is CBTC? 

Cannabicitran (CBTC or CBT-C) was first reported in 1971. Interestingly, it was called citrylidene-cannabis, until 1974 when the structure was naturally confirmed in Lebanese cannabis. It was named cannabicitran but then problematically abbreviated “CBT” in a 1983 report and a 2011 paper, hence the confusion regarding “CBT” continues. 

In earlier research, cannabicitran was sometimes abbreviated as both CBT-C and CBT. Thus, some may confuse cannabicitran (CBTC) with what we recognize as cannabitriol (CBT) today. However, it’s important to realize they are separate cannabinoids with different potential uses.

Where Can You Find CBTC?

CBTC can be found in simple hemp leaf extracts as low as 1.6%, and as high as 10% in commercial CBD products. However, its exact origins remain unclear because it can be formed naturally and semisynthetically, without enzymes. 

Naturally, CBTC can be derived from several sources, potentially starting with Δ9-cis-THC (not the common Δ9-trans-THC), CBC, or CBGA.

It could also be a CBC artifact made from cannabis drying, explaining why there is more CBTC in commercial products than a simple hemp extract. CBTC is also present in the pollen of male cannabis plants.

Aside from cannabis, CBTC may also be found in Rhododendron plants, as they did in 2011 (where they also dubbed it “CBT”). However, when researchers followed up on this in 2023, they didn’t get the same results and scientists propose that CBTC may simply appear as a byproduct of processing raw plant material, delta-8 products, and e-liquid vaping.

What Are the Benefits and Effects of CBTC?

There are only a few preclinical studies and one animal study that have investigated the effects of CBTC.

Nevertheless, people have already started patenting CBTC formulations. The benefits of CBTC may include:

  • Pain
  • Headache
  • Glaucoma (reduces intraocular pressure in 1983 rabbit study)
  • Cancer (particularly for breast cancer as an ER-receptor blocker)
  • Metabolism
  • Alzheimer’s (by inhibiting AChE and BChE enzymes)
  • Skincare
  • Sunscreen

What Are the Side Effects of CBTC? 

Since CBTC is abundant in CBD products, the side effects are likely very similar. We don’t have clinical studies yet, but we may expect a good safety profile, non-impairing effects, and common adverse effects such as:

  • Drowsiness
  • GI and upper respiratory disturbances

Will CBTC Get You High?

No, CBTC will not get you high.

Unlike THC, CBTC doesn’t have a psychoactive double bond. Instead, it forms another ring around itself, similar to cannabicyclol (CBL).

This is another key difference from cannabitriol (CBT), which has a double bond that could potentially be psychoactive when varying isomer forms are presented to CB1. 


CBTC has largely flown under the radar for over 50 years. Researchers and the public should be aware this cannabinoid is already out there and commonly consumed in everyday hemp products.