Continuously unfolding are the depths of knowledge surrounding the cannabis plant, with novel findings being regularly unveiled. As the exploration continues, scientists have successfully pinpointed and categorized 120 cannabinoids within the cannabis plant, with the anticipation of unearthing more in the future. However, a captivating example of this is the recent discovery of THCB, isolated by a team of Italian scientists in late 2019. 

THCB, a newly identified phytocannabinoid, bears a close resemblance to THC, the principal psychoactive compound in cannabis, albeit with subtle differences in its chemical structure. Despite its novelty, research on THCB remains somewhat constrained. However, here’s what we have learned about this intriguing compound thus far:

What is THC-B? 

THC-B, also known as Tetrahydrocannabutol, is a homologous compound closely related to delta-9 THC and one of the active constituents found in hemp. As a natural cannabinoid present in hemp, THC-B shares kinship with delta-9 within the cannabis family.

THC-B, as a phytocannabinoid, exhibits psychoactive properties, though not as potent as D9. Its interaction with our system bears similarities to delta-9, particularly in its action on the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. Notably, THC-B demonstrates a stronger binding affinity to these receptors than other forms of THC, such as delta-8 THC or HHC. That just means that evidence suggests that it feels stronger than average. 

Following the discovery of THCB, promising results emerged from small animal tests, mirroring the impact of THC on humans. The researchers noted reduced pain, slowed reaction times, and improved sleep patterns. Additionally, the team observed potential anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties in their report. Just keep in mind that this is all research, and nothing is set in stone yet. Truth be told, we know very little about how THC-B will affect you or its long-term safety or efficacy. 

How is THC different from THC-B? 

The key difference between THC and THC-B arises in the penalty side chain of THC-B. Instead of the standard structure, THC-B features a butyl side chain, which, in simpler terms, means it has one less carbon chain compared to its sibling cannabinoid. Although this distinction may seem small, it likely contributes to THCB’s heightened potency over THC.

While much research is still needed to fully comprehend this compound, it is crucial to acknowledge its psychoactive nature. As long as it complies with the 2018 Farm Bill and is derived entirely from hemp, this cannabinoid can be legally bought and sold at the federal level. Conversely, Delta-9 THC is not permitted in this context and is generally categorized as medicinal marijuana.

Potential Effects and Benefits 

THCB research remains in its infancy, as its existence has been validated through a lone study, merely skimming the surface of its properties. Given its recent discovery, THCB’s potential uses and benefits remain largely unexplored, leaving a dearth of information about this cannabinoid.

Preliminary data, though limited, suggests that THCB shares similarities with THC, holding promise as a possible pain-reliever and anti-inflammatory agent. There are indications that THCB might also serve as a potential aid for improving sleep, but whether it possesses the same psychoactive characteristics as THC is yet to be determined.

Notably, THCB’s stronger binding affinity to CB1 receptors raises the prospect of it being more potent than THC. However, this effect has not been definitively established in humans at this time. Moreover, given its relatively low abundance in the cannabis plant, the extent of its noticeable effects when consumed remains uncertain.

Potential Risks and Side Effects 

Given the current lack of substantial research, it is advisable for you to exercise a prudent level of caution when contemplating the use of THCB until a more comprehensive dataset is available. As of now, the psychoactive nature of THCB remains uncertain, and if it does possess psychoactive properties, there is a possibility that consuming excessive amounts could lead to undesired side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, or lethargy.

To take it a step further, the hemp industry is a little underregulated, meaning that some THC-B products may not meet quality control standards that keep you safe. Always talk to a doctor before taking any cannabinoids, and never use them to treat any disease or illness. Further study is still needed to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of THC-B, as well as its potential benefits, risks, and side effects. 

How much THC-B should you take? 

Although information on THCB remains limited, we strongly advise a cautious approach. Begin with 2-3 tokes to gauge your tolerance to this cannabinoid, and based on your desired effects, you may opt for a few additional pulls from your vape or cart.

Being a potent cannabinoid, like THC-P, THCB requires moderation. Before trying any new cannabinoid, it’s essential to assess your tolerance level and, if feasible, consult with a healthcare professional. Prioritizing safety and informed decision-making is crucial when exploring novel compounds.

Will THC-B cause you to fail a drug test? 

In short, yes. Common drug tests, such as urine, blood, and saliva tests, primarily target THC and its metabolites. Since THC-B is structurally similar and processed the same way as THC, it will likely show up in a drug test. While these tests are not specifically designed to detect THC-B, they may inadvertently detect the THC-COOH metabolite, leading to a positive result.

It is important to bear in mind that drug test outcomes can vary depending on the laboratory and the methodologies employed. Additionally, drug tests continually undergo updates and improvements to encompass a broader range of substances.

If you have concerns about the potential detection of THC-B in a drug test, don’t use THC-B or any other form of THC, for that matter. It’s also advisable to inform the testers about any legitimate use of products containing THC-B and provide pertinent details. This proactive approach can help prevent misunderstandings and allow for a more accurate interpretation of the results.

As information about THCB is limited, the exact duration of detectability in the body remains unknown. However, drawing from its similarities to Delta-9 THC, we can make some assumptions about its persistence.

For moderate users of THC-B, it is reasonable to expect the compound may be detectable for approximately five to seven days after the last consumption. Daily users might find traces of THC-B in their system for around ten to fifteen days, while heavy long-term users could test positive for up to a month after discontinuing use.

Nonetheless, it’s essential to note that these estimates are speculative and may vary based on individual factors such as metabolism, dosage, frequency of use, and general health status.

Is THC-B Legal? 

As of right now, THC-B is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as long as it’s extracted or synthesized from hemp plants and contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC. However, the DEA is currently cracking down on many different THC alternatives and hemp derivatives. That said, keep in mind that laws and regulations related to cannabis and its derivatives are subject to change as more research and understanding develop around these compounds. To ensure compliance with local laws, it is recommended to consult local authorities or legal experts for the most up-to-date information regarding the legality of THC-B in your area.

Final Thoughts 

As a relatively new compound, THC-B’s properties and potential uses remain limited, necessitating caution when considering its consumption. While it shares similarities with THC, it possesses a distinct chemical structure, potentially making it more potent. 

The psychoactive nature of THC-B is yet to be fully understood, and its detection in drug tests may vary depending on the type of test employed. Due to its recent discovery, its legal status may differ based on regional cannabis regulations. As more research is conducted, further clarity on THC-B’s effects and legality will likely emerge, providing a comprehensive understanding of this intriguing cannabinoid.

While it hasn’t made its way into a ton of different headshops yet, you can explore cannabinoids like THC-B, such as  THC-a, CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, Delta-8, and Delta-9 THC at The Hemptender.