What Is THCB?

Published September 27, 2022
What Is THCB? - Secret Nature

As it makes its way toward a certain form, nature tends to create many different options and later chooses the contestant that fares the best. This principle of natural selection appears to be at play in the existence of THCB, a cannabinoid so alike to THC that they could be considered mirror-images of each other.

What, exactly, is THCB, and why would it be desirable over conventional THC? Learn all about this butyl cannabinoid in this guide.

What is the cannabinoid THCB?

Tetrahydrocannabutol (THCB) is a rare but natural cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa. Discovered as part of the Italian government’s recent efforts to further the taxonomy of cannabis, THCB is exactly alike to THC aside from one minor alteration — THC’s pentyl side chain or “tail” has been replaced with a butyl tail.

Apparently, this difference between THCB and conventional THC does not appear to significantly affect its activity. Since it is chemically distinct from THC but offers essentially the same effects, THCB can be considered both a homologue and an analogue of THC, meaning it’s a similar substance with a different structure that operates essentially the same way as THC in the human body.

How is THCB made?

THCB naturally occurs in some strains of hemp with the presence of this cannabinoid in Italian-bred FM2 hemp confirmed. Neither FM2 nor any other strain of hemp, however, contains enough THCB to yield usable quantities, so any THCB available on the market has been converted from another cannabinoid instead.

When was THCB discovered?

Italian researchers discovered THCB in 2019 as part of ongoing research into the chemical structure of various strains of the Cannabis sativa plant. The same research initiative has resulted in the discovery of THCP, THCH, and a variety of other “new” cannabinoids never before found by human beings in hemp. Aside from its original isolation and classification, no further study has been conducted into THCB to our knowledge.

What does THCB do?

Based on initial data and chemical analysis, THCB appears to offer roughly the same effects as conventional THC. Like THC, THCB seems to offer considerable anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and it’s believed to have significant psychotropic effects.

Unlike certain other recently discovered alternative forms of THC, however, THCB does not appear to be considerably more potent than conventional THC. In fact, there’s nothing quite like THCB on the market — even delta 8 and delta 10, while very similar, are essentially “toned-down” and “boosted-up” forms of THC respectively, not direct copies.

How is THCB different from THC?

The difference between THC and THCB is far less remarkable than the differences between THC and other similar cannabinoids. While cannabinoids like THCP, THCO, and even delta 8 feature alterations in the complex “head” of the THC molecule, the differences between THC and THCB take place in the compound’s tail, which plays a far less vital role in THC’s neurochemistry.

That’s the most likely reason that the effects of THCB so closely mirror those of THC. As a completely chemically unique compound, however, THCB critically is not the same as THC for regulatory purposes.

Is THCB better than THC?

In terms of effects, THCB and THC appear to be about the same, so THCB could only be more desirable than conventional THC for purposes of convenience. Delta 9 THC remains federally prohibited and is not available in many states. Since it’s generally considered industrial hemp, however, THCB might be substantially easier to come by.

While there doesn’t appear to be any cause for concern, it’s important to note that every THCB product currently on the market contains chemically altered cannabinoids. It’s simply not possible to naturally produce high concentrations of THCB in hemp yet, so the THCB in any products you find online has been converted from another cannabinoid, potentially making all-natural conventional THC more desirable.

Is THCB synthetic?

THCB is inherently a natural substance, but it is usually synthesized from another cannabinoid since it is not present in any strains of cannabis in high concentrations. Synthesizing cannabinoids can sometimes lead to chemical contamination, so make sure to check lab reports for any THCB products you’re considering buying.

Is THCB safe?

So far, there appears to be no reason to consider THCB any less safe than conventional THC. In terms of potency, the two cannabinoids appear to be on par, and the replacement of THC’s pentyl group with THCB’s butyl group is unlikely to cause any safety issues. With THCB being very new to the internet, however, it’s reasonable to practice extra precaution when evaluating the safety of THCB products you’re considering.

Is THCB legal?

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, cannabinoids aside from delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) are generally considered to be industrial hemp, a mostly unrestricted regulatory category. The DEA has recently signaled that it is unlikely to restrict the sales of chemically altered cannabinoids, placing THC homologues like THCB in the same category as CBD or CBG.

Can you buy THCB online?

Yes, it is starting to become possible to find simple THCB products online. In addition to lab samples sold by chemical manufacturers are the beginnings of rudimentary THCB distillate and vape cart products with a wider variety of options surely on the way.

What types of THCB products are there?

Right now, the only types of THCB products you’re likely to be able to find on the internet are grams of distillate and pre-filled vape cartridges. There simply isn’t enough demand for other types of product formulations yet, and even the THCB vape industry remains in its infancy.

The bottom line: Should I try THCB?

The rise of delta 8 was a godsend for millions of people around the nation. Finally, it was possible to buy a hemp product online that felt like THC — at least, for the most part.

As any long-time delta 8 user knows, however, this cannabinoid isn’t exactly the same thing as THC. It’s a bit more relaxing, which might be exactly what you need.

If you’ve been hankering for the real deal when it comes to online THC, though, THCB is definitely worthy of consideration. It appears to offer effects that almost exactly mirror those provided by THC, but just like delta 8, THCB is generally considered a hemp cannabinoid, not marijuana.

THCB cannabinoid FAQ

What else would you like to know about THCB? Learn more in the FAQ section below:

1. Is THCB natural?

Yes, THCB is inherently a natural cannabinoid since it has been discovered in Cannabis sativa. The type of THCB you can buy online, however, is synthetic since this cannabinoid was just discovered a few years ago and is not yet available in high concentrations in hemp. There appears to be no reason to believe, however, that synthesized THCB is meaningfully different from natural THCB.

2. Is THCB psychoactive?

Yes, THCB appears to offer roughly the same level of psychoactivity as conventional THC. Unlike other alternative forms of THC that have recently appeared on the internet, THCB is neither more potent or less potent than THC — it’s on exactly the same level as its conventional and abundant cousin.

3. THCB potency: Just how potent is it?

Based on initial data, THCB appears to offer exactly the same potency as conventional THC. Just by taking a look at THCB’s conventional structure, this analysis makes sense. It’s hardly different from THC at all, and what differences there are occur in a relatively unimportant part of the compound.

4. What types of THCB products are there?

Right now, the only types of THCB products you’re likely to be able to find on the internet are isolates, distillates, and vape cartridges. As is the case with most online THC alternatives, these simple products are offered first as consumers acclimate to new cannabinoids. Then, as has been the case with delta 8, additional product types are added later.

5. Is there THCB-rich hemp?

No, at this time, there are no hemp strains that are high in THCB. This cannabinoid has only been discovered in the Italian strain FM2, and even in this specially bred strain, THCB was only present in nearly infinitesimal quantities. It will likely be some time before THCB-rich strains of hemp are bred.

6. Can I buy THCB distillate online?

Yes, it is becoming possible to find high-quality THCB distillate products online. Since competition between THCB producers remains light, however, it’s up to you to determine which brands offer high-quality, safe products and which might not.

7. Where can I buy THCB vapes?

You can now buy vape cartridges and disposable vape pens containing THCB online. As a brand-new cannabinoid, your options are relatively slim, so make sure to check for third-party lab reports and evaluate the overall reputation of any THCB manufacturer before you make a purchase.

8. Is THCB stronger than THCP?

No, THCB is certainly not stronger than THCP. So far, THCP is considered to be one of the strongest natural cannabinoids ever discovered, and it appears to offer around 30 times the potency of conventional THC. As a cannabinoid that seemingly mirror’s conventional THC’s potency, THCB doesn’t hold a candle to THCP in terms of pure potency.

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