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THCB Guide: production, effects, research and legal status

What is THCB: New or already known cannabinoid? 

Tetrahydrocannabutol (THCB) is a minor cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, although only in minute amounts, as are, for example, THCJD and THCH. A 2022 study reported that approximately 150 minor cannabinoids have already been identified in the cannabis plant.

The cannabinoid THCB also has the following names: nor-THC, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol-C4, Δ9-THC-butyl, Δ9-THC-C4.

It is sometimes reported that THCB was successfully discovered in 2019, as was THCP. For this, let's cite a 1942 study showing that the cannabinoid THCB was already being studied by chemist Roger Adams.

Presumably, the information that this is a newly discovered cannabinoid comes from the fact that a 2019 study by an Italian team of scientists mentions that they found the presence of a butyl phytocannabinoid series with a four-part alkyl chain, namely cannabibutol (CBDB) and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabutol (Δ9-THCB), in CBD samples derived from hemp and in a variety of medicinal cannabis.

In the aforementioned study, they suggested that it was not entirely clear how these substances were formed in CBD samples derived from hemp and in a variety of medical cannabis, as they did not find any of the enzymes that normally produce these substances. The researchers believe that these butyl phytocannabinoids may have been formed through processes such as microbial oxidation and decarboxylation

And an earlier study from 1997, for example, reported that scientists identified minor components of THC, CBD and CBN homologues with butyl side chains in marijuana samples.


What is THCB

Chemical structure 

THCB is a homologue of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (delta-9-THC). Homologue is the term used to refer to chemical compounds of the same type that have similar chemical structures and properties. 

THCB has a butyl side chain with 4 carbons (C4H9) attached to the 3rd carbon atom of the benzene ring. And THC has a classic pentyl side chain with 5 carbons and is also attached to the 3rd carbon atom of the benzene ring. The molecular formula of THCB is C20H28O2.


When it comes to the production of THCB, it is simply impossible for producers to extract this compound directly from cannabis and satisfy the commercial market, as THCB is found in only a minute concentration in the plant. Therefore, the bulk of THCB products are currently made from other, more readily available cannabinoids such as CBD

Chemist Dr Mark Scialdone said that the products are not natural and that cannabinoids with different carbon chain lengths, such as THCB, THCP and THCH, are synthetically produced and not extracted from the plant. As support for this claim, he refers to a 2019 study describing the synthesis of THCPs by a chemical process carried out by an Italian team of scientists.

In simple terms, it involves not adding extra carbons to the delta-9-THC molecule, but taking a synthetic substance that serves as a precursor and already has the appropriate number of carbon atoms in a chemical process called "terpenylation."

Scientists need a resorcinol with a chain length of 4 carbons or butylresorcinol to produce THCB.

Does THCB have similar effects to delta-9-THC?

THCB, like THC, interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of receptors and enzymes that helps regulate various physiological processes such as mood, sleep, immunity and movement.

The cannabinoid THCB binds to CB1 receptors (mainly in the brain and nervous system), therefore exerting a psychoactive effect on the organymus, and CB2 receptors (mainly in the immune system) in the ECS. A study by Italian researchers suggests that THCB shows more activity on CB1 receptors than THC. The theory is that this is due to the compound's butyl side chain. The exact mechanism of interaction with the ECS is still under investigation.

In 2020, the journal Pharmaceuticals published a study suggesting that higher binding at the CB1 receptor appears useful in neurological diseases (epilepsy) and that THCB exhibits anticonvulsant properties.

More studies came out in the same year. The Journal of Natural Products published a study in mice that suggested that THCB has promising anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. A mouse study by Italian scientists also appeared in Scientific Reports, suggesting that THCB promotes antinociceptive activity in rodents, which means that it helps relieve pain-related sensations. 

The intensity of the effects of THCB can be expected to be similar to that of delta-9-THC, with THCB apparently having slightly milder to comparable effects to delta-9-THC.

According to users' testimonies, THCB can influence perception and mood, induce euphoria, more energy and creativity, induce a feeling of relaxation and relieve pain symptoms.

However, further research is needed to confirm these effects.

Possible side effects

Psychoactive substances of this type naturally carry a risk of side effects. As with other cannabinoids with psychoactive properties, side effects such as:

  • dry mouth
  • redness of the eyes
  • impaired coordination
  • increased heart rate
  • memory problems
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • dizziness
  • lethargy

The intensity of these effects will vary depending on the health status, metabolism and sensitivity of the user, dose and method of consumption. 

Comparison with cannabinoids THC, THCJD, THCH






Side chain

Butyl chain with 4 carbons

Alkyl chain with 5 carbons

Alkyl chain with 8 carbons

Hexyl chain with 6 carbons

Natural vs. synthetic cannabinoid

It occurs naturally in cannabis, but only in low amounts, more often it is produced from other cannabinoids.

A compound naturally abundant in the cannabis plant.

It is said to be found in trace amounts in the cannabis plant, but is mostly produced from other cannabinoids.

It occurs naturally in cannabis, but only in low amounts, more often it is produced from other cannabinoids.

Psychoactive effects

Yes, slightly milder to comparable effects as THC


Yes, strong

In a small dose none or only moderate

Legal status

As of March 11, 2024, it is not on the list of prohibited substances in most countries.

The maximum allowed amount in most EU countries is 0.3%, in the Czech Republic 1%.

As of March 11, 2024, it is not on the list of prohibited substances in most countries.

It is banned in the Czech Republic by a government decree on lists of addictive substances. In some states, it may be in a legal grey area.


THCB product range

At the moment, it can be expected that after the temporary inclusion of HHC, HHCO and THCP on the list of prohibited addictive substances, cannabis e-shops in the Czech market will start to fill up with THCB products, in particular THCB vape pens and replacement cartridges, liquids (liquids intended for vaping), distillates and flowers.

When buying cannabis products, always make sure to source them from reputable companies and prefer brands that provide transparency and results from third-party labs.


THCB product range

Legal status of THCB

As for the legal status of the cannabinoid THCB, it is defined as legal under the US farm bill. In 2018, this law made all cannabis derivatives legal as long as they do not contain more than 0.3% THC. In the Czech Republic, the limit has been raised to 1% THC on a dry basis.

A likely problem could arise in that most states currently restrict or prohibit the use of cannabinoids with psychoactive properties, which could "throw" THCB into a legal grey area. In addition, the country still lacks a law regulating new psychomodulants, which is necessary to ensure safety, quality and legality.


Tetrahydrocannabutol is a minor cannabinoid, a homologue of the cannabinoid delta-9-THC. While THC has a classical pentyl chain, THCB has a butyl side chain. And because it is only found in trace amounts in cannabis, it is more common for THCB products to be made synthetically, for example from CBD

The intensity of the effects of THCB is thought to be comparable to that of THC. Preliminary research suggests that THCB could have a range of potential therapeutic benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anticonvulsant properties, but further research is needed to confirm this.

The cannabinoid THCB is defined as legal under the Farm Bill. Always choose verified vendors who have their products tested by an independent party in a lab to make sure they are free of unwanted substances such as heavy metals and solvents.


Author: Canatura
Photo: Shutterstock

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