Cannabichromene, also known as CBC was discovered more than half a century ago, it was discovered in 1966 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and Y. Gaoni, and then almost simultaneously by Dr. Claussen and his team that same year. CBC is considered one of the six cannabinoids prominent in medical research. Even though it doesn’t get as much attention CBC’s benefits are extremely promising.
CBC has the same origins as both THC and CBD do in that they all stem from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Cannabis plants produce CBGA, the precursor to three major cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
CBC is non-intoxicating, so it doesn’t produce a euphoric high like THC. The reason it is non-intoxicating is because it binds poorly to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. But CBC does bind with other receptors in the body, such as the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), both of which are linked to pain perception. When CBC activates these receptors, increased levels of the body’s natural endocannabinoids like anandamide are released.
While CBC definitely has singular benefits, researchers also think that it seems to synergistically work with other cannabinoids, a term known as the entourage effect. We also know that CBC works in tandem with other cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG and CBN, which ultimately boosts their anti-inflammatory and other therapeutic effects.
The Medicinal Potential of CBC
Antiinflammatory: Alongside other cannabinoids, CBC was shown to be effective in an animal-model test for inflammation against phenylbutazone through injection, with a dose-dependent superiority when taken orally
Antibacterial: Paired against the antibiotic streptomycin, both CBC and its isomers performed better inhibitory activity against several bacteria, including bacillus subtilis and staph.
Pain control: Cannabinoids are often tested upon a four-part scale called the tetrad assay, which includes pain control. When given alongside .3 mg/kg of THC (essentially a microdose), CBC showed even greater efficacy with antinocioreception than by itself, again pointing to its potential as a prime entourage effect cannabinoid. It also may help with arthritis, too, though human tests are needed.
Skin care: Not unlike CBD, CBC has also shown promise in skin care, particularly acne control.
Antidepressant: In two animal models measuring depression, CBC showed significant, dose-dependent effects, in some cases pushing out other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN.
Anticonvulsant: Move over, CBD — a recent paper explored the possibility that yes, other cannabinoids may be just as effective for Dravet’s Syndrome patients as well.
Methods Of Consumption For CBC
There are a variety of methods for consuming both CBC. To experience the effects of CBC, smoking dried flowers or resin are not the only options. CBC can also be consumed through edibles, tinctures, capsules, powder, and topical creams.
Here are several methods of consuming CBC, including:
- Smoking: The traditional way of consuming CBC is by smoking dried flowers or resin. This method produces a fast onset of effects but can be harsh on the lungs and throat.
- Edibles: CBC can also be consumed through edibles, such as brownies, cookies, and gummies.
- Tinctures: CBC tinctures are liquid extracts placed under the tongue or mixed into food or drinks. This method produces a fast onset of effects and allows for more precise dosing.
- Topicals: CBC topicals are creams, balms, and salves applied directly to the skin. This method is helpful for localized pain and inflammation.
- Vaping: CBC can also be consumed by vaping, which involves inhaling a vaporized oil or liquid. This method produces a fast onset of effects but can harm the lungs.
- Suppositories: CBC can be used in a suppository. A suppository is another way to deliver a drug. It’s a small, round or cone-shaped object that you put in your body, often into your bottom. Once it’s inside, it melts or dissolves and releases its medication.
Understanding the Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that are found throughout the human body. It plays a crucial role in regulating essential bodily functions such as hormone levels, heart rate, and sleep. The ECS works to maintain homeostasis in the body, which is a state of balance and stability that is necessary for optimal health. It accomplishes this by producing and utilizing endocannabinoids, which are similar to cannabinoids found in cannabis but are produced naturally by the body.
A major job of the ECS is homeostasis, which regulates many of your body’s essential functions, including:
- Hormone levels and fertility
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Hunger and digestion
- Immune function
- Memory and concentration
- Motor control
- Awareness of your senses
Your endocannabinoids communicate with your nervous system to keep all these things within acceptable parameters. When you consider that, it makes sense that cannabinoids can treat numerous medical problems.
An important difference between your endocannabinoids and cannabinoids from an outside source, however, is that yours work in precise coordination with only the system that needs correcting at that moment. When you inhale cannabinoids from, say, smoking marijuana, they flood through your whole body and make both desirable and undesirable changes at the same time.
How Cannabinoids Work in the Body
In 1988, Dr. Allyn Howlett and her team of researchers at St. Louis University first discovered the cannabinoid receptor, which is a type of protein found in cells that bind with cannabinoids like those produced naturally by our bodies or from plants such as cannabis.
Cannabinoid receptors were discovered because researchers tried to understand how phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD interact with the body. So they have named cannabinoid receptors after the main chemicals that activate them — cannabinoids.
Scientists later discovered that the body produces very similar molecules that fit the same receptors. They were named endocannabinoids.
Endocannabinoids produced by the body are similar to cannabinoids found in cannabis but are specifically tailored to interact with receptors in the ECS. On the other hand, cannabinoids from an outside source, such as cannabis, can interact with a variety of receptors in the body and produce different effects. For example, inhaling cannabinoids can affect the whole body at once, unlike endocannabinoids which work precisely with specific systems. This is why certain strains of cannabis may have varying effects on the body.
The Endocannabinoid System relies on two main types of receptors, CB1 and CB2, to help regulate physiological functions. CB1 receptors are located mainly in the brain and nervous system, while CB2 receptors are primarily found in immune cells. The main function of both types of receptors is to detect changes in the environment and activate pathways that can restore balance within the body.
CB1 receptors are essential in regulating mood, appetite, memory formation, motor control, coordination, pain perception, sleep patterns, and more. Although they are primarily found in the central nervous system, they can also be present in other organs, such as the liver or kidneys.
On the other hand, CB2 receptors are mainly involved in immune functions and inflammation. They are found in immune cells such as macrophages, B-cells, natural killer cells, and T-cells.
When cannabinoids such as THC or CBD bind to these receptors, they can cause body changes that help restore homeostasis. For example, when THC binds with CB1 receptors, it has been known to increase dopamine levels, reducing anxiety and improving mood.
Similarly, CBD binding with CB2 receptors has been linked to reducing inflammation and pain perception in the body. In short, both receptors play an essential role in maintaining balance within the human body by responding to environmental changes.
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!