THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) are the most common cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. But there’s another variety of cannabinoid that is gaining more attention and showing more potential based on medical research. It’s called “Cannabichromene”, or CBC, and was brought to light about 50 years ago. It is now considered to be one of the six major cannabinoids that are highly examined and researched for their potential benefit.
Cannabichromene is derived from the same cannabis-produced acid as THC and CBD, which is cannabigerolic acid, or CBGA. This acid is the predecessor to the THC and CBD acids. Precise enzymes from the cannabis plant are responsible for how each of the three acids are channeled into their respective acidic forms. From cannabigerolic acid, the plant changes the CBGA into CBCA (cannabichrome carboxylic acid). With heat and ultraviolet light exposure, the CBCA is ultimately converted to CBC.
The “blissful” feeling that comes from THC is not present in CBC because it cannot adhere as strongly to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors that are present in the brain. But where it does bond with receptors, it does so with receptors such as TRPV1 (vanilloid receptor 1) and TRPA1 (transient receptor potential ankyrin 1). These receptors are connected to how the brain perceives pain. When the receptors are activated by CBC, it works with the natural endocannabinoids that are increased in the body, similar to anandamide.
CBC also works with THC and CBD cooperatively to produce what is known as the “entourage effect”. And even though CBC is beneficial on its own, researchers are investigating the effectiveness of CBC when combined with the other cannabinoids.
Potential Medicinal Benefits of CBC
Following are some of the health-threatening conditions that cannabichromene has been shown to have potentially extensive positive effects on.
- Cancer – As a cancer fighter, cannabichromene may have significant potential. First may be how it can interact with anandamide, the endocannabinoid that the body produces naturally. It may also last longer in the bloodstream because of the inhibiting factor in the absorption of anandamide. Inflammation and the growth of tumors in a study involving mice also presented positive results from the effects of cannabinoids. Anandamide in in-vitro and in-vivo testing was shown to be successful in combating breast cancer, which revealed that CBC along with other cannabinoids could hold the promise of being a means of preventing chemotherapy1.A 2006 study first reported that CBC had potential as a cancer fighter, along with cannabinoids besides THC. THC has properties that prevent tumors in several other cancers, but because it has strong psychotropic (mentally affective) characteristics, it may be a problem when substituted for chemotherapy. CBC has been shown to be second to the CBG cannabinoid in stemming the growth of new cancer cells.2
- Pain and Inflammation – In osteoarthritis which has been produced by collagen, CBC was able to act as a pain and inflammation blocker—without side effects, in a manner different from the way that NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) act. Also, CBC when combined with THC, helped to control inflammation more effectively together than if they were administered alone3.
- Brain Cells – CBC was shown to have positive results on (NSPCs) neural stem progenitor cells, which are vital to the brain’s functioning. Astroglial cells are significant brain homeostasis sustainers, and NSPCs are a factor in identifying the differences between them. CBC may play a part in reversing issues like
oxidative stress, inflammation, toxicity—the issues that can lead to diseases such
- Acne – CBC has shown great benefit in inhibiting the growth of acne in the skin. CBC was shown to carry qualities that helped prevent the inflammation of the sebaceous glands and the excessive production of sebum that leads to acne. The additional suppression of overabundant lipid production in the sebaceous glands is effective in the prevention of acne. This proof is showing through research that CBC has great potential in becoming a potent remedy for acne5.
- Depression – CBC has shown great promise in its ability to work as an antidepressant when combined with THC and CBD6.
CBC holds a great deal of potential in discovering how it works on its own versus with a conjunction with other cannabinoids. And although people who are medicinal cannabis clients have a limited selection of products at their disposal to relieve symptoms from qualifying conditions, as federal and state laws change and additional research and studies are conducted, there’s hope that new medicinal cannabis products based on a variety of cannabinoids will provide more choices for patient treatment.