There’s a lot of buzz about the most famous cannabinoids THC and CBD. But there’s another with just as much potential: cannabichromene, also known as CBC. It’s considered one of the six most beneficial cannabinoids present in cannabis and its existence has been known for over fifty years. It’s not psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you stoned, and it has incredible therapeutic benefits.
What is CBC?
CBC, CBD, and THC all come from cannabigerolic acid or CBGA. CBGA is then broken down by your body into one of the three. CBC is the product of a two-step process where CBGA converts into cannabichrome carboxylic acid (CBCA), then to its final form CBC through exposure to heat or ultraviolet light. Once it turns into CBC the magic starts to happen.
CBC works by binding to your vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). Each of these is involved in pain regulation. When CBC binds to these receptors, it increases the release of anandamide, also known as “the bliss molecule”. This helps relieve pain, increase mood, and even shows promising signs in its ability to help fight cancer.
Anandamide is known to fight breast cancer. Since CBC increases production of this molecule and also keeps it in your system longer, it shows potential as a cancer therapy. Research has found CBC to be the second-best cannabinoid when it comes to inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. The most effective is CBG.
Some research has found CBC to have neuroprotective qualities. In a 2013 study on mice, CBC had a positive effect on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs) which are involved in healthy brain function. These cells differentiate into astroglial cells, which have a number of functions including neurotransmitter direction, maintaining brain homeostasis, and defending against oxidative stress.
CBC can also help with acne. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory and inhibits the unnecessary lipid production that often causes acne. Once more research is done CBC could become a new treatment for those suffering from this skin condition.
In addition to the physical healing properties of CBC, it also has benefits for your emotional well being. Through something called the entourage effect, which is where numerous cannabinoids work together, CBC fights the blues with some help from THC and CBD.
In another example of the entourage effect, CBC works with THC to fight pain and inflammation. In a study conducted on mice, inflammation was reduced by these two cannabinoids. This information could potentially lead to an alternative medication to the generally used NSAIDs, which have a host of side effects.
The myriad of uses for CBC make it rank as one of the most useful cannabinoids. Through research, this molecule may be able to replace a number of less-savory options for those in need of medical relief. It’s an often overlooked element of the cannabis plant that has proven its worth in a number of ways. As more and more research and studies continue to occur, we can look forward to learning a lot more about CBC and its synergistic effects.
Shasta Nelson is a California Native and a cannabis connoisseur. She's been involved in the industry at every level since she was a teenager. Currently she provides content for Roottie, DOPE Magazine, and Terpenes and Testing. She's also a creative writer, with a graphic novel underway.