Monday February 24, 2020

By Andrew Ward

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Cannabinoids extend beyond the well-known duo of CBD and THC. Of the over 100 identified cannabinoids in cannabis, several have been identified for playing their part in the healing of people and other animals. As the popularity of cannabis increases across the world, so too does the awareness for lesser-known cannabinoids.

Such is the case with cannabichromene (CBC). Though known for its ability to produce healing effects on its own, the cannabinoid is one that appears to work better in tandem with others, creating an entourage effect. However, unlike CBD, its ability to bind to specific receptors allows CBC to stand out for its own potential healing factors.


An Introduction to Cannabichromene

Discovered in 1966 by Gaoni and Mechoulam, CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Consumers don't experience the "high" associated with THC, making it more relatable to cannabinoids like CBD.

Found in low levels of cannabis plants, CBC descends from the cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) and is categorized as a major phytocannabinoid.

CBC shares a similar molecular structure as THC and CBD – as well as others such as CBN and THCV. CBC also acts as a chemical precursor to CBG, CBD and THC.

How CBC and the Body Interact

CBC has been credited with influencing the effects of cannabis without making a consumer feel high. This is believed to be achieved through its indirect binding with the body's endocannabinoid system. Such examples include the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-AG. Both are suggested to play a role as they are stimulated by the cannabinoid.

The body's receptors also play a factor. Some have suggested that TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors may be affected. As such, there is a belief that CBC can modify a myriad of functions and reactions. They include body temperature, sensitivity to pain and inflammation brought on by the nervous system. That said, despite being non-psychoactive like CBD, CBC does not appear to bind much with CB1 or CB2 receptors.


The Potential Benefits of CBC

While additional studies are required to verify how CBC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is widely believed the cannabinoid has a beneficial impact on the previously mentioned TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors. As such, it is thought that CBC can benefit people with a range of conditions and symptoms, including:

Potential Medical Conditions CBC Can Help:

Consumers should keep in mind that CBC may or may not be a better option for their treatment, depending on the condition. For example, while it can serve as an anti-inflammatory, a combination of CBD and THC is mostly believed to be more productive. On the other hand, CBC has been considered a more effective antidepressant than CBD.

That said, a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes, or the entourage effect, is often encouraged. Other research over the past decade has supported such combinations. They include a 2010 study that noted the subset of the impact mice received from using CBC. However, its effects were enhanced when combined with THC, with researchers determining THC produced anti-inflammatory effects when CBC's results were not CB1 or CB2 receptor mediated.

Cannabis Strains with High Levels of CBC are Hard to Find

Finding a strain of cannabis high in CBC content is not going to be a walk in the park. Unlike THC or even CBD, most strains do not possess high levels of CBC in their profile. Dating back to the '70s, researchers have noted that landrace strains emanating from India had the most substantial levels of CBC, even appearing next to top CBD levels.

Charlottes Webb
The strain Charlotte's Webb is known to be high in CBC.

Today, those seeking high levels of CBC are encouraged to find younger plants. As the plant ages, it loses its CBC, degrading over time until it becomes cannabicyclol (CBL). In addition to aging, this process is created through exposure to heat and light. This follows the same occurrence that happens when THCA becomes THC without using decarboxylation.

That said, if you want to source strains high in CBC content, the pickings are slim. One of the more popular options is Charlotte's Web. The phenotype may be best known for its CBD and the story of its namesake, Charlotte Figi. That said, it is also known for having a CBC level of roughly .4%. Other options include Maui Dream, Purple Cadillac and 3Kings among a few to choose from.

Have you ever experienced the effects of CBC? Share your stories in the comments below.

Andrew Ward Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based cannabis writer and creative. His work has appeared on Benzinga, High Times, PROHBTD and several other publications and brand blogs. He has covered the cannabis space for over three years, and has written professionally since 2011. His first book, "Cannabis Jobs," was released in October 2019. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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