Cannabinoid Spotlight: CBC
CBC or cannabichromene is another interesting cannabinoid found in the marijuana plant. It does not bind well to the CB1 receptors in the brain, unlike THC which does--meaning it's non-intoxicating and rather works as an enhancer for other cannabinoids that directly effect the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CBC works with other cannabinoids by activating certain receptors in our anatomy to help release increased levels of the body's natural endocannabinoids like anandamide. It reacts to the such as the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), both of which are linked to pain perception. Before being heated, it can be found in it's acidic version, CBCA (cannabichrome carboxylic acid). It's precursor phytocannabinoid is CBGA, just like THCA and CBDA. CBC was discovered in 1966, and has only a few studies published on its effects and benefits. As time and research progresses, CBC appears to be a promising cannabinoid and possibly interacts with the 'entourage effect' of weed.
Leafly author Jacqueline Havelka wrote about the medicinal potential of CBC. On cancer, Havelka writes, "Cannabichromene may be a powerful cancer fighter, and the reason might be its interaction with the body’s natural endocannabinoid, anandamide. CBC also appears to inhibit the uptake of anandamide, allowing it to remain longer in the bloodstream." She cites a recent study in which tumor growth was initiated in mice and "showed cannabinoids might be effective in inhibiting both inflammation and tumor growth. Since anandamide has been shown to fight breast cancer in vitro and in vivo, this shows promise that CBC and other cannabinoids might one day be a chemopreventive agent....So far, research has found CBC to be the second-most-potent cannabinoid at inhibiting the growth of new cancer cells (CBG was the most potent)."
CBC also shows potential for brain health and preventative benefits against neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Jacqueline states, "In a 2013 mouse study, CBC had a positive effect on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs), a cell essential to healthy brain function. NSPCs became more viable when in the presence of CBC, and that shows promise because NSPCs differentiate into astroglial cells, the most important cells for maintaining brain homeostasis. The astroglial cells perform a whole host of functions, including neurotransmitter direction and defending against oxidative stress."
Other promising discoveries on CBC includes it's antidepressant properties. A 2010 study from the University of Mississippi identified a significant antidepressant effect of CBC in rat models. Cannabichromene has also been found to reduce pain and inflammation in animals during this study published by the NCBI that same year. It concluded that CBC and CBD could both fight pain by “interacting with several targets involved in the control of pain” at the spinal level.
While CBC effects seem really important, it's not as well known as it's counterpart phytocannabinoids THC and CBD. It's our hope and mission to generate safe access and information about the cannabis plant and it's benefits to health and wellness.