The Cannabis sativa plant (commonly known as the hemp plant) is a unique plant species that contains over 100 powerful compounds. These naturally occurring compounds are known as cannabinoids and can regulate the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays an important role in maintaining our central and peripheral nervous systems, affecting several other body systems.
A healthy and functioning endocannabinoid system has been seen to increase sleep quality, decrease inflammation, improve mood, reduce the risk of certain diseases and disorders, and assist pathological conditions (Pacher). This article will focus on CBC, one of the many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant, and its effect on the ECS.
CBC is one of the many powerful cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant and is mainly used to assist with pain and inflammation. Several cannabinoids isolated and identified from the hemp plant, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), are the most popular. THC is popular for medicinal and recreational uses due to its psychoactive effects, while CBD is popular because of its long list of possible therapeutic benefits and non-psychoactive effects.
Although THC and CBD are the most common cannabinoids of the hemp plant, over 100 others are equally impressive, and CBC is one of them. CBC does not cause psychoactive effects, so it will not make you feel "high." However, it does provide very similar therapeutic benefits to CBD, with additional benefits for pain and inflammation.
CBC stands for cannabichromene. It was first isolated and identified in 1966 while a group of researchers studied the active components of hashish. THC had already been identified as the active component of this drug, but researchers were curious to identify other active components. Due to THC's psychoactive effects and unique structure, researchers had assumed that all active components of this drug were structurally similar to THC. However, they were surprised when they found another active component much different in structure. This active component was isolated and named cannabichromene due to its characteristic ring structure and compatibility with other chromenes' UV spectra (Gaoni).
Although CBC and CBD come from the same plant and provide a wide range of therapeutic benefits, some major differences are worth addressing.
Cannabinoids have been an important player in cancer research since 1975, when THC was used to prevent lung cancer cell proliferation in mice. THC has continued to be the topic of much cancer research, but its use in cancer treatment is limited due to its psychoactive effects.
Since then, more research has been conducted on the effects of other cannabinoids in cancer development and treatment. CBC has not been as extensively studied as other cannabinoids in cancer research, yet early studies have shown its effectiveness against cancer cell viability (Tomko). This is a promising conclusion for cancer treatment, and hopefully, more studies will continue to show how effective CBC is in correlation to cancer.
CBC may also positively affect adult neural stem cells, which maintain brain health and are responsible for nervous system development. In studies, CBC has been shown to promote these cells' survival and increase overall brain performance. With the heavy burden that neurological conditions like Alzheimer's place on our society, these results provide us with hope. These studies are still in their early stages, but they show a possibility of using cannabinoids like CBC in treatments for neurodegenerative disorders (Rodrigues).
CBC also provides a strong anti-inflammatory response. This is because CBC is a strong activator of transient receptor potential channels (TRPs), which are strongly associated with inflammation and pain. Normally, these channels accept signals from all over the body, causing us to feel pain. When CBC binds to these channels, the inflammatory signals that the channel normally transmits are weakened, which can result in decreased pain and inflammation (Izzo).
Not only does CBC come from the same plant as CBD, but they also come from the same biological precursor called cannabigerolic acid (CBGa). An enzyme called CBC synthase converts this compound to cannabichromenic acid (CBCa). As this product is heated, it breaks down to form cannabichromene.
Cannabichromene is most often used to assist with pain and inflammation. This has to do with endocannabinoids and the responses they generate when they bind to cannabinoid receptors.
The endocannabinoid system is made of special neurotransmitters (endocannabinoids) and their receptors (cannabinoid receptors). Today, scientists have identified two cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in a region of the brain that regulates behavioral functions like learning, decision making, sensory responsiveness, emotions, and even appetite. This is the receptor that THC binds to, which explains this compound's psychoactive effects (Alger). CB2 receptors populate a much smaller region of the brain and are mainly located in the immune and gastrointestinal systems. Activation of these receptors does not result in psychoactivity, which is why these receptors are targeted for therapeutic purposes (Dhopeshwarkar).
When CBC binds to a CB2 receptor, the receptor becomes activated. The activated receptor can then generate signals that activate other receptors and signaling pathways. At the same time, CBC is also binding to the TRP channels mentioned above. All of these signals work together to generate a biological response. With CBC, this biological response plays a role in pain and inflammation, which explains why CBC is used therapeutically (Dhopeshwarkar).
CBC is a very new topic in the study of cannabinoids, but a powerful compound like this should be researched further. With possible health benefits ranging from cancer treatment to pain relief, this is a product that could help individuals all around the world. As always, we are excited to learn more about CBC and will do our best to keep you updated with new information. If you are interested in CBC and its possible health benefits, we encourage you to stick around! Exciting things are on the way.
Zatural CBD + CBC isolate oil is fantastic for supporting comfort levels. These natural oils contain all the benefits of CBD and CBC without THC. This tincture delivers a pure CBD and CBC dose to assist with inflammation, physical comfort, and mental wellness. Zatural's isolate oil is vegan friendly, made in the USA, and bottled in a GMP compliant facility.
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Gaoni, Y. and R. Mechoulam. "Cannabichromene, a new active principle in hashish." Chemical Communications (London) (1966): 20-21.
Izzo, Angelo A et al. "Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice." British journal of pharmacology vol. 166,4 (2012): 1444-60. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01879.x (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3417459/)
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Tomko, Andrea M.; Whynot, Erin G.; Ellis, Lee D.; Dupré, Denis J. 2020. "Anti-Cancer Potential of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids Present in Cannabis" Cancers 12, no. 7: 1985. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12071985 (https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6694/12/7/1985/htm)