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Cannabichromene (CBC) is a lesser-known cannabinoid that may reduce pain and inflammation. Learn more about this potent cannabis extract. Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the most abundant minor cannabinoids found in cannabis. Read this article to know what CBC is and how you can benefit from using this compound.

What is Cannabichromene (CBC)? Everything You Need to Know

Discovered in the 1960s, cannabichromene (CBC) is the third most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, behind CBD and THC. However, CBC remains obscure, and it’s not well understood. What is known, however, is that CBC has significant potential to treat inflammation and could be immensely useful in the reduction of pain and promoting the growth of new brain cells.

We also know that CBC works in tandem with other cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBG and CBN, which ultimately boosts their anti-inflammatory and other therapeutic effects. This contribution to the entourage effect makes CBC a very versatile cannabinoid and one that merits further study.

Learn about the scientific studies already conducted on CBC and the implications for a wide spectrum of conditions.

How CBC Works

CBC is a potent anti-inflammatory, and could possibly be more useful than CBD as an antidepressant. In contrast, CBC does not produce a euphoric high like THC.

CBC does, however, bind with certain cannabinoid receptors in the human body, including receptors linked to pain perception.

Furthermore, CBC may be up to 10 times more potent than CBD for the treatment of stress and anxiety, and also has significant anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, antiviral, anti-tumor, and bone-growth-stimulating properties.

Download Free Guide to CBC

What Is the Difference Between CBC, CBD, and THC?

Like CBD, CBC is non-psychoactive. This lack of ability to produce a “high” sets CBC apart from THC.

In addition, CBC behaves differently within the endocannabinoid system (ECS) , or the master regulator of body functions. CBC is capable of interacting with receptors outside of the ECS, which distinguishes it from other cannabinoids.

Through this interaction with various receptors, CBC appears to have an especially strong effect on pain and inflammation, possibly even stronger than dangerously addictive opioids. With further research and testing, CBC could become a valuable tool in the battle against opioid addiction.

What Can CBC Be Used For?

Early research shows that CBC may be useful in the treatment of a variety of health conditions, including:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Pain and Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Acne

While research into the benefits of CBC is still lacking, the research is promising. Here is what some of the current scientific evidence into CBC suggests.

Depression and Anxiety.

CBC could be extremely effective in the treatment of anxiety and depression and combines with THC and CBD to deliver an entourage effect of mood-boosting properties. CBC and CBG could be even more powerful than THC and CBD in treating anxiety and depression, but further research is needed to back up ever-increasing anecdotal evidence.

Pain and Inflammation.

CBC has been shown to be potentially useful in pain management . CBC may also desensitize certain channels , and may combine with THC and CBD to make a particularly potent anti-inflammatory. CBC may affect the receptor involved in pain detection and regulating the body’s heat.

One study on the anti-cancer effects of cannabinoids other than THC found that CBC was the second-most effective cannabinoid at inhibiting the growth of new cancer cells. In this study, it was found that CBG and CBC were particularly potent anticancer compounds.

Part of CBC’s efficacy in beating cancer seems to be linked to its ability to increase the amount of anandamide in the body . Anandamide is a neurotransmitter that plays a major role in pain, mood, appetite, memory, fertility, and other crucial functions.

Patients who are suffering from estrogen-positive breast cancers may need to be careful of increasing levels of anandamide in the body, especially with THC. CBC’s and CBD’s effects may not only reduce the estrogen-promoting effects of THC but retain its cancer-beating properties.

CBC has been seen to fight breast cancer in vitro (in the womb) and in vivo (in a living organism), showing great promise that CBC and other cannabinoids might prevent cancer from developing in the first place. CBC combined with THC and CBD may prove to be extremely effective in beating cancer , and can be used as an adjunct to chemotherapy.

Neurological Conditions.

CBC has shown particular promise as a compound that promotes healthy brain function.

One 2013 study showed that CBC had a positive effect on the cells responsible for the development of a child’s brain, and plays an important role in learning and memory in adults.

The therapeutic properties of CBC also make it potentially very useful in the treatment of neurological diseases and brain pathologies like traumatic brain injury (TBI) , multiple sclerosis (MS) , Alzheimer’s disease , and Parkinson’s disease .

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CBC has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and, as with CBD, suppresses excessive lipid production in the sebaceous (oil-producing) glands . As clogged sebaceous glands are implicated in the development of acne, CBC could help fight breakouts .

Possible Side Effects and Interactions

Currently, there is little insight into the possible side effects and drug interactions of CBC. As research into this cannabinoid continues, more information may become available.

Download Free Guide to CBC

Is CBC Legal?

As a controlled substance made from marijuana, CBC is not available over-the-counter like CBD is. A medical marijuana card would be required to purchase marijuana products that contain CBC.

If derived from hemp, then CBC likely shares the same legal status as CBD. But laws vary from state to state and are constantly changing, so be aware of where it is legal to purchase CBC.

Strains of Cannabis High in CBC

The following strains contain higher than average concentrations of CBC:

  • Maui Dream (Maui Wowie x Blue Dream)
  • Blue Cherry Soda (precise genetics unknown, but could be a cross between Blueberry x Black Cherry Soda)
  • Charlotte’s Web (a variety of hemp hailing from the Stanley Brothers)
  • Purple Cadillac (Purple Urkle x The Black x Blackberry Kush)
  • Bubba Cookies (Bubba Kush x Girl Scout Cookies (GSC))
  • Purple Candy (Sweet Tooth x Mendocino Purps)
  • Sour Tsunami (Sour Diesel x Tsunami)

Final Thoughts on CBC

CBC is an emergent cannabinoid that may prove useful in treating conditions ranging from acne to cancer. The ability of CBC to function alongside other cannabinoids in the entourage effect makes it a promising treatment.

To legally integrate CBC into your health regimen, reach out to one of Leafwell’s qualified on-call physicians. Schedule a visit with our virtual clinic and apply for your medical marijuana card today.

Article written by

Tina Magrabi Senior Content Writer

Tina Magrabi is a writer and editor specializing in holistic health. She has written hundreds of articles for Weedmaps where she spearheaded the Ailments series on cannabis medicine. In addition, she has written extensively for the women’s health blog, SafeBirthProject, as well as print publications including Destinations Magazine and Vero’s Voice. Tina is a Yale University alumna and certified yoga instructor with a passion for the outdoors.

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What Is CBC Oil Good For? Benefits, Uses, & Effects

While cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the most common phytocannabinoids that currently exist in the market, scientists continue to discover more of them. Amazingly so far, there are around 100 distinct cannabinoids that have been identified.

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the major phytocannabinoids that is pretty much underrated. Regardless of the limited research, CBC has shown potential in pain relief, mood enhancement, and neuroprotection. Plus, it is non-psychoactive!

If this is your first time hearing about CBC, continue reading to learn more.

What Is CBC?

Cannabichromene, or more commonly known as CBC, is a non-intoxicating, legal cannabinoid present in marijuana and hemp. Although this name may sound new for some, it has already existed for 55 years in the research community. It was discovered by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and Y. Gaoni in 1966.

CBC is one of the major phytocannabinoids along with cannabidiol (CBD). Just like any other phytocannabinoid — such as cannabidiol (CBD) — CBC naturally develops from the same substance present inside the hemp plant. The “source” compound is known as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), the mother of all cannabinoids.

CBC can be used to make tincture oils and other therapeutic hemp-based products like cartridges and edibles. It is also commonly associated with pain-killing effects, improved mood, and neuroprotection. However, the research in the matter of CBC’s benefits is still limited.

What Does CBD Do?

CBC works differently than other cannabinoids. Most cannabinoids interact with CB1 or CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system and help with increasing the production of our endocannabinoids. CBD, on the other hand, likely does this as well, but it mostly supports the body’s endocannabinoids by working with receptors responsible for inflammation and pain response.

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To further explain, these receptor sites are called transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). They might sound new and strange, but you might be familiar with the experience of interacting with at least one of them.

Ever wonder why chili peppers are hot? It is because of capsaicin, an abundant chemical found in chili peppers. It activates TRPV1 receptors, resulting in the sensation of heat throughout your mouth.

In initial research, results have shown that CBD has a higher chance of interacting with receptor sites like TRPV1 than CBD (1). CBD is also a selective CB2 receptor agonist, which makes it more effective than THC in hyperpolarizing AtT20 cells. With these properties, CBD becomes a potentially effective analgesic.

Health Benefits of CBC

Just like CBD, CBN, and the like, CBC has also sparked the attention of the medical community because of its potential therapeutic benefits. The fact that it is non-psychoactive makes it a perfect candidate for future medical use. Although there are still a limited number of studies on the benefits of CBC, here are some of CBC’s properties that can help you improve general well-being:

CBC for Inflammation and Pain

As mentioned earlier, CBC interacts with receptor sites like TRPV1, which play a role in inflammation and pain sensitivity. These receptors can be found on many other cells aside from taste buds, including nerve cells. They are sensitive to stimuli like heat, acidity, pressure, and other irritants.

CBC was tested in a study in vivo using the rat paw edema test and in vitro using the erythrocyte membrane stabilization assay. Results showed that CBC was as effective as phenylbutazone (PBZ), an anti-inflammatory drug, in equal doses. But since CBC is less toxic than PBZ, larger doses may be given for greater therapeutic effects.

Since CBC promotes the production of endocannabinoids and the reduction of inflammatory substances, it can significantly help in moderating pain and inflammation experienced by patients.

Inflammation flare-ups are best treated with fast relief treatments, hence the appeal to CBC oil. Tinctures and oils are a decent option for pain relief because of their convenient use and fast-acting effects.

CBC for Mood

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) produces endogenous cannabinoids. One of these molecules is called anandamide.

Anandamide is primarily responsible for the generation of pleasure and motivation. When our ECS does not function properly, unbalanced levels of anandamide can lead to a gloomy mood.

Ever wonder why chocolates are being offered as mood boosters? This is because chocolates contain substances that interact with our serotonin receptors. CBC can also do the same, but better. Since it binds with TRP channels like TRPV1, activating these channels can elevate mood without the risk of intoxication.

Just like most cannabinoids used for mental health treatments, CBC has also demonstrated potential mood-elevating properties. This has been demonstrated by a study that examined the antidepressant-like actions of CBC taken along with CBD and THC together which can “contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.” (3)

CBC for Neuroprotection

Studies suggest that CBC has neuroprotective properties that may help to stimulate neurogenesis (production of new neurons) in crucial parts of the brain. It is essential in preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s later in life.

A 2013 study examined how CBC promoted the viability of adult neural stem progenitor cells which are a vital part of the brain (4). These cells convert into astroglial cells which handle the passage of neurotransmitters in the brain and the nervous system. In return, these cells prevent the risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Simply put, CBC has the potential to improve neurological health. While the study has not been followed up for years, current evidence still shows that non-intoxicating cannabinoids like CBC can help in protecting the brain.

CBC for Skin

It is a great bummer whenever our skin experiences problems — such as acne or rash. Not only does it cause discomfort, but it can also lower our self-esteem. Like any other cannabinoids, CBC also has benefits on the skin especially when applied topically.

A 2016 study showed that CBC along with other cannabinoids showed a potential “to become highly efficient, novel anti-acne agents.” (5) Moreover, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBC can help in soothing inflammation of the sebaceous glands and cutting down sebum production which are keys to controlling acne.

In this regard, CBC oil should be applied to the skin for best results. For that reason, it’s best to choose a CBD-infused cream instead of a tincture because tinctures don’t get absorbed well by the skin.

What Is CBC Oil?

CBC oil is made with full-spectrum extracts from hemp plants that have less than 0.3% THC. Just like CBD oil, CBC also comes in a liquid form with a specified number of milligrams. Some brands even sell CBC oil products infused with terpenes, aromatic compounds, to enhance its overall benefits.

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CBC oil is legal under federal law like other hemp-based oils with less than 0.3% THC. It helps that CBC is non-psychoactive and mainly used for its medicinal properties.

There are three ways on how to use CBC oil:

  • As a tincture: This is the most used consumption method. CBC is being passed into the bloodstream via sublingual glands under the tongue. The tincture works immediately and the longer you hold the oil under your tongue, the more CBC is absorbed.
  • In food and beverages: This method is good if you want to mask the natural flavor of the oil, or if you want the effects to last longer. CBC oil consumed this way works more like an edible where it takes effect slower but prolonged.
  • On the skin: In this method, you have to simply lather the oil onto your skin — it can be combined with another topical. Topically applied CBC is the preferred option among those seeking relief from localized pain.

Your optimal dosage of CBC will depend on the type of product you’re using and on several individual factors, such as your age, weight, gender, metabolism, and unique body chemistry.

If you are using a CBC-isolate product, you might need a higher dose since isolates don’t have any other cannabinoids or terpenes found in cannabis plants that can complement the CBC effects. You can try mixing CBC oil with MCT fatty acids to get more from your dose by increasing its bioavailability.

How Will CBC Oil Make Me Feel?

The type and strength of CBD oil’s effects also depend on the initial status of your body’s systems and the concentration of CBC you’re using. One thing to keep in mind is that CBC affects everyone a little differently and may work gradually over time.

Considering that the research on CBC is limited, there’s still a lot to discover about its side effects. What is imperative is that general cannabinoid science suggests non-intoxicating substances like CBC carry a low risk of abuse and addiction — they’re not habit-forming. Hence, it is unlikely that CBC can have alarming side effects.

CBC vs CBD: What’s the Difference?

While CBC and CBD almost share the same benefits, there are still a lot of things that set them apart. One of which is that CBD has been widely studied for its potential neurological benefits, while CBC still lacks research.

Another difference is CBC’s interaction with TRPV1 receptors. Although CBD also interacts with TRPV1, CBC shows almost an equal rapport for TRPV1 and 5-HT1A receptors, both of which play a role in neuropathic pain. This shows that CBC appears to be more effective for inflammatory pain relief.

What also sets them apart is the fact that CBC is a cannabinoid that is still emerging as one of the popular cannabinoids in the market. Whereas, CBD remains just as prevalent, if not more so than THC.

Regardless of their differences, it’s important to note that CBD and CBC have more in common than not. Since CBC and CBD have mutual benefits for one another, it will make more sense to take them both as part of the entourage effect than to choose between them.

Final Thoughts

Although the research on CBC is in its infancy, current findings are, least to say, promising.

It seems that — similar to CBD — the cannabinoid may help with skin problems, pain, inflammation, mood disorders, and neurodegeneration. Scientists speculate that in some of these areas, concentrated forms of CBC may demonstrate even higher efficacy than CBD.

The CBC niche is still young, with lots of new brands popping up on the market. It’s important that you do proper research on your vendor because the market remains largely unregulated. You can apply the same quality criteria as for CBD products; check the hemp source, look for third-party lab reports, and read customer feedback on independent websites.

And, if you take any medication, consult the use of CBC oil with your doctor, as cannabinoids are known to compete with many pharmaceuticals in the liver.

Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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