CANNABICHROMENE (CBC) | New Phase Blends

WHAT IS CANNABICHROMENE (CBC)?

As the name implies, CBC is similar to other natural cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

CBC by itself does not produce any psychoactive effects, although some studies show that CBC can intensify the effects THC has on the body.

CBC is reported to have been simultaneously discovered by two groups of scientists: Gaoni and Mechoulam, as well as Claussen, Von Spulak, and Korte in 1966. The two groups of scientists isolated the compound by using either a hexane or florisil extraction method from hashish or benzene percolation of hemp[1].

After its discovery, studies in 1970 reported that CBC was the second most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. This is not currently the case today as many years of cross-breeding have created plants with higher CBD and THC contents.

These same studies used only cannabis plants originating from the tropics. Due to their location, these cannabis plants had a higher concentration of CBC and had little to no resemblance when compared with modern hybrids[2].

CBC originates as CBCA, and is then turned into CBC via the process of decarboxylation, which involves heating the substance at a high temperature.

HOW DOES CBC WORK?

Although CBC is a non-psychoactive member of the cannabinoid family, it may alter the psychoactivity of THC. CBC does not have a high binding affinity for either the CB1 or CB2 receptors, but it does act on the TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors.

TRVP1 is known as the vanilloid receptor 1 or capsaicin receptor. It is responsible for detecting and regulating body temperature. It also plays an active role in pain and heat sensation (nociception).

CBC interacts with the TRVP receptors to break down endocannabinoids like anandamide 2-Arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). This activity has shown great promise in the overall therapeutic benefits of CBC.

THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS

1. Anti-inflammatory properties

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBC are more profound when combined with THC. CBC is effective at reducing intestinal inflammation and providing relief to patients with IBS. CBC also helps to regulate inhibitory roles on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice.[3] Research performed in 2010 suggests that CBC weakly binds to CB2 receptors resulting in reduced inflammation throughout the body.

2. Antidepressant properties

CBC possesses more potent antidepressant activity than CBD. This activity is made stronger by the presence of other cannabinoids which produce a synergistic effect. In one study, it was discovered that CBC reduced the rate of depression in mice at a dose of 20mg/kg as compared to a 200 mg/kg dose of CBD needed to achieve the same result. [4] In another study CBC was found to be the primary contributor to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis.

3. Pain Blocking properties

Many people use CBC for pain relief from chronic injuries. CBC has been found to provide pain relief from nerve damage. CBC acts in synergy with THC to produce better pain-relieving properties than when used alone.[5]

CBC is also effective at reducing pain from osteoarthritis in a different way than typical NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) medications.

4. Neuroprotective Effects

A 2013 study on mice shows that CBC can increase progenitor stem cell survival rate, thereby increasing neurogenesis. 

5. Antibacterial activity

Research conducted as early as 1980 reports that CBC possesses excellent antimicrobial activity against bacterial and fungal species. Antibacterial activity was strongest against gram-positive, gram-negative, and acid-fast bacteria, while anti-fungal activity was mild to moderate against yeast-like fungal species. 

6. Skincare Benefits

CBC plays an active role in the reduction of sebum production by the sebaceous gland. This is very important in the treatment of skin conditions like acne and may provide an alternative to stronger medications like Isotretinoin (Accutane). More research is needed but initial studies look promising.

7. Migraine Prevention

A new theory being proposed is that people with chronic migraines may have a deficiency in natural endocannabinoids by up to 50%. CBC helps to block anandamide (a natural cannabinoid) from breaking down the body, resulting in higher natural endocannabinoid levels. 

Oxidative stress in the brain is thought to be one major trigger of migraines. Progenitor cells in the brain produce astrocytes which reduce oxidative damage. Since CBC helps to increase progenitor cell survival rate, it helps prevent migraines by extension.

8. Anti-Cancer Effects

According to a study performed in 2006, CBC is the second most effective cannabinoid at preventing the growth of tumors. In another study, CBC was shown to induce cell apoptosis, inhibit cell migration, and affect F-actin integrity. 

We want to be clear that we are not stating CBC can cure cancer, however, it does appear to be effective at halting tumor growth in initial studies. 

INTERESTING FACTS

  1. CBC is the third most popular cannabinoid in the cannabis plant after THC and CBD.
  2. Since CBC is non-psychoactive, it is often absent from controlled substance lists and is legal in many different parts of the world.
  3. CBC does not have a strong affinity for the CB1 or CB2 receptors. It exerts its effects on the body by indirectly activating the endocannabinoid system and through other receptors such as the TRVP receptors.

[1] https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.apha.2017.03.004

[2] Holley, J. H., Hadley, K. W., & Turner, C. E. (1975). Constituents of Cannabis sativa L. XI: Cannabidiol and Cannabichromene in Samples of Known Geographical Origin. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 64(5), 892–895.

[3]  Izzo, A. A., Capasso, R., Aviello, G., Borrelli, F., Romano, B., Piscitelli, F., … Di Marzo, V. (2012). Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice. British Journal of Pharmacology, 166(4), 1444–1460. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01879.x 

[4] El-Alfy, A. T., Ivey, K., Robinson, K., Ahmed, S., Radwan, M., Slade, D., Khan, I., ElSohly, M., & Ross, S. (2010). Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior95(4), 434–442. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004

[5] DeLong, G. T., Wolf, C. E., Poklis, A., & Lichtman, A. H. (2010). Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene, and its modulation by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Drug and alcohol dependence112(1-2), 126–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.05.019