The Science of Cannabinoids: What is CBC and What Does It Do?

If you’ve spent any time learning about the science of weed, you probably already know what cannabinoids are: The major “active ingredients” in cannabis, they include THC and CBD. But there’s much more to cannabis than these two powerful plant-based medicines; today we’ll turn the spotlight on cannabichromene—aka CBC—a little-known cannabinoid with some potentially very major medical uses. What is CBC all about? Strap yourself in and prepare to learn!

What is CBC: The Science

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Although CBC was identified as long ago as 1966, the federal prohibition on all things cannabis meant that for decades, its promise and potential were largely forgotten. Now, just as CBD—a cannabinoid with which CBC shares a common precursor, CBDA—has captured the public’s attention, CBC may be the next cannabinoid of the moment.

Like CBD, CBC doesn’t produce a psychoactive “high.” Thus far, THC is the major cannabinoid responsible for that effect, although the recent discoveries of THCP and THCV indicate that these relatively minor cannabinoids are many times more potent than THC!

But like CBD, CBC imparts some potentially useful medical effects. Like its better-known cousin, CBC bonds poorly with our CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain (one reason it’s considered non-intoxicating). But it bonds elsewhere, producing powerful pain-fighting effects by stimulating the release of anandamide, one of the body’s own pain-fighting compounds.

What’s more, some researchers believe that CBC plays an important role in the “entourage effect,” the blanket term for the complex web of beneficial interactions between the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. As demonstrated by one 2010 study, CBC and THC were more effective as anti-inflammatories together than on their own.

But that’s only the beginning of the story. As a slew of studies are showing us, this little-known cannabinoid may have a startlingly wide range of medicinal effects. Let’s look at a few of them in detail.

A Pain-Fighting Powerhouse?

In addition to the anti-inflammatory study we referenced a moment ago, another paper from 2011 found that CBC and CBD showed significant promise in the treatment of certain types of pain.

A Regulator of Healthy Gut Function?

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A paper published in 2012 suggests that CBC may play an important role in regulating our gut functions. In that study, researchers found that CBC helped reduce inflammation-induced dysfunction through pathways not associated with the normal system of cannabinoid receptors.

A Cannabinoid that Helps Grow Neurons?

In 2013, researchers found that CBC may stimulate neurogenesis, or the production of nervous system cells, aka neurons. This could have potentially profound implications for those who suffer from neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and others still.

An All-Natural Acne Medication?

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And in 2016, a study found that CBC—among other cannabinoidshelped control acne. It may do so by utilizing the same anti-inflammatory properties we referenced above, raising hopes that one day this notably useful cannabinoid may become a safe, sustainable and effective treatment for this universally loathed skin disorder.

You can find some CBC-rich strains at our Oakland dispensary. Order online now!