As cannabis laws have continually loosened over the last few years, Americans have started to learn a whole alphabet soup of compounds that this remarkable plant contains: THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and the subject of the article you are reading now, CBC. Many cannabis-derived products include some combination of them, but what do they do exactly?
The answer is a bit unclear for CBC or cannabichromene, because research on the substance is still in very early stages. But what research has discovered is very interesting and supports the idea of an “entourage effect” – that the different components of cannabis work best when they work together.
But first, let’s back up and address the basic question: what do all these letters mean, anyway?
A Wealth of Cannabinoids
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemicals in the cannabis plant that act on the human body in complex ways. They work mainly through the endocannabinoid system, a network of receptors throughout the nervous system that helps govern a host of bodily functions, including mood, memory, cell production, the immune system, and many more that science is still discovering.
There are two types of receptors in the system: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is most interesting because the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to it and creates the mind-altering effects for which cannabis is known. And those effects are also the reason it’s still federally illegal.
However, since 2018 the federal government has allowed the growth of cannabis with no more than 0.3 percent THC, officially dubbed “hemp.” This decision has given the other 100-plus cannabinoids a chance to step into the spotlight and show what they can do.
The most famous of these is CBD, or cannabidiol, which we sell here at cbdMD. But even something labeled “CBD oil” often has other cannabinoids in it, just in smaller amounts. This inclusion is because the cannabinoids working together can enhance each other’s effects and counteract each other’s negative effects. This process is what they call the “entourage effect.”
But what about CBC benefits? What does that cannabinoid bring to the table?
As mentioned earlier, cannabichromene hasn’t been the subject of as much research as CBD or THC. But there are a few things that we can say about it.
For one, it’s not psychoactive. Like CBD, it doesn’t interact much with the CB1 receptor, so it won’t get you high. THC seems to be the only cannabinoid that really does this, which is why the federal government has legalized any other product of the hemp plant.
For a long time, scientists thought cannabichromene didn’t do that much to the CB2 receptor either. But recent research indicates that it does activate that receptor, which means it “may contribute to the potential therapeutic effectiveness of some cannabis preparations.”
What potential therapeutic uses are those? There are several possibilities, but one of the most interesting potential CBC benefits comes from the role of CB2 in pain and inflammation. Again, this is something common to many cannabinoids and likely explains why pain is one of the most popular uses for medical marijuana. But scientists are still figuring out exactly how it works.
It Burns, It Burns!
However, the cannabinoid receptors aren’t the only way that cannabinoids work on you. Cannabichromene also binds to a type of receptor called TRPV1, also known as the “capsaicin receptor.”
Capsaicin is the stuff that makes chili peppers hot, which offers a clue as to what TRPV1 does. It helps you detect temperature, including the burning sensation that comes with too much heat, inflammation, or toxins like capsaicin. (Sorry, chili fans, but the peppers are toxic, hence the effect on your digestive system.)
Another receptor that the CBC cannabinoid acts on is TRPA1. This receptor is also connected to irritation, though slightly different forms, like the kind you feel when inhaling smoke or chemical fumes.
Fortunately, CBC’s interaction with these receptors appears to alleviate these issues, not increase them. But scientists are still discovering all the details of how CBC works both alone and in concert with other cannabinoids.
What is CBC Oil?
Cannabichromene oil is, in theory, an edible oil infused with cannabichromene isolate – much like CBD oil, but with a different cannabinoid.
However, at this point you’re unlikely to find it in that form. That’s because the hemp-growing sector, which is already brand new in most U.S. states, is focused on breeding CBD-heavy strains without paying much attention to CBC. There just isn’t much CBC available for manufacturers to use.
In fact, if you search the internet for “CBC oil,” the links will likely direct you to CBD products instead.
The good news is that a lot of what’s said about cannabichromene is also true of CBD. It won’t get you high either, and it also acts on the CB2 and TRPV1 receptors in ways that seem to help manage inflammation. Our Superior Broad Spectrum formula also takes advantage of the entourage effect with the hemp plant’s many components.
More good news: Given all the exciting research in the cannabis space, the CBC cannabinoid could well be the next rising star. As we learn more and as hemp farming becomes more widespread, we will likely keep developing ever more specialized oils with particular blends for specific purposes. In other words, watch this space!
Want to Know More?
If you want to discover more about what is cannabichromene or have questions about CBD, connect with us via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram You can also learn more about the benefits of non-CBD cannabinoids by viewing our educational blogs.