In this article we take a look at the Cannabinoid CBC or also called Cannabichromene. CBC is the third most common cannabinoid in the cannabis plant genus behind THC and CBD. However, unlike the other two cannabinoids mentioned, CBC has been under-researched. Its molecular structure was first discovered in 1966 and belongs to the group of exogenous (phytogenic) cannabinoids.
It is the third cannabinoid that is synthesized from CBG in the plant and it is less common to find a lot of CBC than CBD or THC. It’s been found to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as analgesic properties, meaning pain-killing properties, although a little bit weaker than THC and CBD. CBC like CBD is not psychoactive, but has already shown its potential medical benefits to the human and animal organism.
How is CBC created? – Where does it come from?
CBC is produced in the same chemical pathways as THC or CBD. And starts out with Geranyl pyrophosphate and Olivetolic acid combined to form Cannabigerolic acid which is CBGa. CBGa is the precursor to CBDa, THCa and CBCa.
What happens is Cannabigerolic acid is transformed by an enzyme catalyzed reaction. And what enzymes do is allow these reactions to take place at normal room temperature or body temperature whatever it may be.
And what happens here is that Cannabigerolic acid is going to fold over upon itself and the carbon atom is going to attach over to another point of the molecular structure and form CBCa. And what makes it an acid is this carboxylic acid group that’s attached to it.
The carboxylic acid group is not very stable and over time or very quickly with heat, it’ll kick itself off and disappear and leave us carbon dioxide and you’ll have CBC.
Here is a representation of the molecular structure of CBC. We have the two rings, the black balls represent carbon atoms, the red balls represent oxygen atoms and the white balls are hydrogens that are attached to each.
The structure is quite a bit different then THC or CBD. We don’t have that folding in and in the ring structure is much different. But it’s the same amount of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen atoms, it’s just rearranged differently. Bonds are placed in different areas.
How does CBC work?
Another interesting thing about Cannabichromene is, it appears to inhibit the uptake of anandamide, which prolongs its life in the body and prolonging its effects. And we know anandamide has very good effects because it binds up the same receptors that the cannabinoids binding to.
CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and as far as it is known does not interact directly with the endocannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.
However, it should have direct influence on the receptors TRPV1 and TRPA1 and act as an antagonist. TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors are responsible for modulating pain sensitivity, body temperature, and neurogenic inflammation.
- What is CBG – Cannabigerol?
- What is CBN? – How it develops and is measured
- What is CBD? A Cannabinoid in Hemp & Cannabis
What are the potential benefits of CBC?
Cannabichromene has also been found to have antidepressant properties. Patients normally don’t use CBC to determine their medication. They’re really looking more at THC, CBD and CBN. But we do know that this cannabinoid has many benefits and certainly warrants much more study.
It’s also been found to have antifungal effects and antibacterial effects. In lab studies with rodents it has shown to have anti-tumor effects meaning it kills cancer cells. And certainly that part of Cannabichromene needs to be studied further. Right now there are studies going on looking at cannabinoids in killing cancer cells.
If CBC were to be used in patients, then scientists assume a very wide variance with regard to the possible applications. With further research, physicians are unlikely to miss the use of cannabinoids in the future, and CBC may prove beneficial for the following conditions:
- Cancer: Here are some the most promising studies, which is related to the specific mode of action of CBC in our body’s cannabinoid system. Eventually inflammation and the growth of tumors can be stopped!
- Pain: Other cannabinoids such as THC, CBD and CBN does also have pain-relieving properties and yet CBC is worth to mention at this point, especially since there are animal experiments, especially in combination with THC, which has resulted in the investigations of a measurable reduction in pain sensations and the usually accompanying inflammation.
- Brain Cells: That’s a bit surprising, but that’s why it’s exciting. Obviously, the brain cells benefit from CBC in terms of regeneration, but which is still basic neurological research, and we have not even begun to understand our brains anyway!
- Acne: Here are already studies and thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBC it has a great potential for the treatment of acne. Under certain circumstances, eventually products with CBC will be appear soon on the market (hopefully not only FDA approved pharamceutical drugs based on CBC), which could then also tackle an age-old and for the affected very annoying problem.
- Depression: Tests have shown that CBC works in conjunction with THC and CBD similar to classic antidepressants and we are waiting for new research, which even better describe the properties of that more then interesting part of the cannabis plant.
Learn more about:
- The Basics of CBD Oils and Cannabis as a Therapeutic Agent
- Phytocannabinoids, Homeostasis and the Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System