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What is CBC?

CBC is the cannabinoid most associated with anxiety.

Similar to many of the other 113 medicinal cannabinoid molecules that have been discovered and investigated in the cannabis herb, cannabichromene (CBC) delivers an efficacy characterized by no psychoactive effect. CBC is considered one of the “big six” cannabinoids in terms of its importance in medical research, patient care, and lifestyle enhancement.

CBC, like other cannabinoids, is at the molecular level derived from an acidic precursor—in this case, CBCA. The entire life path of this cannabinoid begins with CBGA, what has been described as the “mother of all cannabinoids.” CBGA converts to CBCA, which in turn becomes CBC after exposure to heat or ultraviolet light.

The Details on CBC

CBC, discovered in 1964 by Israeli researcher Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, is considered one of the “big six” cannabinoids. This therapeutic molecule shares its origin, the acidic precursor CBGA, with the two most famous cannabis-derived chemicals, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD (cannabidiol). According to Steep Hill Labs in Berkeley, California, CBC has been shown to be ten times more effective than CBD in treating anxiety and stress.

Because it features a poor binding affinity with the CB1 receptors of the mammalian endocannabinoid system (ECS) found throughout the brain and central nervous system, CBC produces no euphoria resulting from psychoactivity (unlike that demonstrated by cannabinoids such as THC and, to a lower extent, THCV).

The molecule binds with cellular receptors outside the ECS, including TRPV1 and TRPA1, both of which have been linked to pain perception. In a demonstration of the nuances of health and wellness within the human body, CBC’s activation of these receptors has been found to increase levels of natural endocannabinoids, including anandamide (think of this molecule as the body’s internally produced THC) and 2-AG.

In terms of disease efficacy, the cannabinoid may help fight cancer and provides analgesic qualities that could be significant in assisting the billions of humans who suffer chronic pain (defined as pain that pervades more than 12 weeks). It has also demonstrated efficacy for conditions as wide-ranging as acne and Alzheimer’s disease (due to its neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties). In addition, it stimulates bone growth and is even anti-viral.

Research on CBC

In a 2011 study conducted by cannabis research pioneer Dr. Ethan Russo entitled “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects” and published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, Russo and his fellow researchers found that a CBC-extract displayed “pronounced antidepressant effect in rodent models,” meaning it may be helpful for humans suffering from anxiety and depression.

This research revealed that, unlike THC production in the cannabis plant, CBC production is normally maximal earlier in the plant’s life cycle. The research referred to a technique employing cold water extraction of “immature leaf matter from selectively bred cannabis chemotypes” that results in yields featuring a CBC “enriched trichome preparation.”

Another study conducted in 2011 entitled “Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception,” also published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, identified the analgesic (pain-killing) properties of both CBC and cannabidiol (CBD).

Concluded the researchers, “CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia [killed pain] by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control. These compounds might represent useful therapeutic agents with multiple mechanisms of action.”