You have certainly heard about tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) as these two are the most commonly known cannabinoids or chemical components found in cannabis. But do you know that cannabis actually has more than 80 cannabinoids?
CBD is actually the second most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis!
One of these lesser-known cannabinoids is cannabichromene – also known as CBC. CBC is also a unique and important chemical component in cannabis and it offers a number of health benefits, too.
Moreover, despite CBC being less popular than THC and CBD, it is actually the second most abundant cannabinoid found in weed. And just like CBD, CBC is also non-psychoactive, which means that it does not create a high when it is consumed.
How is CBC produced?
Just like the other chemical components, CBC is produced through a certain process that occurs in the cannabis plant’s trichomes. This process is an enzymatic process and involves converting cannabigerolic acid or CBGA into cannabichromenic acid or CBCA by an enzyme called CBCA synthase. CBCA is transformed into CBC when it is exposed to heat, in a process known as decarboxylation.
Too technical? Then let’s not dwell on that and get to the main point. Just how important is CBC and what are its effects on the body?
The medical benefits of CBC
1. It aids in brain growth and recovery
CBC can promote neurogenesis.
Contrary to popular belief, our brain does not stop growing when we reach a certain age. But in adults, neurogenesis only takes place in a specific area of the brain called the hippocampus. Neurogenesis is the process wherein new brain cells are generated.
A study published in 2013 found that CBC can actually promote neurogenesis.
The research team tested the effects of CBC in the neural stem progenitor cells (NSPC) of adult mice. NSPCs are special types of cells that help with brain recovery and growth. Researchers discovered that CBC increased the viability of NSPCs and improved their function.
However, this recent finding on the ability of CBC to promote neurogenesis does not mean that CBD and THC cannot do the same. There have been previous studies that have also suggested that both CBD and THC might help with neurogenesis, too.
2. It has anti-inflammatory effects
When combined with THC, the anti-inflammation powers of CBC gets amplified.
Recent studies conducted on animals show that CBC can lessen swelling or edema and can reduce inflammation of the intestinal tract. A 2010 study suggests that CBC, by itself, works as an anti-inflammatory. However, when combined with THC, its anti-inflammation powers get amplified. The combination of CBC and THC is more successful in busting inflammation than either cannabinoid working by itself.
Researchers discovered that CBC keeps inflammation at bay without activating cannabinoid receptors. This is why CBC produces a more potent anti-inflammatory effect when it is combined with THC.
CBC, when combined with THC, produces potent analgesic effects.
3. It helps relieve pain
CBC can reduce pain. By itself, though, CBC has mild analgesic properties. However, early research from the 80s found that CBC, when combined with THC, produces potent analgesic effects. These cannabinoids have pain-fighting properties that only increased when they are combined.
A 2011 research that was done on animal models found that both CBC and CBD stimulated pain-relieving networks. Both of these cannabis compounds can counter pain by interacting with the targets involved in controlling pain at the spinal level. And since CBC and CBD are non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating, scientists hope that they can use these two compounds to relieve pain without causing a high.
Stay tuned for more of CBC and its medical benefits in the second article for this CBC special.