CBC stands for cannabichromene. It was discovered in 1966 and is one of the major phytocannabinoids along with cannabidiol (CBD). In fact, both CBD and CBC products naturally develop from the same original substance inside the hemp plant. And just like CBD, CBC is non-intoxicating, and will not make you feel “high.
Intriguingly, scientists think that CBC works in a somewhat different way than the other cannabinoids. Most cannabinoids interact with CB1 or CB2 receptor sites in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and increase production of our own endocannabinoids that way. CBC likely does this as well, but in addition, appears to support the body’s supply of endocannabinoids in other ways by working with receptor sites involved in inflammation and the pain response.
More research is needed to clarify how CBC interacts with our body systems, but studies so far point to some interesting possibilities.
What Are the Potential Benefits of CBC?
Inflammation and Pain
Several studies suggest that as well as interacting with the ECS, CBC may interact with other receptor sites that play a role in inflammation and pain sensitivity. These receptor sites are known as transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1 for short) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1). Although these names sound strange, most people will be familiar with the experience of interacting with at least one of them. It happens every time you bite into a chili pepper! The chemical capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their hot, pungent taste, activates TRPV1 receptors, leading to that sensation of heat permeating throughout your mouth.
TRPV1 receptors are found on many other cells besides taste buds, including nerve cells. These TRP receptors are sensitive to stimuli like heat, acidity, pressure, and other irritants. Although it might seem counterintuitive at first, research has found that cannabinoids, including CBC, may over time have a desensitizing effect on TRP receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract with the result that they release smaller and smaller amounts of chemicals that cause inflammation. In addition, CBC and other cannabinoids promote production of our own endocannabinoids. And so, the combination of reduced inflammatory substances and increased endocannabinoid levels may help moderate the experiences of pain and inflammation.
CBC was shown to uplift mood and decrease sluggishness in animal models of depression.
Other animal studies found that CBC may support the body’s natural regeneration of nerve cells known as neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs). NSPCs are essential for the repair of damaged nerve cells and healthy brain function.
Results of an experimental study (done with cells in a test tube) suggest that CBC may help balance skin inflammation such as the kind seen with acne.