If you’re a regular reader of Evopure’s blog, you’ll know that cannabinoids go well beyond just CBD and THC.
These are undoubtedly the most well-known of the compounds found in the cannabis plant, for their powerful but quite different effects.
CBD oil in particular has been highly popular in recent years due to the reported health benefits of cannabidiol.
However, there are over 100 cannabinoids that can be extracted from the cannabis plant, each with their own unique properties and benefits.
In this Evopure guide to CBC and CBC oil, you’ll learn:
- What CBC is exactly
- How CBC is produced
- What makes CBC different from other cannabinoids
- The benefits of CBC oil
The truth is, scientists are only just starting to scratch the surface when it comes to the properties and benefits of the many different cannabinoids.
As we start to learn more about these compounds, many demonstrate interesting properties that may be very beneficial to human health – and this is certainly true when it comes to the cannabinoid cannabichromene, or CBC.
The CBD industry has boomed in recent years, both in the UK and internationally.
Broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD products don’t contain only CBD, but also a range of other cannabinoids in order to take full advantage of CBD’s legendary entourage effect.
But what about the specific properties of individual cannabinoids, rather than their behaviour as part of an “entourage”?
There is a good chance each of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant has unique properties and therapeutic effects, which are not discovered yet. As scientific research progresses in this area, we are learning more, though it is still in its early stages.
CBC is one cannabinoid that has shown results in scientific studies that indicate the potential for more.
So what is CBC oil? Let’s dive in.
What's in this Guide?
What exactly is CBC?
CBC, or cannabichromene, is a cannabinoid, a compound naturally found in the hemp plant. CBC was first discovered decades ago, but it has not drawn as much attention as more famous cannabinoids THC and CBD which are also extracted from the cannabis plant.
Unlike THC, but like CBD, CBC does not have any psychoactive or addictive properties.
- Need to go back to basics? Our guide to CBD vs THC will help
CBC is not intoxicating because it does not bind well to the CB1 endocannabinoid receptors in the brain.
It rather attaches itself to the receptors other receptors the body’s endocannabinoid system, an important system that impacts on digestion, pain, emotions and many of important physical processes.
For example, we know that CBC binds to the TRPV1, or vanilloid, receptor and the TRPA1, or ankyrin 1 receptor. Both of these receptors play a role in the way the body perceives pain, meaning that CBC may very well be helpful in pain management.
Furthermore, CBC interaction with these receptors stimulates the body to produce more of its natural endocannabinoids such as anandamide.
Research on CBC oil is still in its early stages, but scientists believe that this compound has a number of therapeutic properties.
In fact, CBC is one of the top six Cannabinoids included in medical research, which indicates that scientists believe it may have therapeutic benefits and so are exploring this further.
Despite being part of the “Big Six” cannabinoids, not many people, even regular CBD consumers, know much about CBC. You may have seen it listed on the lab reports of your broad spectrum CBD oil, but probably haven’t given it any more thought than that.
This video should give you a 2 minute, handy rundown to Cannabichromene:
How is CBC Produced?
Like other Cannabinoids, CBC is produced through a series of biological processes within the hemp plant. The plant produces cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), which is broken down into CBCA (cannabichromene carboxylic acid). With exposure to heat and UV rays, the CBCA is converted into CBC.
CBGA is also the parent compound of THC and CBD: the plant can produce any of these compounds depending on the conditions. After getting exposed to the heat and UV rays, this acid is converted into CBC.
CBC is available in significant quantities in certain hemp strains. However, these hemp strains are not necessarily grown in large numbers as the producers tend to focus on strains that produce the most CBD.
To produce CBC oil, manufacturers must either use a hemp strain that contains a high concentration of Cannabichromene or use processes to transform phytocannabinoids into CBC.
Currently, there are no standalone CBC products on the general market – CBC oil or similar are still in an experimental stage.
However, broad spectrum CBD products usually contain at least some CBC: check the label or lab results to confirm the exact quantities.
What are the Differences Between Cannabichromene and other Cannabinoids?
There are more than 100 distinct cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Additionally, there are a range of other compounds, notably fatty acids, flavonoids and terpenes.
- Terpenes?! What are terpenes?! Our guide should tell you all you need to know
So far, researchers have identified the six most prominent cannabinoids, known as the “Big Six”.
These, at least to date, have been the focus of research into their therapeutic properties.
However, this can be a lengthy process.
For example, it has taken decades of studies to highlight the potential benefits of CBD, or cannabidiol, and this research is still in its early stages.
It’s only in recent years that hemp farmers have started large-scale production of hemp strains that are high in CBD and many countries have allowed the legal sale of CBD products, and accordingly that we’ve seen a large range of CBD products becoming available on the market.
Both CBC and CBD compounds have a range of health and wellness benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC. While all cannabinoids share some similar properties, these compounds each have distinct effects.
For example, THC binds extremely well with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, which is how it produces the psychoactive effect that gets you high and fills you with euphoria.
CBC and CBD, on the other hand, do not bind well with the same receptors, and so do not produce the same psychoactive effects. CBC binds very well with other receptors in the human body, particularly TRPA1 and TRPV1.
Although research on CBC is still in its infancy, we are discovering a range of potential benefits, from anti-inflammatory properties to potential benefits for cancer properties.
We’ll take a look at these in the next section.
What are the Benefits of CBC Oil?
Studies have already shown some very promising results when it comes to CBC. Like CBD, it is likely that CBC works better and more efficiently when taken with other compounds, as part of the entourage effect that we mentioned above.
It can therefore be difficult to know the full benefits of one single cannabinoid by studying it in isolation.
Having said that, let’s take a look at what research says about the potential benefits of CBC oil.
Stress and Anxiety
If you are a regular consumer of CBD, you’ve probably already heard of the benefits of CBD for mental health. Research has indicated that CBD is effective in reducing anxiety related to PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD and SAD, and that it may be helpful in treating anxiety.
It seems like CBD’s fellow cannabinoid CBC may also have benefits for mental health. One 2010 study focused on CBC’s effect on depression, stress, and anxiety. The study found that both CBD and CBC demonstrated anti-stress and antidepressant properties in rats.
A 2006 study into the potential medical benefits of CBC and other cannabinoids on cancer patients focused a range of compounds derived from the hemp plant. This excluded THC due to its psychoactive effects.
The research found that CBC was the second-most effective compound in preventing the growth of malignant cells.
Further research tested CBC and CBG on cancer cells, testing the compounds on the gastrointestinal malignant cells.
According to this early study, both cannabinoids had anti-tumour properties.
The main reason why CBC is said to have anti-cancer traits is that it can increase the body’s production of anandamide.
However, it is too soon to say whether this cannabinoid can be used for cancer treatment. With the available research, it can’t be said that CBC and any other cannabinoid could prevent or beat cancer.
Even though the effects of this cannabinoid appear promising, much more research will be needed before CBC is used as a certified product for cancer treatment.
A study going all the way back to 1981 found that CBC has antibacterial properties, showing that the cannabinoid can help fight different bacteria and fungi efficiently.
Research has demonstrated that CBC has strong antibacterial properties against a range of gram-positive and gram-negative properties.
Although not as strong, CBC also demonstrated mild to moderate effects against some types of fungi.
A 2016 study found that CBC can help to manage acne. Since acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum (our skin’s natural oils), CBC might help reduce acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The compound may also suppress lipid production in our oil-producing glands.
Though more research is needed, it seems like CBC oil may be considered as an acne treatment in the future.
CBC may also be able to help fight inflammation and related pain in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.
One 2010 study found that CBC showed strong anti-inflammatory properties, and selectively reduced inflammation-induced hypermotility unrelated to cannabinoid receptors.
Additionally, a recent animal study that focused on the entourage effect of the different cannabinoids showed that THC and CBC produced anti-inflammatory effects when they were taken together.
CBC for Neurological Health Conditions
A 2013 study into the neurological properties of CBC showed that it had a positive impact on human NSPCs (neural stem progenitor cells). These cells are in charge of human brain development and they are also associated with memory and learning.
Most of the research and studies on CBC were conducted in the 1980s.
Even though CBC was found to be the second most promising cannabinoid, the focus of the researchers was shifted to CBD due to the growing popularity of the CBD products.
So far, there has been limited research concerning the medical potential of Cannabichromene, but the early results are very promising.
How do you Take CBC Oil?
To date, CBC oil isn’t available as a standalone product on the commercial market and CBC products are still in the experimental stage. It is, however, found in products containing a range of cannabinoids.
The best way to take CBC is in a full spectrum or broad spectrum CBD product that contains a wide range of cannabinoids.
Many broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD products contain CBC, though in varying quantities.
It is important to check the lab results of the product to know the CBC concentration, as well as ensuring that the THC levels are safe and legal.
While the compound has not shown any adverse effects on humans, it may interact with medication, so be sure to consult your doctor before starting to take any cannabinoid product if you are also taking medication.
Early results of studies into CBC are certainly promising. However, more research is needed to learn about the benefits CBC and viability of CBC oil.
This is one of the reasons why currently, CBC oil is not available as a stand alone product.
For now, the only way to consume CBC is through a full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD oil. It has many properties that are similar to other cannabinoids, as well as several distinct features.
One of the main reasons that CBC has garnered some attention recently is its potential anti-cancer properties. Additionally, studies indicate that it has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well as helping to reduce acne.
However, CBC must not be confused with medication. Although it may be helpful when used in conjunction with traditional medicine, it is not a replacement for therapeutic drugs.
As always, it is important to consult with your doctor and follow their advice when treating any medical condition.
Have a look through our blog for more guides on CBD, other cannabinoids and their related products!