What is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

by | Dec 18, 2019

Detroiter Karhlyle Fletcher is the host of High Lit, a cannabis research and classic literature podcast featuring leading voices and independent music. In addition to years in written and video cannabis journalism, he is also a traditional author.

Although first discovered in 1966, CBC research, like research on many other cannabinoids, has been held back by federal restrictions. Still, especially in the last decade, research has been developing and has clearly shown the medical potential several cannabinoids have.  

CBC, or cannabichromene, was once an incredibly abundant cannabinoid, especially in Indian and tropical cannabis. Modern breeding practices have focused on CBD and THC, so CBC concentrations have fallen, but CBC has always been one of the Big Six cannabinoids.

Like THC and CBD, CBCa is formed from CBGa. CBCa then decarboxylates into CBC. It is mostly found in low concentrations in modern strains. However, research from 1975 found that some strains of Mississippi grown cannabis contained CBC potencies higher than their CBD content.

What We Know About CBC

Despite being one of the most prominent cannabinoids in cannabis, CBC does not get the attention that it deserves. As a non-psychoactive compound, it offers several of the benefits that THC does while not having such pronounced effects.

Research has shown that CBC does not interact significantly with CB1 receptors in the body, but that it does have some interactions with the CB2 receptors. This fact may be why it does not produce much of a psychoactive effect. It also interacts with TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors, both of which are linked to pain, meaning that it can relieve pain with minimal psychoactive impact. Other potential uses for CBC include: 

  • Anti-Bacterial – Research as far back as 1981 has found that CBC is especially useful in fighting bacteria. It has substantial effects on a variety of bacteria, including acid-fast strains. It has moderate effects as an anti-fungal as well as an anti-viral. 
  • Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Pain – In the current decade, pain is one of the most common reasons people use substances, prescribed or unprescribed. CBC appears to be an effective agent at reducing inflammation without directly interacting with cannabinoid receptors. Although some suggest its ability to reduce inflammation is stronger with the presence of other cannabinoids. It can reduce swelling and inflammation in the digestive tract. CBC targets pain at the spinal level, and although not as effective at THC at relieving pain, it does so without psychoactive effects. 
  • Anti-Depressant – Millions of people worldwide suffer from stress and anxiety due to disorders and traumas. When used with other cannabinoids, the research found CBC contributes to even superior mood-elevating effects while activating different pathways in the brain than THC. 
  • Cell Growth – A 2013 study on mice found that CBC may promote new cell growth. It has also been found to promote the growth of brain cells and to fight migraines. CBC helps the production of astroglial cells, which fight against conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. 
  • Anti-Cancer – A 2006 Study found CBC to be the second most effective cannabinoid at preventing tumor growth. One day CBC could be a powerful chemopreventative agent. It is also shown to inhibit the absorption of anandamide, which is linked to a reduction in a variety of cancers.
  • Anti-Acne – One of the most rampant insecurities people suffer from are caused by common acne. CBC has been found not only to reduce the production of sebum, which is necessary for acne to form, but also to lessen the effects of arachidonic acid. These combined effects prove that CBC could be a potent tool in preventing and managing acne in the future. 

Who is Producing It?

Recent conversations with Precision Plant Molecules, CBC is climbing the ranks in terms of product interest. Wholesale CBC to incorporate into products is available from multiple distributors, including Colorado Cultivars and BulKanna of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Finding a high potency CBC product as a consumer is tough, although it is a cannabinoid that is commonly in full-spectrum products. Mary’s Medicinals offers topical products, which include CBC. Strains of flower reportedly with CBC levels over .05% include Purple Cadillac, Purple Candy, and Valentine X.