By now you may well have heard of the the two most discussed cannabinoids, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol). But you may not have heard too much about Cannabichromene, otherwise known as CBC. CBC is currently attracting a great deal of interest from cannabis breeders, medical cannabis users and pharmaceutical companies.
CBC, like THC and CBD, is produced from CBG-A (Cannabigerolic acid). CBG-A, and its non acid form CBG, are often regarded as the parent cannabinoid which acts as a precursor to CBC, THC and CBD. What makes CBC unusual is that it receives a fraction of the attention and discussion of the better know THC and CBD compounds. But that could be about to change as CBC attracts more and more interest from medical researchers.
Although hard evidence is currently limited we do know that CBC doesn't produce the same euphoric high as THC. And we know that CBC doesn't bond as well to the human CB1 cannabinoid receptor. But there is evidence that CBC does affect pain and does bond with other pain receptors in the body. Specifically CBC interacts with the TRPV1 and the TRPA1 receptors. That is likely to prove of great interest to big pharmaceutical companies, who will be curious to know how CBC based medicines may help with pain management. One great unknown is how CBC may be able to amplify the effects of other cannabinoids, something referred to as the entourage effect. It is also quite possible that CBC inhibits other cannabinoids. Investigative research is still at an early stage, but big pharmaceutical companies are pushing for more research.
CBC occurs within the cannabis plant primarily as cannabichromenic acid (‘CBC-A’). Over a period of time, or when CBC-A is heated it converts into CBC. Initially, Geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid combine to produce cannabigerolic acid, also known as CBG-A. CBG-A is a key intermediate or ‘parent cannabinoid’ for several cannabinoids, an enzyme reaction creates CBCA. Over time, or when heated, CBCA is decarboxylated, producing CBC.
CBC has interesting anti-inflammatory attributes, which were studied in 1980 using the rat paw edema test . CBC was found to be as effective as phenylbutazone (PBZ) at equivalent doses. Phenylbutazone, also known as ‘bute’ is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory widely used for short term treatment of pain in animals, but since CBC is less toxic than PBZ, it was concluded that larger doses of CBC can be used to produce a greater therapeutic effect.
Research of CBC in humans has been limited due to the prohibition of cannabis. However this study done on Mice in 2012 indicates anti-inflammatory properties were found.
This recent study shows that Cannabichromene may also have useful applications in dermatological skin conditions such as Acne alongside THCV and CBDV.
This study from 2012 shows that cannabichromene has potential as an anti-depressant. The study also indicated CBD showed promise as an anti-depressant. Many cannabis users will have already felt that cannabis is able to lift your spirit and relieve anxiety. It will be interesting in the future to see whether specific cannabinoids will be used together to relieve depression. One of the key questions, which will take time to answer, is how the different cannabinoids act together in a synergistic way. Some cannabinoids will amplify the effects of each other, and some cannabinoids may reduce the impact of each other.
In the coming years, some cannabis breeders will be attempting to enrich cannabis varieties with Cannabichromene using selective breeding techniques. This is always a challenging breeding process, but the results will allow medical cannabis users the chance to sample cannabichromene rich cannabis for themselves.
It has taken several years for interest to gather momentum in CBD rich edibles, oils, and cannabis varieties. Realistically, it will take several more years before there are more answers regarding the uses of Cannabichromene. But with so many formal studies already conducted into Cannabichromene it seems likely that this is one of the cannabinoids which will attract lots of attention in the coming years. And if Dutch Passion can deliver a cannabis variety rich in Cannabichromene than we certainly will.