You probably know your cannabinoids from your terpenes and have a reasonably good handle on the most common cannabinoids, Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
But you likely haven’t heard much about the new kid on the block, Cannabichromene or CBC.
Discovered more than 50 years ago by researchers, CBC has recently rekindled scientific interest and is included in the “big six” cannabinoids most prominent in scientific research and literature.
CBC doesn’t get a lot of airtime, but emerging research suggests it has the potential to be just as effective as CBD, if not more so, in treating certain conditions.
What are cannabinoids?
A quick refresher: Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They work with the human endocannabinoid system to provide a therapeutic effect for various conditions and diseases when consumed.
The two most well-known and widely studied cannabinoids are CBD and THC; however, scientists have discovered up to 113 cannabinoids.
What is Cannabichromene?
Cannabichromene, or CBC, was first discovered in 1966 and is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Yet, emerging research suggests that it could be just as crucial as its popular cousins, CBD and THC, in treating various conditions. 
How does CBC work?
CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, similar to CBD.
Studies suggest that CBC binds poorly to both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors and may have beneficial effects on the body through an alternate pathway.
Firstly, what are CB1 and CB2 receptors?
These receptors are distributed throughout the body. However, CB1 receptors are primarily located in the brain and nervous system. THC naturally binds to these receptors giving patients relief from pain, nausea, and depression, among other things.
CB2 receptors are mainly found in the immune system, with a heavy concentration located in the gastrointestinal system; this means these receptors are involved in regulating appetite and immune system functions like inflammation and pain management .
Cannabinoids help regulate the body to keep it in a state of homeostasis and are known to have a positive impact on the following:
- Appetite, hunger, and digestive systems
- Motor control
- Pain and pleasure
- Immune function
- Effects of other cannabinoids
How does Cannabichromene work if it doesn’t directly bind to cannabinoid receptors?
CBC works by activating many other receptors in the body and increases endocannabinoids in the body by disturbing the processes that naturally reduce them.
Given the way CBC acts within the body, it can indirectly enhance the receptor activity of naturally occurring cannabinoids and may be a beneficial therapeutic agent in a range of conditions .
What does Cannabichromene treat?
Scientific research suggests that CBC is a powerful compound that fights against the effects of inflammation and pain due to its potent analgesic profile. Importantly, it doesn’t have any adverse side effects as you’d typically see with pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs. When combined with other cannabinoids, such as CBD, it potentiates the effects to become a powerful, natural pain killer.
CBC may stimulate new cell growth. A 2013 study on mice found that CBC may promote new cell growth, and researchers have found that it may promote brain cells’ growth and help fight migraines.
Many people suffer from mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. When used in concert with other cannabinoids, CBC has an excellent ability to uplift mood naturally. A study conducted in 2011 found that CBC displayed a pronounced antidepressant effect in rodent models.
Millions of people suffer from chronic and acute gastrointestinal disorders, with many patients seeking alternative therapies to ease symptoms.
Cannabichromene has the potential to regulate gut motility during bouts of diarrhea without causing constipation and can then go on to normalise peristalsis, which is the contractions responsible for sweeping food through the digestive system.
Research also shows that CBC’s anti-inflammatory action is specific to the gut. It is one of the most effective compounds that help restore gut health and reduce inflammation in the intestines.
Cannabichromene is neuroprotective and may help grow neural stem cells which the brain uses to heal and replace damaged cells. CBC appears to assist the brain in developing new cells and can even drive resiliency by combatting the adverse effects stress can have on the brain.
How Can I Get Cannabichromene?
Now you’ve heard all about the great benefits of CBC, and you’re wondering how the heck to get your hands on it.
While there are reportedly specific strains of cannabis that contain a high CBC content, there aren’t currently any CBC specific products available.
Your best bet is to find a full spectrum cannabis product, this ensures the full range of botanical compounds found within the plant is extracted into the product.
Research suggests that CBC is most effective when working in synergy with other cannabinoids due to what is known as the entourage effect.
The entourage effect proposes the theory that cannabinoids offer a better result when combined together.
Can I drive after taking CBC?
Taking CBC or CBD and driving in Australia is a little complex. These cannabinoids will not show up on a roadside drug test, and you can technically drive with them in your system. However, it’s important to be aware that CBD oil is a prescription medication.
Will CBD oil become legal in Australia? Hopefully, with wider acceptance and further scientific evidence, we will soon see this marvellous medicine become legalised for everyone to access.