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CBC—Exploring the Lesser-Known Cannabinoid

Traditionally, cannabichromene (CBC) hasn’t received the same attention as cannabinoids like delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). But in the last few years, we’ve learned a lot more about this compound, and as the consumer appetite for cannabinoids grows, there has been an increase in the demand for CBC products.


So, what exactly is CBC? How is it produced? What benefits does it provide? And does it warrant all of the attention it has been getting?


What is CBC?

CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, which means that just like CBD, it won’t get you “high”. It is produced in a similar manner to THC, the chemical responsible for the cannabis high, and if you’re taking a full-spectrum THC product or smoking cannabis, you will be consuming CBC as well. However, the doses are often much lower, and the effects are very different.


The History

Despite the fact that CBC is only just finding its way into the consumer marketplace, it has actually been known about for a long time. It was first synthesized in 1966. It was initially extracted from cannabis plants and is still found in large doses in much of the cannabis sold throughout the United States.


The Chemistry

The life of CBC begins with geranyl pyrophosphate, an ester of the terpene geraniol, and Olivetolic acid. These combine to form cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). It is from this compound that we get CBG, but it also kicks-start the process of creating THC and CBD, which is why CBG is often known as “the mother cannabinoid.”


CBCA, the acid form of CBC, is formed and becomes CBC through decarboxylation, which happens gradually over time or when the plant is heated. Incidentally, decarboxylation is also used to turn THC into CBN, a cannabinoid that seems to be receiving as much attention as CBC right now. Via the same decarboxylation process, CBC can be transformed into something known as cannabicyclol (CBL).


As you would expect, even less is known about CBL than CBC.


The Best Dose for CBC

The dose range for CBC is quite wide, as it’s a well-tolerated product with few known side effects, even in higher doses. Many people recommend starting with 2.5 mg of CBC, seeing how you feel, and then taking things from there. This is the dose used in many of our cannabinoid mints, which also contain other cannabinoids and herbal extracts designed to enhance the effects.

What are the Benefits of Taking CBC?

Although the full effects of CBC aren’t yet known, there are a handful of studies that suggest CBC could be beneficial on its own and when combined with other cannabinoids.


One of the benefits we’ve talked about in the past concerns its stimulating properties. To understand this effect, you have to understand how CBC, and indeed other cannabinoids, interact with the human body.


Once consumed, cannabinoids attach themselves to specific receptors in the brain. How they interact with these receptors ultimately determines what kind of effects they produce.


The main receptors are CB1 and CB2. They interact with various bodily processes and are constantly sending and receiving signals. These receptors form part of something known as the “endocannabinoid system”, which refers to a cannabinoid system within the human body (endo comes from the ancient Greek endon, which meant “internal”).


CBC doesn’t seem to have a great relationship with these receptors, and yet studies suggest it could stimulate the release of more endocannabinoids, thus influencing compounds that do interact with them.


More importantly, it seems to interact primarily with the body’s TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors, which deal with sensations of pain, as well as adenosine receptors, which are the receptors that caffeine interact with.


Studies suggest that even mild doses of CBC could have an uplifting effect, especially when combined with other cannabinoids. It also seems to work as a neurogenic, which means it plays a protective role in the brain, supporting the creation of new brain cells and potentially helping it to recover from damage faster.


As things stand, however, most of what we know about CBC comes from animal testing. Human trials aren’t easy to come by. CBC is not as popular as other cannabinoids yet, so there hasn’t been as much demand for it to be studied. That might change in the future, as interest keeps growing and tests are ongoing.

Why Are There So Few CBC Products?

Breeders have been able to produce many variations of the hemp plant, including ones with higher THC, CBD, and CBG. It’s thanks to their efforts that the Farm Bill was popular, as it means we can have high-CBD or high-CBG plants that produce only a fractional amount of THC.


However, they have yet to do the same for CBC. Technically, it is in every cannabis plant, and if you list the total cannabinoids in order of highest to lowest, it would be near the top. But it’s still dwarfed by its more popular cousins, and there is an average of just 1% CBC in most commercially produced plants.


Fortunately, there are simpler ways of producing it. As noted above, it is created from CBG, the mother cannabinoid, so if you have enough of this, you can produce CBC. From there, it’s just a case of whether you would want to go ahead and produce the stuff or stick with something that the market is more familiar with.


It all comes down to supply and demand. It’s not the easiest cannabinoid to produce, but it’s not impossible, and if the demand is there, we will likely see a lot more CBC products hitting the shelves.

Summary: The Best CBC Products

For an easy, quick, affordable, and effective way to take CBC, check out our Energize Mints. They contain 2.5 mg of CBC and 2.5 mg of THC in every dose, along with herbal ingredients that support the effects of these two cannabinoids. It’s a great way to see what CBC can do for you, whether that means helping you to deal with chronic pain and inflammation or giving you a morning pick-me-up or focus time that won’t cause you to crash and leave you drowsy several hours later.


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