CBD, CBG, CBN & CBC Explained A mature cannabis plant contains hundreds of different compounds which can be further divided into categories of either flavonoids, terpenes, or cannabinoids, with Learn more about cannabichromine, or CBC, a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant that's showing promise in the lab for a myriad of conditions.
CBD, CBG, CBN & CBC Explained
A mature cannabis plant contains hundreds of different compounds which can be further divided into categories of either flavonoids, terpenes, or cannabinoids, with each of these having different properties and effects on the human body. Two of the most prevalent compounds in medical marijuana are THC and CBD, with THC causing the intoxicating “high” that many people attribute to marijuana use.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. It does not cause an intoxicating “high” like THC does, and according to the World Health Organization, it “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” Several benefits of CBD use include:
- Pain & inflammation reduction
- Anxiety reduction
- Sleep benefits
- Seizure reduction
While CBD has grown to be the most popular non-intoxicating cannabinoid in recent years, there are also several similar compounds which exist that have shown to benefit the human body as well.
Cannabigerol (CBG) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid similar to CBD, though this compound interacts with your body through very different mechanisms than CBD. Initial research has indicated that CBG acts as an agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors without causing any intoxicating effects. CBG may also act as a GABA reuptake inhibitor. This means that CBG may have a relationship with both neuropathic pain and inflammatory pain. The main benefits attained through use of CBG include:
- Digestive benefits
- Antibacterial benefits
- Pain & inflammation reduction
Cannabinol (CBN) is currently only attainable by deriving it from CBD through a chemical conversion. While more structurally similar to THC than CBD once it reaches its final form, CBN lacks the psychoactive effects of THC which could allow more patients to utilize it without fear of intoxication or impairment. Some of the potential benefits of CBN include:
- Antibacterial benefits
- Sleep benefits
Cannabichromene (CBC) is “newer” to the cannabinoid scene as far as research is concerned, but has shown great potential as a medical supplement thus far. While its effects feel very similar to CBD when ingested, the chemical structure of the CBC is unique and offers it the capability to affect the body in a different way than CBD. So far, research has linked CBC with the following medical benefits:
- Cancer benefits
- Analgesic benefits
At Remedy Pain Solutions, we strive to provide our patients as many natural treatment options as possible, including these compounds we have been discussing in this article. We have a full line of organic, medical-grade CBD products that are available for our patients at our Marina Del Rey office location. If you are suffering from pain and inflammation, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists at Remedy Pain Solutions to discuss what natural options might be available to treat your symptoms so you can return to pain-free life.
What Is CBC and What Are the Benefits of This Cannabinoid?
By now you’re probably familiar with cannabinoids, especially the most common ones, THC and CBD. But you likely haven’t heard of cannabichromene, also known as CBC. Discovered over 50 years ago, CBC is considered one of the “big six” cannabinoids prominent in medical research. It doesn’t get as much attention, but CBC’s benefits are extremely promising.
CBC has the same origins as both THC and CBD do in that they all stem from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Cannabis plants produce CBGA, the precursor to three major cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), and cannabichromenic acid (CBCA).
The specific plant enzymes cascade and “direct” the breakdown product into one of the three lines. For CBC, it converts from CBGA into cannabichrome carboxylic acid (CBCA), and then finally to CBC after exposure to heat or ultraviolet light.
CBC Works With Other Cannabinoids
CBC is non-intoxicating, so it doesn’t produce a euphoric high like THC. The reason it is non-intoxicating is because it binds poorly to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. But CBC does bind with other receptors in the body, such as the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), both of which are linked to pain perception. When CBC activates these receptors, increased levels of the body’s natural endocannabinoids like anandamide are released.
While CBC definitely has singular benefits, researchers also think that it seems to synergistically work with other cannabinoids, a term known as the entourage effect. This effect of THC and CBD working together is well-known, but whether other cannabinoids have entourage effects is not well understood.
CBC’s Medicinal Potential
The purported benefits of CBC have far-reaching implications. Below are a few medical conditions that may be alleviated by cannabichromene.
Cannabichromene may be a powerful cancer fighter, and the reason might be its interaction with the body’s natural endocannabinoid, anandamide. CBC also appears to inhibit the uptake of anandamide, allowing it to remain longer in the bloodstream.
A recent study in which tumor growth was initiated in mice (two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis model) showed cannabinoids might be effective in inhibiting both inflammation and tumor growth. Since anandamide has been shown to fight breast cancer in vitro and in vivo, this shows promise that CBC and other cannabinoids might one day be a chemopreventive agent.
CBC as a potential cancer fighter was first published in a 2006 study that looked at cannabinoids other than THC and their possible effects on cancer. While THC is known for its anti-tumor properties for several different forms of cancer, its powerful psychotropic qualities can make it difficult for chemotherapy use. So far, research has found CBC to be the second-most-potent cannabinoid at inhibiting the growth of new cancer cells (CBG was the most potent).
Pain and Inflammation
Cannabichromene has been shown to block pain and inflammation associated with collagen-induced osteoarthritis. Cannabinoids like CBC act on inflammation differently than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do, and don’t have the side effects of these medications. In another example of the entourage effect, CBC in combination with THC had significant anti-inflammatory response in a recent animal study; together, the two cannabinoids produced a much greater effect on inflammation than by themselves.
In a 2013 mouse study, CBC had a positive effect on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs), a cell essential to healthy brain function. NSPCs became more viable when in the presence of CBC, and that shows promise because NSPCs differentiate into astroglial cells, the most important cells for maintaining brain homeostasis. The astroglial cells perform a whole host of functions, including neurotransmitter direction and defending against oxidative stress. Astroglia counteract many of these issues—oxidative stress, inflammation, toxicity—that create neurological diseases and brain pathologies like Alzheimer’s disease.
A research team that had previously shown CBD’s effect on acne studied other cannabinoids, including CBC, for the same effects. Indeed, CBC was shown to be a powerful inhibitor of acne. As a skin disease, acne is characterized by excess sebum production and sebaceous gland inflammation. It turns out that CBC exhibited powerful anti-inflammatory properties and also suppressed excessive lipid production in the sebaceous glands. CBC also reduced levels of arachidonic acid (AA), which is needed to create the lipogenesis. More research is needed, but CBC might just one day become a very powerful anti-acne treatment.
In another amazing display of the entourage effect, CBC appears to work in conjunction with both THC and CBD to deliver a trifecta of antidepressant properties.
The therapeutic promise of CBC is important and requires more research to determine its power by itself as well as with other cannabinoids working together for an entourage effect. Cannabis patients today are limited in the products available to them, but hopefully as new studies emerge and cannabis laws loosen, new medicines with a diversity of cannabinoids will soon become an option.