A Guide to CBC: Extraction, Storage, Price, Benefits & More
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THC, CBD, and CBN consistently make headlines as familiar acronyms in mainstream cannabis vocabulary. Still, they represent just half of the “big six” on the list of most researched cannabinoids for medical use. So let’s jump ahead to the sixth compound on the list, cannabichromene, also known as CBC.
Believe it or not, CBC is the second-most prominent cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, followed only by THC–scientists published this discovery back in 1975!
Researchers unearthed CBC over 50 years ago and conducted most studies in the 1980s, which revealed its excellent antibacterial properties.
Scientists primarily focused on other compounds after the 1980’s research. But CBC came back on the radar over the last decade, with studies citing its positive effects on pain, inflammation, brain health, and more. With multiple medical benefits waiting to be explored, there are significant reasons to bring CBC out of the shadows and into product lines.
WHAT ARE THE REPORTED BENEFITS OF CBC?
Despite occurring only second to THC in the cannabis plant, CBC took a back seat to CBD and CBN over the past few decades. However, numerous studies show this cannabinoid has a lot of therapeutic benefits to offer.
CBC possesses strong antibacterial properties and is effective against several varieties of bacteria and fungi. For example, in 1981, Turner and Elsohly found that CBC helped fight both staph and E.coli. More recently, a study in 2008 by scientists from Italy and the UK reported that CBC and other cannabinoids were as effective against MRSA, a cause of staph infection, as powerful pharmaceutical medications such as Vancomycin!
PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
When it comes to fighting pain and inflammation, CBC is a poster child for the “entourage effect,” or the way cannabinoids work together synergistically to boost their positive impacts. For example, a study in 2010 showed that when CBC combined with THC, it led to a far greater anti-inflammatory response than either cannabinoid alone. In 2011, a study on rats found that CBC and CBD effectively blocked the pain associated with collagen-induced osteoarthritis.
Like other cannabinoids, including THC and CBD, CBC encourages neurogenesis, where the brain forms new neurons. A study in 2013 that analyzed the effects of neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs) in adult mice found that these cells differentiate into numerous other cells, which helps brain growth and recovery. In the study, CBC improved the function of NSPCs. As it turns out, NSPCs differentiate into astroglial cells, which defend against oxidative stress, toxicity, and inflammation—all things that lead to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
CBC interacts with the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid, anandamide, allowing it to remain in the bloodstream longer. Studies show that anandamide can fight breast cancer, which means CBC and other cannabinoids could be potent cancer fighters.
We’ve heard about how THC and CBD can help with anxiety disorders, but a 2010 study shows CBC is also capable of having a significant antidepressant-like effect. In another display of the entourage effect, CBC worked in conjunction with THC and CBD to boost the positive impacts of the combined cannabinoids.
Could CBC replace expensive acne creams? A study in 2016 showed that CBC’s anti-inflammatory properties made it an excellent acne inhibitor, working to slow down the lipid production and inflammation in the sebaceous gland that leads to unwelcomed blemishes.
HOW DOES CBC WORK?
CBC VS. CBD
THC, CBD, and CBG are the three most prominent cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, CBC is commonly called a “sibling” to CBD because, unlike THC, they are both non-intoxicating.
HOW DOES CBC OCCUR?
Like CBD and THC, CBC stems from the all-important cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), the “mother” of all cannabinoids. Enzymes called synthases cause it to convert into cannabichromene carboxylic acid (CBCa). When exposed to heat, the CBCa acid breaks down and becomes cannabichromene, or CBC, through a process known as decarboxylation.
CAN CBC GET YOU HIGH?
CBC is a powerful non-psychoactive and non-intoxicating cannabinoid, meaning it will not cause you to feel “high.”
HOW DOES CBC WORK IN THE BODY?
Cannabinoids interact with the receptors in our endocannabinoid system (ECS), responsible for maintaining balance and improving biological functions. THC and CBD interact with the ECS’s primary receptors: CB1 receptors, which concentrate in our brain and central nervous system, and CB2 receptors, which help modulate our immune and inflammatory responses.
CBC works by protecting CB1 and CB2 receptors from being degraded, which boosts the beneficial effects that other cannabinoids have on the body.
CBC also activates CB2 receptors, which can battle inflammation, but it does not activate CB1 receptors, which means it’s non-intoxicating. However, when CBC combines with cannabinoids that do interact with CB1 receptors, such as THC, it enhances the therapeutic potential of both cannabinoids.
WHAT TYPE OF CBC PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE?
Currently, limited companies produce and sell CBC-infused products. This rarity is bound to change as more CBC research comes to light. CBC tincture or oil is the most common form of readily available products you’ll find, such as the full-spectrum CBC oil from NuLeaf Naturals. Additionally, most full-spectrum CBD oils will contain small amounts of CBC.
You can also find CBC concentrates, usually available as isolates that contain somewhere between 90% to 95% pure CBC. Unlike CBD, CBC does not crystallize, which means you’ll only find CBC concentrates in a thick, gel-like format rather than the typical crystalline rocks or powder. Adding CBC extracts to an e-liquid base forms CBC-infused vape oils, commonly used for dabbing, filling vape cartridges, or making CBC edibles.
ARE THERE HIGH CBC STRAINS?
You can generally find CBC in younger plants. However, since most growers breed plants for high THC or CBD content, you’ll have difficulty finding CBC dominant strains on the market today. A few strains do contain a small amount:
- Maui Dream: 0.487%
- Blue Cherry Soda: 0.462%
- Purple Cadillac: 0.719%
- Bubba Cookies: 0.462%
- Charlotte’s Web: 0.432%
- Purple Candy: 0.511%
- Sour Tsunami: 0.486%
- Valentine X: 0.528%
CAN YOU SMOKE, VAPE, AND INGEST CBC?
Like CBD and THC, manufacturers can add CBC to oils, tinctures, and edibles for consumption. You can also add CBC to vape cartridges via oils and extracts.
HOW DO I EXTRACT CBC?
Due to their similar chemical structure, most cannabinoids, including CBC, are extracted in the same way. For instance, you can utilize a supercritical extraction process using CO2 or solvents like ethanol to separate CBC compounds from the plant. From there, you can heat the solution under a vacuum to remove all the solvents, leaving a high-purity CBC concentrate behind. Once extracted, you can store CBC products at room temperature away from direct sunlight to preserve potency.
THE CBC MARKET
IS CBC LEGAL?
As with every other cannabinoid, the answer to this question is vague. Even THC is technically legal if it appears in hemp at less than 0.3% potency. CBD products are also widely permissible in most states because they are hemp-derived and free from illicit THC levels. It would reason that this regulatory stance works the same way with CBC. The disclaimer is that CBC products must come from compliant hemp plants unless you live in a state with legal cannabis.
CBC POTENCY & TESTING
HOW IS CBC POTENCY MEASURED?
Measuring CBC through potency tests occurs in the same way as CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids. For edibles and extracts, ACS Laboratory uses Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) machinery to precisely measure and detect CBC levels. HPLC is the preferred instrument for these products due to its ability to test samples at room temperature without requiring heat, which changes the results.
WHY SHOULD I TEST FOR CBC?
CBC offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that no one can deny. And as consumers learn more, they will look for CBC’s synergistic benefits to enhance their favorite hemp and cannabis strains. Why wait? Now’s the time to educate consumers about one of the most abundant cannabinoids with the potential to boost their favorite products’ therapeutic and euphoric effects.
At ACS Laboratory, we test hemp and cannabis products for CBC as part of our 11, 12 and 20 Analyte Potency Test. With its high potential to serve as an alternate pain medication and help fight the uptick in cancer, depression, and other diseases, CBC is poised to become a common household term. As a result, we’re confident that accurate CBC potency tests are vital for brands like yours to market products successfully.
We deliver precise results within 3-5 days. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a potency test.