The short answer to both of these questions is the same as it is for CBD, “It depends.” It depends on many factors such as the starting point of your body’s systems, as well as the concentration of CBC you’re using. The bottom line is that CBC may affect everyone a little differently and work gradually over time.
What Are the Potential Benefits* of CBC?
Research on CBC continues to discover more information about what this cannabinoid does. So far, the findings are promising, and our industry’s collective understanding of CBC is growing. Even though CBC looks like it has unique effects, and interacts with different receptor sites than other cannabinoids, it’s likely that all cannabinoids work together in complementary ways to promote a balanced response within the body.
Intriguingly, scientists think that CBC works in a somewhat different way than the other cannabinoids. Most cannabinoids interact with CB1 or CB2 receptor sites in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and increase production of our own endocannabinoids that way. CBC likely does this as well, but in addition, appears to support the body’s supply of endocannabinoids in other ways by working with receptor sites involved in inflammation and the pain response. *
TRPV1 receptors are found on many other cells besides taste buds, including nerve cells. These TRP receptors are sensitive to stimuli like heat, acidity, pressure, and other irritants. Although it might seem counterintuitive at first, research has found that cannabinoids, including CBC, may over time have a desensitizing effect on TRP receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract with the result that they release smaller and smaller amounts of chemicals that cause inflammation. In addition, CBC and other cannabinoids promote production of our own endocannabinoids. And so, the combination of reduced inflammatory substances and increased endocannabinoid levels may help moderate the experiences of pain and inflammation.
For many years, it was thought that once you reach a certain age, the brain stops growing. But this is not true. For example, the cells responsible for learning and memory are continuously produced through a process known as neurogenesis. In people suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, this neurogenesis is disturbed.
And when CBC activates these receptors, it leads to the release of higher levels of natural endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, also known as the “bliss molecule”. This explains the different way in which CBC acts: while THC and other cannabinoids are directly coupled to their respective receptors (such as CB1 and CB2), CBC indirectly activates these cannabinoid receptors through the production of anandamide, with significant implications for its role in pain relief.
CBC can also play a fundamental role in the “entourage effect”, in which cannabinoids act synergistically to modulate the overall effect of cannabis. Thus, a study found that when used together, CBC and THC can control inflammation more effectively than when used separately.
How to use CBC?
However, CBC can also be found as an ingredient in various broad spectrum and full spectrum CBD oils. If you are interested in enjoying the potential benefits of CBC or want to experience the entourage effect of the entire plant, look for CBD products that contain CBC and other cannabinoids, as well as terpenes, flavonoids and natural fatty acids.
A study conducted in 2013 found that CBC could, in fact, promote neurogenesis. The researchers tested the effects on the neural stem cells of adult mice and found that CBC increased the viability of these cells, which means that the cannabinoids improved their function.
Like other cannabinoids, CBC has great medical potential for uses such as:
A study in rats found that CBC showed great potential for acting as an analgesic, to block any pain and inflammation associated with collagen-induced osteoarthritis. In fact, the study suggests that it could be as good as CBD, and without the negative side effects that traditional anti-inflammatories have, so it could be an effective alternative to the highly addictive opioids and steroids that are usually prescribed for pain control.
This tag-team phenomenon is known as “the entourage effect,” the research-backed belief that the individual parts of the cannabis sativa plant (leaves, flowers, stalks, and all they contain) amplify each others’ benefits. “When people are finding the true benefits of plant medicine, it’s often not a compound in isolation — it’s all these compounds and botanicals working together in harmony,” Kennedy explains. The founder says Plant People utilizes full-spectrum hemp extract that features all the cannabis compounds that nature provides, including (but not limited to) CBD and CBC.
“Initial research has shown that it has strong topical applications, with anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties,” Kennedy says (and Dr. Icecreamwala confirms). “This may help with assisting to alleviate various concerns, as it works as an effective antiviral and antibacterial.” To be clear, regular old CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties, but CBC seems to be the stronger contender when it comes to alleviating active acne and keeping future blemishes at bay. Still, it’s doubtful CBC will ever fully replace CBD: The two actually work best when they work together.
“CBC, which stands for cannabichromene, is a different cannabinoid than CBD,” Dr. Devika Icecreamwala, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist with Icecreamwala Dermatology, tells The Zoe Report. “Like CBD, it is not psychoactive.” (As a refresher: That means it won’t get you high.) Also like CBD, CBC is derived from the cannabis sativa plant — AKA, hemp. “While CBD and CBC come from the same plant, each has its own functional benefits,” Gabe Kennedy, the co-founder of Plant People, tells TZR. “We at Plant People believe in showcasing the opportunity that other compounds bring to the table.” And the opportunity for CBC in skincare is definitely promising.
I mean, I’m no doctor… but my official beauty editor opinion? CBC is the most exciting thing to happen to CBD beauty in months, and I personally plan on treating my acne-prone skin to some cannabichromene ASAP.
Technically, any CBD product made from full-spectrum or whole-plant hemp extract should include small amounts of CBC, but thanks to strategic engineering, Plant People’s Oct. 10 launches — the Nourish Botanical Body Lotion, the Restore Botanical Face Mask, and the Revive Botanical Face Serum — feature some of the highest concentrations of cannabichromene on the market. “Through our approach to plant genetics and unique extraction processes, we are able to focus on bringing specific minor cannabinoids to the forefront,” Kennedy says. “For skincare, we chose to include higher levels of CBC.”
Just as I was reaching my tolerance threshold for CBD product launches, a new release renewed my interest cannabinoids. Plant People’s latest crop of hemp-derived skincare formulas feature the prerequisite CBD. alongside CBC, a less-hyped but arguably more intriguing cannabis compound, especially for skincare enthusiasts. Research into the CBC cannabinoid’s benefits suggest these three little letters could have a major impact on acne.
Dr. Icecreamwala is quick to note that long-term studies on CBD and CBC have not been conducted, so at this point, the full range of risks and rewards isn’t known. “Some people have found cannabinoid-derived skincare products to be anti-inflammatory,” the dermatologist says. “But there could be a risk of irritation or allergic reaction from skincare products that contain this ingredient.” Kennedy adds you should always “consult a doctor before using any type of plant medicine.”