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what is cbc good for

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).

CBC Works With Other Cannabinoids

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.

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.

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.

Doing so would allow you to focus extensively on one cannabinoid without excluding the unique benefits other compounds have to offer. You also won’t miss out on the synergy that might be provided by the entourage effect.

CBN is somewhat more psychoactive than CBD but much less psychoactive than THC.

Just a few years ago, CBD was the only non-intoxicating cannabinoid widely available. It wasn’t long, however, before CBD was followed by cannabigerol (CBG), and in no time at all, products containing cannabinol (CBN) and cannabichromene (CBC) also started appearing.

Which cannabinoid is right for you?

In a paper published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in February 2021, researchers make the case that CBG has just as much therapeutic potential as CBD even though “little research has been performed on this unregulated molecule.”

All cannabinoids were originally extracted or otherwise derived from cannabis or hemp, so they’re like individual pieces of a complex, natural puzzle that fit together in harmony. Using cannabinoids together allows each compound to provide benefits that outweigh the sum of its parts.

Zoe Sigman of the non-profit research foundation Project CBD claims that CBN is about 1/6 to 1/10 as strong as THC. Unlike CBD, which does not have any CB1 affinity, CBN activates this receptor to some degree, but not enough to cause intoxication.

Preliminary research has been conducted into the potential antibacterial properties of CBG . Scientists believe that there are sufficient grounds to further investigate the usefulness of this cannabinoid for bacterial infections.

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.