What is CBC Oil?
No, that’s not a typo. While you’re probably familiar with CBD oil, it’s just one of many different types of cannabinoids inside of the cannabis plant. Another one of the lesser known subsets is CBC, which stands for cannabichromene.
While you theoretically can use CBC oil on its own, it’s probably going to be difficult to find a product that only uses CBC without other cannabinoids as well. Let’s talk about everything you need to know about CBC, including how it works, what it does, and how it compares to old fashioned CBD.
What Does CBC Oil Do?
While CBC continues to be researched, the main benefit of CBC is that it seems to interact with receptors in the body that regulate digestion. In small studies with mice, it was shown that CBC selectively reduces hypermotility in rats, which suggests that it may be useful for helping with GI discomfort.
Additionally, another rat study indicated that CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception. Antinociception is the process of blocking painful stimuli, which may mean that CBC can help in aiding with relief from aches, tension, and everyday pains.
With all of this in mind, it may also mean that CBC has the secondary benefit of helping to ease some stress and help you sleep better. Since physical pain can be a large cause of stress and sleep troubles, being able to reduce those sensations may help you benefit in more ways outside of its direct use.
How Does CBC Oil Work?
CBC is a cannabinoid just like CBD and THC. When you use cannabinoids, they interact with an internal network called the endocannabinoid system. This helps to regulate things like mood, appetite, sleep, sensation to pain, and much more. Even if you’ve never used cannabinoids before, your body still produces some cannabinoids of its own.
Cannabinoids then bind with receptors throughout the body. CB1 receptors, for example, exist in the brain and can elicit feelings of relaxation and bliss. CB2 receptors are present in many immune cells and can help with tension and soreness in muscles and joints. The reason that you feel relief in these areas when using cannabis is because of how it interacts with these receptors.
THC causes feelings of euphoria because it binds more tightly and aggressively to these receptors. CBD and CBC have weaker effects, which explains why they can seem more mild.
However, CBC only binds with CB2 receptors, which means it can mostly only help with physical discomfort. It’s often best used in conjunction with THC or CBD so that you can get a more holistic benefit from the product.
CBC and the Entourage Effect
On its own, CBC makes up a very small portion of the cannabis plant. Because of that, it is likely that it will not really have any effect on the body by itself. However, when it works in conjunction with other prominent cannabinoids like THC or CBD, it may work much more powerfully.
When you take a CBD product, it will either be referred to as CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD, or full-spectrum CBD. CBD isolate only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids, making it the least effective option of the three.
Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol alongside other cannabis compounds like CBC, aromatic terpenes, and fatty acids. This is a more beneficial type of CBD that usually works more effectively compared to isolate.
Finally, full-spectrum CBD has everything that’s inside broad-spectrum, plus it contains up to 0.3% THC content, which is the legal federal limit.
Broad and full-spectrum products can cause something called the entourage effect, which basically hypothesizes that CBD and THC can work to enhance the benefits of the other cannabinoids that are present within the product.
For example, CBC is a good anti-inflammatory agent, but since it exists so seldom inside the cannabis plant, it may not bind the CB2 immune receptors strongly enough to elicit an effect. Since CBD can make a tighter bond, it may mean that it can work alongside CBC to heighten its positive attributes.
Where Does CBC Come From?
CBC comes from the cannabis plant, which is the same place that more well-known phytocannabinoids like CBD and THC also come from. And though it exists within the same plant as the marijuana you smoke, it’s not psychoactive and won’t make you feel high.
Cannabichromene is one of hundreds of different cannabinoids that exist within the plant. It is often incorporated into oils, lotions, and gummies alongside CBD to enhance some of its effects.
How is CBC Extracted?
CBC is extracted from the plant in the same way that all other cannabinoids and compounds from cannabis are. The most common extraction method is called CO2 extraction.
This process requires carbon dioxide to reach its supercritical state, which basically means it can act as a solvent to extract practicals without damaging them. To do this, CO2 gas must be exposed to extremely low temperatures and extremely high heat. This process liquidates the carbon dioxide, bringing it closer to its supercritical form.
After that, it is exposed to higher temperatures and even higher pressure, where it then turns into a supercritical fluid. This is then pushed through a chamber that contains raw cannabis where it works to dissolve and capture active ingredients such as CBC, CBD, or THC.
This is a barebones description of how the process works. But all you need to know is that a lot of work and training goes into extracting cannabinoids effectively. One small mistake might mean that manufacturers have to throw away an entire batch.
Where To Get CBC Oil
Since all minor cannabinoids besides THC and CBD make up less than 1% of the entire cannabis plant, you won’t be able to find CBC oil on its own. However, many full-spectrum CBD products include CBN in order to elicit the entourage effect and heighten its effectiveness.
Look for CBD products that also contain CBN if you want some of the specific benefits that CBC can offer, like soothing and digestive health benefits. You may be able to find oils, gummies, sprays, and other edibles that use both of these cannabinoids specifically.
Also, it might be good to look for topical CBD solutions that incorporate CBC because of its ability to help with discomfort and tenderness. Lotions are highly targeted solutions that can allow you to pinpoint specific problem areas for instant relief where you need it most.
Is CBC Oil Safe to Use?
If CBC is anything like its close cousin CBD, then it is absolutely safe to use. CBD is generally well tolerated and is 100% legal.
While laws don’t specifically mention anything about cannabinoids besides CBD and THC, it is understood that CBD products often contain other non-psychoactive elements as well. With that in mind, CBC has profound health benefits that make it perfectly safe for use.
Additionally, there’s no research to indicate that CBC is harmful at high doses. And while you should never exceed the daily dose of your CBD oil, toxic doses are extremely high and usually only result in nausea, fatigue, or upset stomach. Considering that CBC and CBD often exist in the same products together, it can be assumed that CBC works in this same way.
Will CBC Show Up on a Drug Test?
With all cannabinoid products, there is a chance that they can complicate the results of a drug test. However, there are no laws that specifically state CBC is illegal, and it is generally looped into the same category as non-psychoactive cannabis compounds such as CBD, which is 100% legal.
If for some reason CBC complicates a drug test, secondary screenings can be done to isolate legal compounds from unfavorable substances such as THC. Drug tests are becoming a lot less common, but if you have any concerns or hesitations, it never hurts to reach out to your doctor or employer.
Other Types of Cannabinoids
Many people are shocked to know that CBD and THC are two of hundreds of cannabinoids that live in the leaves, flowers, stalks, seeds, and roots of the cannabis plant. It’s believed that these hundred compounds outside of CBD and THC make up less than 1% of the entire plant.
However, they can still be really beneficial for your health. Here is a brief summary of a few other cannabinoids that you may find in your CBD gummies or oils.
CBN is another non-intoxicating compound of the cannabis plant. Believe it or not, CBN is the degraded form of THC, which means it’s basically old THC.
It’s been found that cannabinol has unique properties, mostly because it is the most sedative known cannabinoid. This means that CBD products which contain CBN may be useful for helping you get better sleep.
Not to mention, it may work as an appetite stimulant, which can help explain why some marijuana strains cause you to get the munchies.
This is another minor cannabinoid that still has some interesting properties. Cannabis plants produce CBGA, or cannabigerolic acid, as a precursor to the three main cannabinoids: THC, CBD, and CBC.
CBG plays a role as an appetite enhancer, cannabinoid receptor agonist, a possible soother, and even a plant metabolite. Products that blend together CBD and CBG are likely to be used to help bring you a boost of energy or fight against tenderness and soreness.
While the spotlight always seems to be on THC and CBD, there are a ton of other cannabinoids that deserve a little attention. One of these is CBC, or cannabichromene, is it can help to regulate your intestinal tract and ease soreness in muscles and achy joints.
CBC oil works and is extracted in much the same way as CBD and THC, which means it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. From there, it binds with the CB2 receptor, which is present in immune cells. It does not bind to CB1 receptors in the brain, which make it necessary to coincide with a cannabinoid that does, such as CBD.
When CBC is used in unison with other cannabinoids, it’s called the entourage effect. Since CBC is relatively weak on its own and only encompasses less than 1% of the cannabis plant, its positive attributes can be enhanced when CBD and THC help it bind more strongly to cannabinoid receptors.
Since CBC oil is not abundant, you won’t be able to find products that only use CBC. However, many CBD oils, gummies, creams, and sprays contain CBC, allowing you to feel its soothing properties regardless.
There are other cannabinoids that you may find in similar products, such as CBN, CBG, or CBDV. The hope is that we can spread some knowledge and awareness so we can give the little guys a bit more of the credit for everything that cannabis can do.