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As recreational cannabis markets have exploded nationwide over the past eight years, the science surrounding medical marijuana remains uncertain at best. Because marijuana remains a schedule one substance at the federal level, legalization at the state level does little to change limits on cannabis science imposed by NIDA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This means that even as recreational growers breed ever more potent puffs, weed science stumbles along.

Despite these constraints, the scientific community continues to slowly build its knowledge about the abundance of cannabinoids and their potential medical uses. Today, we look at CBC, also known as cannabichromene or cannabichrome. 

Unlike THC and CBD, CBC doesn’t bind with the brain’s CBC receptors, meaning that it has neither psychoactive effects of THC nor the relaxing effects of CBD. Instead, the cannabinoid binds to TRP receptors, which are responsible for, among other things, regulating feelings of pain.

CBC has been found to have very strong anti-microbial properties, with some researchers suggesting its potential application in acne medications. The substance also has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to treat colitis in mice, suggesting potential applications in treating irritable bowel syndrome. CBC has also been demonstrated to stimulate the production of neural stem cells, although the implications of these findings remain unclear.

Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBC content in the cannabis we consume recreationally has likely fallen significantly. Much as in the case of CBD before it experienced it’s a recent boom, growers breeding for ever more potent puffs select for strains with a high THC content that are likely to contain less CBC.

Ultimately, advocates of cannabis medicine continue to call for a federal rescheduling of the substance. As long as marijuana remains a schedule one substance, it has no medical benefits in the eyes of the law. Our experiences suggest otherwise.

Photos Courtesy of CBC.ca