Nature’s antidepressant? Rare cannabinoid CBC boosts the brain’s ‘bliss’ molecule
If you or a loved one suffer from depression, rare cannabinoid CBC (cannabichromene) may offer hope for a happier future. The third most prevalent cannabinoid in hemp and cannabis, CBC’s mood-elevating properties are about ten times more effective than CBD, making it a promising cannabinoid for reducing stress. CBC raises the brain’s “bliss” molecule anandamide, a chemical that affects mental health. Scientific studies also highlight CBC’s potential for pain relief, reducing inflammation, and for anti-tumor effects in some cancers.
In this article, we will explain how anandamide and CBC affect brain chemistry and how CBD and THC also elevate mood. If you’d like to add CBC to your wellness regime, try Rare Cannabinoid Company’s CBC oil tinctures. They offer a 500mg CBC oil and a 1:1 blend of CBC with full-spectrum Hawaiian CBD. All Rare Cannabinoid Company products have easy-to-understand milligram dosing and independent lab reports. Rare Cannabinoid Company also sells THCV, CBN, CBG, CBDA, delta-8-THC, and a variety of CBD oils and blends.
Anandamide levels and happiness
Do you ever feel like some people are just born happier than others? If so, you’re probably right. There’s a little-known brain chemical called “anandamide” that produces feelings of pleasure and happiness. Its name comes from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” meaning “internal bliss, joy, or delight.”
Anandamide is normally broken down by the enzyme FAAH (fatty acid amino hydrolase). Once broken down, it leaves the body and no longer offers its blissful benefits. People and animals that produce less FAAH have more anandamide, are happier, and experience less fear and anxiety, as seen in this study.
Levels of anandamide and FAAH vary greatly between people and entire populations. In one extreme case, a Scottish woman with a rare genetic mutation had such high levels of anandamide that she never experienced any anxiety, fear, depression, or pain—not even during childbirth! She even likened the sensation of being in labor to a “tickle.”
This global DNA study found that the self-described happiest nations produced the least FAAH and had the highest levels of anandamide, while the unhappiest nations had the most FAAH and least anandamide.
In addition to mental health, anandamide also affects other areas of physical health including fertility (high levels are needed for ovulation), and has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer tumors.
Thankfully, scientists are finding that we can all boost our levels of anandamide with hemp and cannabis compounds. CBC, CBD, and THC all offer positive effects, but CBC appears to be the best at elevating mood without the risk of negative psychoactive side effects.
How does CBC affect anandamide?
Our bodies all produce cannabinoids that work together to balance our mental and physical health, including mood, anxiety levels, sleep, pain management, and more. This is called our Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and anandamide is one of the cannabinoids we naturally produce. When our ECS is not functioning properly, unbalanced levels of anandamide can lead to major depression and even schizophrenia.
Taking specific cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis can supplement and correct imbalances in our ECS. For depression, CBC, THC, and CBD each have positive effects but work in different ways.
CBC binds with the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, which are linked to pain perception, anandamide, and dopamine. Activating these channels elevates mood without any intoxicating side effects.
Study: CBC shows strong antidepressant effects
This study found that, of all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids, CBC had the most antidepressant-like effects. For the experiment, mice were given the same behavioral tests that have been used to examine how well new, potential antidepressant pharmaceutical drugs will work since the 1970s. All of the most prescribed antidepressants in the United States—Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), and Celexa (Citalopram)—have been put through the same tests as were run on cannabinoids CBC, CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN. On the first part of the test—a forced swim—CBC, CBD, and THC all showed significant antidepressant effects. In the second part of the experiment, a tail suspension test, only CBC and THC showed strong antidepressant effects. This separate study also found that “a CBC-extract displayed pronounced antidepressant effect in rodent models.”
While THC also showed powerful antidepressant results, THC offers a euphoric high due to the way it binds with the CB1 receptor. While its intoxicating effects can be pleasurable, too much can increase paranoia and anxiety. However, hemp-derived delta-8-THC is said to offer a smoother, more functional high that is less likely to produce nervous side effects than “regular” delta-9-THC.
Meanwhile, CBD has been shown to offer positive effects without intoxication. CBD’s anti-anxiety properties come from its activation of multiple serotonin and opioid receptors in the brain.
In this study on people with generalized social anxiety disorder, “CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort.” In a study on schizophrenic patients, CBD increased their anandamide levels and significantly improved their condition without the negative side effects associated with antipsychotic pharmaceutical drugs.
In addition to their effects on mental health, all cannabinoids are believed to offer many benefits for our brains and bodies. Scientific studies show that CBC’s therapeutic properties also have the potential to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, exhibit anti-tumor properties on certain cancer cells, promote healthy brain function, and inhibit acne.
How to take CBC and other cannabinoids
If you’re interested in adding CBC to your cannabinoid regime, you might try Rare Cannabinoid Company’s sublingual tinctures. All Rare Cannabinoid Company products are produced in an FDA-certified CGMP facility and undergo extensive third-party lab testing. The innovative company was the first in the world to create a purified THCV oil tincture and offers an array of cannabinoids with milligram potency clearly listed on the label, box, and website, and with third-party lab test results available online and via each package’s QR code.
With Rare Cannabinoid Company’s clinical, apothecary-style approach, people can easily customize their own specific cannabinoid blend or blends to suit their unique health and wellness needs.
For example, for depression, one could try Rare Cannabinoid Company’s pure 500mg CBC oil or 1:1 CBC CBD blend. These non-intoxicating cannabinoids could be taken at any time of day. Delta-8-THC could be added to the blend for euphoric mood elevation in the evening or at times when intoxication is not problematic.
Rare Cannabinoid Company also offers:
- THCV: Known for boosting energy and aiding appetite suppression
- CBN: Believed to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer (especially when combined with THC)
- Delta-8-THC: Purportedly offers a smoother, less anxious high than delta-9-THC, as well as offering similar pain, inflammation, and nausea relief benefits
- CBDA: Primarily known for its anti-nausea properties and similarities with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories)
- CBG: Studied for potential use against many diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s diseases, muscular sclerosis (MS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), and “superbug” MRSA
- Rare Hawaiian CBD: Full-spectrum CBD extracted from hemp grown in mineral-rich red dirt and Hawaii’s year-round tropical climate
- Extra high-strength 3000mg CBD: Designed to boost the CBD content of any other hemp or cannabis products
- 1:1 blends: THCV, CBN, CBG, or CBC blended one-to-one with full-spectrum Rare Hawaiian CBD
There’s an interesting history behind Rare Cannabinoid Company and its mix-and-match concept. The creators of the company started its sister brand, Hawaiian Choice, back in 2017. Focused on Hawaiian CBD infused with real Hawaiian fruits, essential oils, and honey, it quickly grew to be Hawaii’s most popular CBD brand and is now in more than 200 locations from New York to Tokyo. As rare or minor cannabinoids became better known, customers started inquiring about them.
“We add organic terpenes to our Hawaiian Choice CBD tinctures—Relax, Relief, Focus, and Active—for specific effects, so we considered emphasizing rare cannabinoids as well,” said founder and CEO of both companies, Jared Dalgamouni.
“Then we realized that a lot of customers and cannabis patients wanted a more clinical approach to cannabinoids, so they could mix and match cannabinoids depending on their specific needs or even time of day. We were surprised that no one was offering this apothecary-style concept, so we decided to fill that void by creating Rare Cannabinoid Company,” he said.
Both brands use CBD extracted from Hawaiian hemp, due to its superior quality thanks to mineral-rich red dirt and the islands’ year-round tropical climate. However, Hawaiian Choice has THC filtered to below lab detectable levels so it can be sold in Japan, while Rare Cannabinoid Company keeps the Hawaiian CBD as a full-spectrum oil (below 0.3% THC). Another difference between the brands is that Hawaiian Choice includes Hawaiian flavors and scents in all of its products. For example, their cooling CBD topical gel contains eucalyptus and lemongrass oils from the Big Island of Hawaii and their CBD gummies are actually a pȃte de fruit made of real Maui pineapple, passion fruit, and a hint of turmeric. They’re vegan, too!
There are also similarities between the brands. As Dalgamouni mentioned, Hawaiian Choice CBD oil tinctures contain added terpenes. Terpenes are ingestible essential oils found in hemp, cannabis, and other plants that affect aroma, taste, and treatment properties. Both terpenes and rare cannabinoids amplify the effects of full or broad-spectrum CBD or THC oils and can have very unique effects. Products from both brands can be combined to get the most out of cannabinoids and terpenes. Hawaiian Choice tinctures also taste good thanks to the addition of organic or wild gathered pineapple, passion fruit, hibiscus, noni, and Big Island honey.
Try these combinations for heightened effects:
CBC + Focus: For mood elevation and focus
Rare Cannabinoid Company 500mg CBC Single Extract
Hawaiian Choice Focus 750mg CBD with terpenes Alpha Pinene, Beta Pinene, and Limonene
THCV + Active: For energy and appetite suppression
Rare Cannabinoid Company 500mg THCV Single Extract
Hawaiian Choice Active 750mg CBD with terpenes Delta 3 Carene, Humulene, and Limonene
CBN + Relax: For relaxation and sleep
Rare Cannabinoid Company 500mg CBN Single Extract
Hawaiian Choice Relax 750mg CBD with terpenes Linalool, Myrcene, and Terpinolene
CBG + Relief: For pain and inflammation
Rare Cannabinoid Company 500mg CBG Single Extract
Hawaiian Choice Relief 750mg CBD with terpenes Eucalyptol, Humulene, and Gama Terpinene
Let us know if you have success with Rare Cannabinoid Company’s CBC oils for mood elevation or if you have a signature cannabinoid combination you’d like to share with Leafly readers!