Is CBC Natural or Synthetic?

Published August 16, 2021
Is CBC Natural or Synthetic? - Secret Nature

The cannabinoid CBC is one of the star ingredients of our REM Flow Capsules, so as we address synthetic cannabinoids, it’s natural for this non-intoxicating hemp compound to come up. No, CBC is not necessarily synthetic, but most CBC available online has been synthesized in one way or another. We’ll get into the details as we go on.

Is CBC synthetic? Quick Facts

  • CBC can be either synthetic or natural
  • Natural concentrations of CBC in cannabis are extremely low, though
  • As a result, most CBC is synthesized from another cannabinoid
  • The two cannabinoids most commonly used are CBD and CBG
  • The enzymatic process used to convert CBC is mild and non-toxic
  • No additional substances are usually added

1. What is the cannabinoid CBC?

Cannabichromene (CBC) is a natural cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp in small concentrations. Previously overlooked to a large degree, CBC has recently captured interest as people have started using it for pain and anxiety.

Like CBD, CBC is non-intoxicating, and it exerts relatively similar effects. While CBD is more soporific, though, CBC is more energizing, making it an ideal cannabinoid for sativa-dominant or otherwise energy-inducing hemp and cannabis products.

2. What’s the difference between CBC and CBD?

Both CBC and CBD are naturally found in Cannabis sativa, and neither cannabinoid has intoxicating attributes. Where CBD and CBD are currently most different is in production capacity: CBD is now plentiful, but CBC is still rare and hard to come by.

Users report that CBC and CBD have distinct effects, but the actual distinctions between these effects aren’t that major. CBD always seemed better paired with indicas anyway, so perhaps over time, CBC will become the more common cannabinoid in sativa hemp strains.

3. Is CBC man-made?

CBC is usually synthetic, but it isn’t always. Naturally found in Cannabis sativa, CBC is only available in quantities so small that manufacturers usually resort to conversion from another cannabinoid.

Thankfully, most cannabinoids are pretty similar to one another, and there’s a “Rosetta Stone” cannabinoid, CBGA, from which they almost all spring. The conversion process usually involves applying the enzyme that is naturally used to convert CBGA into CBCA to CBD or another base substance.

As a result, even the most synthetic CBC is only lightly synthetic. CBC is only derived from cannabis for economic reasons, and if this cannabinoid were naturally available in higher concentrations, there would be no reason to synthesize CBC any longer.

4. Is CBC a synthetic cannabinoid?

Right now, CBC is usually synthesized from CBD or CBG, but it isn’t inherently a synthetic cannabinoid since it’s naturally found in hemp and cannabis. CBC bears practically no resemblance to Spice and K2, intoxicating, dangerous synthetic cannabinoids that have given the whole discipline of cannabinoid synthesis a bad name.

5. What CBC strains are there?

Some high-THC cannabis strains, such as Maui Dream and 3 Kings, often contain high concentrations of CBC. Each individual batch of flower varies in cannabinoid content, though, and each strain has multiple phenotypes with distinct active compound profiles.

Furthermore, no existing cannabis or hemp strain contains more than 1% CBC. This cannabinoid is simply so rare that it will take a while for high-CBC strains to appear. For the time being, it’s much more reliable and satisfying to use CBC in isolated form.

5. What types of synthetic CBC are there?

CBC is usually synthesized either from CBD or CBG. The exact methods used vary, but in most cases, the natural enzymes that encode CBGA into other cannabinoids are used to elicit the desired chemical changes.

While it’s technically possible to derive CBC from artificial or otherwise non-cannabis substances, doing so would be absurdly cost-prohibitive. It’s already expensive enough to produce CBC compared to CBG or CBD, and that’s using the most efficient methods currently available.

6. Is synthetic CBC dangerous?

Danger is always introduced when you tinker with nature’s designs, and the case of synthetic CBC is no exception. At the same time, there’s no inherent reason that CBC should be dangerous, and compared to other modified cannabinoids, CBC appears to be quite benign.

As educated consumers, we see the term “synthetic” and balk immediately. The truth is, though, that synthetic can mean a lot of different things, and in the case of CBC, it usually just means that an equally harmless cannabinoid has been modified into a similar but distinct form.

So no, the vast majority of synthetic CBC (and, therefore, the vast majority of CBC in general) shouldn’t be any more dangerous than your average CBD or CBG product. Just be careful of brands that traffic mainly in synthetic cannabinoids like delta 10 and THCO: The CBC they produce is the most likely to be contaminated with useless or harmful substances.

8. Is CBC better than CBD for pain?

Most of the recent attention CBC has received has been due to its perceived usefulness for pain. A few studies have been published in recent years suggesting that CBC might interact with components of your nervous system that handle inflammation and inflammatory pain, and the internet has taken this news as proof CBC is the new “CBD for pain.”

We don’t even know how good CBD is for pain objectively, so we can’t establish the usefulness of CBC for pain in comparison to CBD. All we can say is that lots of people have used CBC for pain at this point, and while the placebo effect is always a possibility, there seems to be a significant difference between CBD and CBC when it comes to treating pain.

9. How long does CBC stay in your system?

CBC is like other cannabinoids in that it stays in your system for around 5-30 days. The amount of time CBC remains detectable in urinalysis is dependent on the amount you consume and your frequency of use.

If you use a lot of CBC and you use it often, it might remain detectable for as long as 30 days. Usually, though, cannabinoids leave your system considerably faster, and in any case, there are no drug tests for CBC yet, and there probably never will be. If your CBC products contain less than 0.3% THC, you’re practically guaranteed to pass a drug screening.

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