Can CBC fight depression? Studies show it may boost the brain’s ‘bliss’ molecule.
Have you ever thought that some people are just born happier than others? Perhaps surprisingly, science backs this theory. There’s a little-known brain chemical called anandamide that produces feelings of happiness. Some people naturally have more of it than others. How unfair is that?!
Thankfully, studies are now showing that we may all be able to boost our levels of anandamide with exercise, certain foods, CBD oil, THC and with the rare cannabinoid CBC (cannabichromene). CBC’s potential could be great news for those looking to elevate their mood naturally – without pharmaceuticals or psychoactive effects. Read on for the latest research into how CBC oil is believed to elevate anandamide and decrease depression. We’ll also delve into the pros and cons of other foods and cannabinoids that may boost levels of this bliss-producing molecule.
What is anandamide?
Anandamide is a fatty acid neurotransmitter. It was named after the Sanskrit word “ananda,” which means “happiness, pleasure, joy, bliss or delight.” Its positive name reflects the mental health benefits it offers as one of the most important endocannabinoids in the human body.
All humans – all vertebrates, in fact – have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). It is a complex cell-signaling system that affects our mental and physical wellbeing, including mood, sleep, anxiety, weight control and much more. Our ECS is always working to bring about a state of balance and is therefore considered a “homeostatic regulator.” When our ECS is not functioning properly, we can experience unbalanced levels of anandamide, resulting in problems including depression and even schizophrenia.
Cannabinoids found in hemp, cannabis and other plants each affect our ECS in a different way. While THC binds with the CB1 receptor, producing a psychoactive state of euphoria, CBC does not. Instead, CBC binds with other receptors, including TRPV1 and TRPA1. Without getting too clinical, these receptors are linked to pain perception and CBC’s activation of them increases levels of anandamide in the body. CBC therefore may help produce pleasure without intoxication.
Huge effect on anxiety, pain, happiness
Anandamide is naturally produced in our bodies and then broken down by the enzyme FAAH (fatty acid amino hydrolase). Once broken down, it leaves the body and no longer offers its blissful effects.
You can see the drastic effects of anandamide and FAAH in the following two studies:
Highlighting anandamide’s huge influence over mental health, a Scottish woman with a rare genetic mutation that resulted in her having elevated anandamide levels was found to be immune to anxiety and unable to experience fear or feel pain. Her extreme insensitivity to pain led her to suffer frequent burns and cuts but she healed from them quicker than most people would. You can read about her in this NY Times article.
Amazingly, the genetics behind anandamide may be responsible for the populations of entire countries feeling happier than others. Citizens of different nations were asked to rate their happiness levels and those findings were compared with their DNA make-up. Scientists found that the happiest nations had the highest rates of a genetic mutation. This mutation made them produce less of the enzyme FAAH. With less FAAH, they retained higher levels of anandamide. Conversely, the unhappiest nations had the lowest rates of this mutation and therefore the lowest levels of anandamide in their systems. See the study here.
Anandamide not only improves mood but has been found to reduce fear – as seen in this study on humans and mice – and may even affect pregnancy. This study found that high levels of anandamide are needed for ovulation.
CBC for depression?
As we see from the studies above, happier people have less of the FAAH enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide and therefore have higher levels of the bliss molecule.
This is where CBC comes into play. Both CBC and CBD are believed to inhibit the FAAH enzyme, with studies suggesting CBC may be the best non-psychoactive cannabinoid for depression.
In this scientific study, the anti-depressant activity of CBC and other cannabinoids was tested on mice. In one part of the study – a forced swim – CBC, CBD and Delta 9 THC all showed significant anti-depressant effects. In the second part of the study – a tail suspension test – CBC and Delta-9-THC were sid to have the most significant mood-elevating properties.
Of course, Delta-9-THC is the most-psychoactive component in cannabis (even more than Delta 8 THC, which did not do as well in the study). Therefore, if one is seeking to feel better, happier and more positive but not get high, CBC would be the best choice.
Further displaying CBC’s efficacy at fighting depression, this review of another study in the British Journal of Pharmacology states that “a CBC-extract displayed pronounced antidepressant effect in rodent models.”
CBD’s effect on anandamide levels
CBD has also been found to raise anandamide levels. Since each cannabinoid interacts differently with our ECS, it may be even more beneficial to take CBC along with CBD.
Here are a couple studies that show CBD’s mood lifting potential.
This study on people with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) showed that “CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort.”
This study showed how CBD and anandamide levels may combat schizophrenia. It compared the effects of CBD against those of a potent antipsychotic pharmaceutical drug on people between the ages of 18 and 50 who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The patients given CBD saw an increase in their anandamide levels and a significant improvement in their condition without the negative side effects experienced by those taking the drug.
Other ways to boost anandamide
In addition to non-psychoactive cannabinoids CBC and CBD as well as psychoactive THC, there are other ways to boost your anandamide levels.
Have you heard of a runner’s high? This study shows how vigorous exercise raises anandamide levels.
Craving chocolate? That may not be a bad thing as you can see from this study on how chocolate may raise the bliss chemical in your brain.
Black truffles – the fungi that grow underground and are sniffed out by pigs – can also boost anandamide levels.
Of course, real truffles are extremely expensive and difficult to find, THC will get you high, and too much chocolate may not be good for your waistline…
Where to buy CBC
If you’d like to supplement your chocolate, truffles and exercise with CBC and/or CBD, Rare Cannabinoid Company has the tinctures for you.
We offer a 500mg purified extract of CBC for sale in organic MCT coconut oil. It is naturally flavorless and is taken sublingually – meaning you shake the bottle and spray it under your tongue, hold for thirty seconds and then swallow. This is the fastest way for cannabinoid oils to take effect.
You can take it alongside our 500mg or 1000mg full spectrum Rare Hawaiian CBD oil or your own full or broad spectrum oil. We recommend taking any of our single extracts with a full or broad spectrum oil so that you get all the benefits of the entourage effect. In addition to CBD extracted from premium Hawaiian hemp, our Rare Hawaiian CBD oil also contains organic MCT coconut oil and is lightly flavored with organic, food grade Italian lemon and wild orange oils.
For a ready-mixed option, we also offer a one-to-one high CBC CBD blend. It contains 250mg CBC with 250mg full spectrum Rare Hawaiian CBD.
Benefits of THCV, CBG, CBN
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of different rare cannabinoids, please see our related blogs here:
Rare cannabinoids & THCV for sale
Rare Cannabinoid company offers an Apothecary of cannabinoids for you to mix and match with each other or take with our Rare Hawaiian CBD oil as well as one-to-one ready blends. Here are some of our top-selling products. We also offer free U.S. shipping.
THCV for sale as a 500mg THCV tincture in organic MCT coconut oil.
THCV oil blend contains 250mg THCV with 250mg full spectrum Rare Hawaiian CBD oil.
CBG oil for sale as a 500mg CBG tincture in organic MCT coconut oil.
CBN oil for sale as a 500mg CBN tincture in organic MCT coconut oil.
If you’re interested in broad spectrum CBD we would recommend you visit our sister brand Hawaiian Choice. Unlike Rare Cannabinoid
Company’s apothecary approach to cannabinoids, Hawaiian Choice was created to offer the tastes and scents of paradise along with premium Hawaiian CBD.
All Hawaiian Choice products contain premium broad spectrum CBD from Hawaiian hemp and are infused with real organic or wild gathered Hawaiian fruits, essential oils or honey. For example the real fruit CBD jellies – a grown-up version of CBD gummies – are vegan, low sugar, non GMO and taste fantastic as they are made from real pineapple, passionfruit and a hint of turmeric.