Cannabinoid Clinic: CBCA

 

Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA) is a minor cannabinoid and was first isolated in 1968 by Japanese researchers, two years following the discovery by Israeli researchers of the cannabinoid that it produces when decarboxylated, cannabichromene (CBC).


CBCA is an acidic precursor cannabinoid that is produced by cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), another acidic precursor and a special molecule that has been dubbed the "mother of all cannabinoids." This is due to the fact that CBGA synthesizes not only cannabigerol (CBG), but also the important acidic precursors CBDA and THCA. 


CBC is considered one of the four major cannabinoids produced by hemp and cannabis, along with cannabidiol (CBD), CBG, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The volumes of CBCA peak early in the growth of a cannabis plant due to the position of this cannabinoid in the overall biosynthetic pathway of this botanical species. In fact, mature plants typically feature only a fraction of one percent of CBCA in dry weight by volume (typically 0.2-0.3 percent in most cultivars) because most of the CBCA was converted to CBC during the growth cycle of the plant.


CBCA is one of the least researched cannabinoids. Thus, the volume of study data available for popular major cannabinoids such as CBD and THC far exceeds what has been produced for CBCA. The scant research that is available indicates that CBCA may be an effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of bacterial infections.


A study entitled "Rapid Antibacterial Activity of Cannabichromenic Acid against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus" published in the journal Antibiotics explored "a group of previously inaccessible phytocannabinoids and synthetic analogs were examined for potential antibacterial activity."


The research revealed that "CBCA elicited a...reduction in the bacterial load, indicating rapid bactericidal activity that is independent of cell density." This indicated that CBCA was better capable of fighting bacterial infection than the most popular conventional treatments, even when the infection had reached a large scale.


The scientists concluded that they had "identified a previously inaccessible phytocannabinoid compound, CBCA, to be effective against the increasingly prevalent and virulent bacterial pathogen MRSA." They reported that CBCA was "as efficacious as the current standard of care, the 'last resort' antibiotic vancomycin, at inhibiting the growth of MRSA."


The study revealed that CBCA was able to rapidly degrade the lipid membrane of the bacteria, something the report's authors stated will "enhance the clinical utility of this compound." However, the researchers noted that additional studies are necessary to "elucidate this compound's mechanism of action [and] pharmacodynamic properties."


"In an age of a waning antibiotic armamentarium, the discovery of a unique compound with anti-MRSA activity undoubtedly serves as an encouraging and universally welcomed finding," concluded the study's authors.


A study entitled "In Vitro Evaluation of the Interaction of the Cannabis Constituents Cannabichromene and Cannabichromenic Acid with ABCG2 and ABCB1 Transporters" that was published in the European Journal of Pharmacology explored the biochemical mechanisms surrounding the cannabinoids CBC and CBCA.


The study noted that the child molecule to CBCA, CBC, has demonstrated "anti-inflammatory properties...and anti-cancer properties," as well as potential antidepressant properties. The researchers concluded that their data indicate that CBCA features "anticonvulsant and antibacterial properties."


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