Cannabicyclol (CBL) - A cannabinoid in need of investigation
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What is Cannabicyclol?
- Name: Cannabicyclol
- Formula: C21 H30 O2
- IUPAC Name: (1aR- (1a alpha, 3a alpha, 8b alpha, 8c alpha)) - 1a, 2, 3, 3a, 8b, 8c-hexahydro-1,1,3a-trimethyl-6-pentyl-1H- 4-oxabenzo (f) cyclobut (cd) inden-8-ol
- Molar mass: 314.469 g/mol
Cannabicyclol, also called CBL, is one of the least known and studied cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Although it is commonly found in many varieties, in particular those with a higher content of CBC (Cannabichromene), the amount of CBL produced in trichomes is always very low, so it doesn't usually receive the attention given to other, more plentiful compounds of the plant with a much more noticeable presence, such as THC, CBD or CBN.
One of the main characteristics of CBL is the absence of psychoactivity in its effect, which is why it is not listed in the Convention of Psychotropic Substances. In fact, CBL shares its formula with many of the other phytocannabinoids produced by cannabis, even with psychoactive compounds, although it differs slightly - as in the other cases - in its structure, in the ordering of the atoms that make up the molecule, meaning that its effects vary enormously. For example, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol (the main psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis) and CBL differ mainly in the absence of double bond in the second molecule.
As with other cannabinoids found in marijuana, CBL comes essentially from the degradation of another compound. In this case, Cannabicyclol comes from the degradation of CBC, mainly by the action of light; When the CBC is subjected to oxygen or UV light, CBL is obtained. The plant produces very small amounts of CBL-A, the acidic form of CBL. However, it is very difficult to decarboxylate CBL, being the most resistant cannabinoid to this process, so getting the active form (CBL) from the acid (CBL-A) is really complicated.
As we saw in our article about Cannabinol (CBN), in the case of cannabis there are several cannabinoids that come from the degradation or transformation of other compounds. In fact, as is well known today, CBG (Cannabigerol) is the precursor of the different cannabinoids found in marijuana.
Properties of CBL
Given that, as we have seen, cannabis plants produce only a small quantity of this cannabinoid, research on this compound is unfortunately also very scarce. Many more studies are needed to determine the possible medicinal properties of CBL, although until now the scientific community has maintained a rather skeptical attitude towards them. Another route that researchers can take is the possible interaction between CBL and the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes in the known entourage effect.
However, recent studies by Steep Hill Labs have shown promising conclusions, especially regarding the anti-inflammatory potential and anti-tumor effect of CBL. Even so, the available information is scarce and a much deeper investigation is required in order to reach conclusive results.
The future of CBL
Although the conclusions presented by Steep Hill Labs are promising regarding certain therapeutic properties of CBL, many more studies are necessary to corroborate them. However, it seems unlikely that - at least in the near future - the scientific community will focus its attention on this compound, as there are other cannabinoids with a much greater potential and which are also found in much more abundance in cannabis plants, especially THC and CBD.
So, as in todays market we can find dozens of seeds of CBD genetics and products rich in CBD, it doesn't seem likely that we will soon see products or varieties high in CBL. We sincerely hope that the investigation advances and we'll be able to know more about this compound in the future.