What is CBC (Cannabichromene)?


CBC (Cannabichromene), is a phytocannabinoid found in the cannabis sativa plant. A relatively rare and non-psychoactive one like CBD that, back in the day, was an incredibly abundant cannabinoid. Research limitations have pushed Cannabichromene (CBC) behind the spotlight compared to its celebrated cousins CBD and THC.

Some cannabis enthusiasts say that CBC is the next best alternative to CBD. But still, further research is needed to prove its pharmacological properties.

The history and culture of the cannabis plant date back to a thousand years cultivated for a myriad of purposes.

In my opinion, I suppose our forefathers made better use of this natural resource by utilizing it in all possible areas of life. That includes food and nutrition, medicines, textiles, building material, body care, and so on.

In particular, the massive development in science and technology has allowed us to study individual compounds of the plant that help to unfold its hidden therapeutic values.

This article aims to articulate the little known facts about CBC. In my experience, researching and writing about individual cannabinoids has simplified the complexity at the same time, exemplified the value of the Cannabis plant.


CBC is the most abundant naturally occurring cannabinoid, along with THC, CBD, and CBN. According to studies, freshly harvested dry-type Cannabis material contains CBC. Moreover, it also states that marijuana strains from the USA possess ample CBC content.

With regard to its uses, effects, and actions little is known. This is contrary to the reports that speak about CBC’s abundant availability.

To further clarify this, another study points out the need for extensive investigations on the concentrations of CBC in certain strains.

This inference is the outcome of the classification of the plant. That ‘drug type’ marijuana predominantly possesses higher concentrations of CBC than CBD. While ‘fiber type’ marijuana contains higher concentrations of CBD than CBC.

In other words, this assortment clearly distinguishes that some strains have more psychotropic potent, and some have more fiber potent.

Is CBC Psychotropic?

As per available research, CBC is not psychotropic. It is not scheduled by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

The key reason behind the non-psychoactive nature of CBC is that it does not interact much with CB1 receptors but exhibits some interactions with CB2 receptors.

At the same time, it binds with other receptors such as TRPV1 and TRPA1 that deal with pain management.

Also, the effect of CBC when co-administered with THC augments. But there are no published reports to clarify CBC’s pharmacological properties.


Biosynthesis of cannabinoids begins with non-enzymatic modification. A process that is key to individuate the major six cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, THCV, CBG, and CBC)

And, Decarboxylation, Isomerization, and Oxidation are the reactions that are part of this modification process.

Furthermore, studies show that this process begins with cannabigerolic acid (CBGA) transforming into the acid forms. They are Cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDA), Cannabichromene acid synthase (CBCA), and Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase (THCA).

Moreover, these three enzymes play a role in the biosynthesis of more than 60 cannabinoids.

Properties of CBC

Results on the pharmacological properties of CBC are available from limited studies only.

Based on limited animal studies, CBC could exert anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, analgesic, and antidepressant-like activities.

Inflammation and pain

A study has shown that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBC can be supported when administered alongside THC which is known under the term “entourage effect” – this phenomenon is already well researched for CBD & THC. Cannabichromene shows its anti-inflammatory properties by binding to TRPV and TRPA receptors directly within the cells and by therefore potentially blocking pain and inflammation.


A research team that had previously found out about the effects of CBD on acne also showed the same effect for CBC: CBC’s ability to reduce sebum production shows promise to research that CBC might become a “novel anti-acne agent”.


CBC might be a powerful cannabinoid when it comes to fighting cancer and the reason for this might be that it interacts with the body’s own endocannabinoids such as anandamide. Furthermore, it seems to inhibit its uptake so that more anandamide is longer available in the body. Anandamide is an unsaturated fatty acid that is produced by the body and is also known as the “happiness molecule”. Especially when it comes to breast cancer, anandamide has shown potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.The chemopreventive characteristics of cannabichromene are linked to a variety of cancers and show lots of potential.


Research on cannabinoids is gaining significant attention to study its applicability in pharmacology. For example, a study points out that CBD and CBC exhibited considerable effect on antidepressant like actions.

Cell growth

CBC’s property to promote new cell growth is being identified to fight migraine. At the same time, a study contends the potential of CBC to produce astroglial cells that could help fight against conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Quick Recap

  • Phytocannabinoids have a role beyond the endocannabinoid system.
  • CBC is one of the three most important cannabinoids that are extracted from CBGA
  • CBC seems to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-depressant properties
  • CBC binds more so to TRPV and TRPA receptors rather than CB receptors (as THC and CBD do)
  • An in-depth study on phytocannabinoids could open new avenues in the analysis of therapeutic applications of the whole cannabis plant and its extracts.
  • Growing conditions and extraction methods influence the proportion of every cannabinoid.
  • Cannabis Sativa does not directly produce THC, CBD, CBG, or CBC. It is responsible for generating its acidic precursors, which are THCA, CBDA, and CBCA because Cannabis sativa extracts are non-psychoactive. Only with the process of decarboxylation, during smoking or baking processes that take place usually above 105°C, the acid transforms into pure forms.

The validation of the therapeutic potential of CBC is essential. At the same time, there is wide scope and need for conclusive research to be carried out to prove its positive effects. Because the existing studies on CBC are based on rodent models and are inconclusive. This could be the reason, consumers have limited access to CBC at present.

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