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CBC or cannabichromene: What it is, Effects and Properties

CBC what is it

In the exciting world of cannabis, new compounds with unique properties and therapeutic potential are continually being discovered. One of these compounds is CBC or cannabichromene, an emerging cannabinoid that is gaining attention and arousing the interest of researchers and cannabis enthusiasts. In this post, we tell you in detail what CBC is, its distinctive features, properties, effects, legality and the impact it could have on the cannabis and CBD flower scene.

What is the CBC?

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the many non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. It was first isolated in 1966 by the research team of Dr. Gaoni and Dr. Mechoulam when studying the components of cannabis (1).

Its precursor is CBCA or cannabichromenic acid, which is predominantly found in young Cannabis sativa plants , so CBC concentrations naturally decrease over time (2).

There are some CBC-rich cannabis plants that have resulted from years of selective crossing. Plants with high concentrations of CBC are said to have up to 90% of this cannabinoid when the first true leaves emerge and decreases to 1 to 5% as the plant matures (3).

Differences between CBC, THC and CBD

CBC shares some similarities with CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the two most studied cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.

CBC, THC and CBD have the same molecular structure, consisting of 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms and two oxygen atoms (its chemical formula is C21H30O2). But their chemical arrangement and functional groups differ, leading to variations in their effects on the organism.

Like CBD, CBC does not produce a psychoactive effect like that associated with THC, making it a more attractive option to take advantage of its properties.

Another peculiarity is that CBC ratios tend to be higher with light reduction, which distinguishes it from the other cannabinoids CBD and THC, which decrease if light exposure is reduced (3). In addition, cannabichromene can be transformed into cannabicyclol (CBL) by the action of heat (13).

What effects does CBC have on the endocannabinoid system?

Cannabichromene exerts its effects on the human body by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for maintaining balance in various physiological processes. The endocannabinoid system has two fundamental receptors (CB1 and CB2) and endocannabinoid substances, which interact with them. However, there are also other receptors that are affected by endocannabinoids, such as transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors.

CBC does not interact with the CB1 receptor, but has the ability to interact with the CB2 receptor in a peculiar way, as it inhibits the receptor inactivation that is exerted by endocannabinoids (5). When CBC binds to the CB2 receptor, it prevents the receptor from being deactivated, usually by the action of endocannabinoids when they bind to it. In other words, CBC helps prolong CB2 receptor activity by preventing its deactivation by the body’s natural endocannabinoids.

The CB2 receptor has several key functions, including modulation of the immune system, anti-inflammatory action, analgesic effects, neuroimmune protection and regulation of cell proliferation.

In addition, cannabichromene may interact synergistically with other components of cannabis, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, helping to modulate or potentiate their effects. This is known as the entourage effect of cannabis.

These properties of cannabichromene may have implications for the effects of cannabis and its potential benefits.

Potential benefits and medical applications of CBC

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative.

Scientific research has demonstrated multiple therapeutic effects of CBC. CBC has been studied for its anti-inflammatory (6), sedative and analgesic properties (7, 8).

Its therapeutic effects, such as the reduction of pain and inflammation (9), are related to the interaction of CBC with TRP cation channels (TRPA1, TRPV1-4 and TRPV8) (6).


In addition, in a study with mice, it was observed that CBC may have a slight antidepressant effect (10). It has been shown that CBC can inhibit the absorption of anandamide (11), an endocannabinoid related to mood regulation, which could increase anandamide levels in the body and reduce depression.

Other properties of CBC

CBC has also been investigated for its potential as an anticancer agent. Some studies suggest that it may inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells, such as breast, prostate, colorectal and gastric cancer cells (8). Although more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential in animals and humans.

On the other hand, the CBC can control intestinal motility, which are the movements exerted by the digestive system to promote the transit of its contents. It does so through its interaction with TRPA1 receptors and CB2 receptors (5), which is of interest for inflammatory bowel diseases where there is an alteration of motility.

* You may be interested in: CBD for the gut

Another documented characteristic of CBC is its antibacterial capabilities that have been demonstrated against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (12).

How is the CBC taken?

CBC is produced in small amounts in the cannabis plant and also decreases in concentration as the plant ages. Therefore, it is difficult to find this cannabinoid in high concentration in CBD flowers andCBD Resin.

We usually find it in small amounts in products such as cannabis flowers from strains with predominant concentrations of CBC, hashish made from such cannabis, extracts, full-spectrum CBD oils and edibles made from these extracts, such as cannabis gummies. Here it should be noted that the CBC content may be different for each marijuana strain and product.

Isolated CBC products also exist, although they are less common than CBD and THC products. These products focus on delivering CBC in concentrated form, often as tinctures or capsules. Its origin may be synthetic, since CBC can be synthesized from olivetol (13). However, availability may vary depending on local regulations in the country where you are located.

See all CBD oils

Legality of the CBC: Is it legal?

In many countries, the cannabinoid CBC is not specifically regulated and its legality may vary from country to country. Nor does it receive much importance within the recreational cannabis sector, since CBC does not have psychoactive properties. In general, cannabichromene is not illegal as long as it is not derived from the marijuana plant or THC, but from hemp plants. Depending on the country, there may be additional regulations, such as a ban on the use of cannabinoids in products for oral consumption.

If you intend to travel with cannabis, we recommend that you inform yourself about the legislation applicable in the country of destination.

Near Future of the CBC: Importance of Research

It is crucial to keep in mind that the future of CBC and its commercial availability depend on factors such as regulatory frameworks, scientific discoveries and consumer demand. As with any cannabinoid, more research and clinical studies are needed to fully understand its efficacy, safety and potential medical applications.

Although the future of CBC is uncertain, as scientific knowledge and understanding of cannabinoids advances, CBC stands out as a promising cannabinoid with unique properties and effects. Thus, if research continues to reveal health benefits of CBC, perhaps products containing it could become more widely available and contribute to the demystification of cannabinoid compounds worldwide.

At Cannactiva we are waiting for you with the best CBD cannabis strains and products with full spectrum cannabidiol, where minor cannabinoids such as CBC are found:

Note: This is an informational article and is not intended to prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. Its content can complement, but should never replace, the diagnosis or treatment of any disease or symptom. Cannactiva products are not medicines and are intended for external use. There may be new relevant scientific evidence since the date of publication. Consult with your physician before using CBD. The therapeutic approach must always be personalized and will depend on the professional assessment.

  1. Gaoni, Y., & Mechoulam, R. (1966). Cannabichromene a new active principle in hashish, Chem. Commun. 20-21.
  2. Andre, C. M., Hausman, J. F., & Guerriero, G. (2016). Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules. Frontiers in plant science, 7, 19.
  3. de Meijer, E.P.M., Hammond, K.M. & Micheler, M. (2009). The inheritance of chemical phenotype in Cannabis sativa L. (III): variation in cannabichromene proportion. Euphytica 165, 293-311.
  4. Morales, P., Hurst, D. P., & Reggio, P. H. (2017). Molecular Targets of the Phytocannabinoids: A Complex Picture. Progress in the chemistry of organic natural products, 103, 103-131.
  5. Izzo, A. A., Capasso, R., Aviello, G., Borrelli, F., Romano, B., Piscitelli, F., Gallo, L., Capasso, F., Orlando, P., & Di Marzo, V. (2012). Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice. British journal of pharmacology, 166(4), 1444-1460.
  6. DeLong, G. T., Wolf, C. E., Poklis, A., & Lichtman, A. H. (2010). Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene and its modulation by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Drug and alcohol dependence, 112(1-2), 126-133.
  7. Davis, W. M., & Hatoum, N. S. (1983). Neurobehavioral actions of cannabichromene and interactions with delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol. General pharmacology, 14(2), 247-252.
  8. Izzo, A. A., Borrelli, F., Capasso, R., Di Marzo, V., & Mechoulam, R. (2009). Non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids: new therapeutic opportunities from an ancient herb. Trends in pharmacological sciences, 30(10), 515-527.
  9. Maione, S., Piscitelli, F., Gatta, L., Vita, D., De Petrocellis, L., Palazzo, E., de Novellis, V., & Di Marzo, V. (2011). Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anaesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action. British journal of pharmacology, 162(3), 584-596.
  10. El-Alfy, A. T., Ivey, K., Robinson, K., Ahmed, S., Radwan, M., Slade, D., Khan, I., ElSohly, M., & Ross, S. (2010). Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 95(4), 434-442.
  11. De Petrocellis, L., Ligresti, A., Moriello, A. S., Allarà, M., Bisogno, T., Petrosino, S., Stott, C. G., & Di Marzo, V. (2011). Effects of cannabinoids and cannabinoid-enriched Cannabis extracts on TRP channels and endocannabinoid metabolic enzymes. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1479-1494.
  12. Turner, C. E., & Elsohly, M. A. (1981). Biological activity of cannabichromene, its homologs and isomers. Journal of clinical pharmacology, 21(S1), 283S-291S.
  13. Nguyen, G. N., Jordan, E. N., & Kayser, O. (2022). Synthetic Strategies for Rare Cannabinoids Derived from Cannabis sativa. Journal of natural products, 85(6), 1555-1568.

Masha Burelo
Investigadora en cannabinoides | Doctoranda en Neurociencia

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