Cannabinoid Report: CBC

August 20, 2019


Cannabichromene (CBC) was discovered in 1966 by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and Y. Gaoni, and then almost simultaneously by Dr. Claussen and his team that same year. CBC is considered to be one of the most abundant naturally occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant (along with THC and CBD.) Because CBC does a poor job binding to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, it is considered to be a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Although CBC does not directly interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, studies show that it does, however, interact with the body’s TRPV1 and TRPA1 receptors, which may stimulate the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids – when endocannabinoids are synthesized, the CB2 receptor may become activated. Thus, CBC is a CB2 agonist.

The discovery of CBC quickly led to the discovery of four other CBC-type compounds. Just like THC and CBD, CBC is also derived from CBG-A. CBC typically occurs in its acid form, CBC-A, within the cannabis plant, but after enough time, or after being exposed to heat, CBC-A eventually produces CBC.


CBC is not scheduled under the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, nor is it scheduled in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act.


Scientists have only recently begun to explore the pharmacological effects of CBC. One study showed that, based on their remarkable anti-inflammatory properties, CBC and other cannabinoids have promise in becoming extremely efficient anti-acne treatments. In another study, both CBC and CBD were able to significantly reduce pain sensitivity in rats – because of this, CBC may be a useful component in pain-relieving treatments. CBC has also been shown to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation, thereby increasing intestinal motility. CBC may be an effective anti-bacterial agent, and may also be able to reduce symptoms of depression. CBC may even have the capacity to promote the growth of new brain cells, according to one study.

Although CBC was not tested specifically, a 2012 study showed that both CB1 and CB2 receptors can promote bone metabolism and growth. Because CBC indirectly stimulates the CB2 receptor, it is possible that CBC may be an effective agent in promoting bone growth. Similarly, a 2014 study showed that the endocannabinoid anandamide was highly effective in reducing the growth and spread of breast cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo. Because CBC stimulates many endocannabinoids, including anandamide, it is possible that CBC could be a useful tool in palliative cancer treatment.

A study in 2011 also confirmed that CBC is an effective anti-inflammatory agent, but that it is even more so when co-administered with THC. This finding provides compelling evidence for the theory known as the “entourage effect” – the idea that the presence of all cannabis compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) will create a synergistic effect that may yield a more optimal pharmacological effect than the presence of a mere singular compound.

Though these studies seem very promising, most of them were not done with human subjects. This is to say that results may vary once more in vivo human studies have been conducted.


Because research is still being done regarding the overall pharmacological effects of CBC, there is little known about its adverse effects. Because CBC is not psychoactive, it will not have the same short-term side effects as THC. Typically, non-psychoactive cannabinoids are not considered to be harmful.