Cannabinoid Report: CBE

September 16, 2019

Cannabielsoin (CBE) is one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. CBE was first mentioned in scientific literature in 1973 but with no information about the cannabinoid’s structure. Its structure was eventually established a year later by using cannabidiol (CBD) as the starting material. Later, in 1983, researchers at the Ohio State University performed “the first reported biologically catalyzed synthesis of Cannabielsoin as well as the first biotransformation of any cannabinoid by plant tissue culture systems.” The process by which CBE is formed was confirmed again in 1988 by a team of researchers in Japan. A year later, the same team of researchers conducted another study in order to further elucidate the formation process. Indeed, CBE is formed from cannabidiol (CBD) during the metabolic process – thus, CBE is a metabolite of CBD. Because CBD is non-psychoactive, the same can be said of CBE.

In 2008, a team of researchers in China discovered a 2,700-year-old tomb containing a large amount of cannabis. After careful research, they discovered that the cannabis still contained high concentrations of many cannabinoids. Although cannabinoids like CBC, CBN, and CBL were the most present and concentrated, there were still measurable amounts of CBD and CBE found within the plant.


CBE is not currently scheduled under any of the UN Conventions or under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States.


Like CBL, virtually nothing is known of CBE’s beneficial or adverse effects. In one of the first studies assessing the formation of CBE, it was found that CBE had little effect on inducing sleep or affecting body temperature in mice. CBE was also found to show negligible effects of inhibiting the human cytochrome, especially in comparison to CBD. These findings are not conclusive and do not necessarily speak to the characteristics of CBE.

Despite the lack of knowledge about CBE, many scientists are proponents of the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to the idea that the presence of all cannabis compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) will create a synergistic effect that may produce more optimal health benefits than the presence of only a few compounds. If this theory is correct, then CBE may be an essential component in producing those beneficial effects, especially considering its therapeutic parent, CBD. However, this is effectively just speculation; much more scientific research must be done before this theory can be considered conclusive.