What Is Cannabichromene?

The Hemp plant contains over 113 different cannabinoids that offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits. One beneficial cannabinoid is Cannabichromene, also known as CBC.

Here are the benefits and uses of this cannabinoid.

What is CBC?

CBC is also known as Cannabichromene. It is one of the big six cannabinoids of the cannabis plant. 

Although it was discovered almost 50 years ago, due to limited research, its therapeutic properties were not fully known. However, now it is gaining the attention it deserves. Just like all other cannabinoids, the precursor molecule of CBC is Cannabigerolic acid or CBGA. This precursor molecule produces CBCA or cannabichromene acid which converts into CBC under the action of various enzymes in the plant. 

CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid which means that its consumption cannot create intoxication.

How Does CBC work?

Cannabinoids offer therapeutic benefits because of their ability to interact with different systems of human body such as the endocannabinoid system. This system consists of different receptors such as CB1 and CB2 receptor. Different cannabinoids interact differently with these receptors and therefore produce different therapeutic benefits. 

In the case of CBC, its’ non-intoxicating nature is because of its inability to tightly bind with the CB1 receptor in the brain. However, CBC has a very promising therapeutic profile as it can bind with other receptors of the body such as transient receptor potential Ankyrin 1 and vanilloid (capsaicin) receptor 1.  [1]

Apart from the singular benefits CBC offers, researchers believe that CBC can synergistically work with other cannabinoids to produce the entourage effect. According to researchers, this phenomenon means that when all the cannabinoids work together they can enhance each other’s medicinal potential, therefore, the user experiences greater benefit.

Benefits of Cannabichromene

CBC is effective in a range of health conditions because it has the following therapeutic properties:

  • Antimicrobial 
  • antiviral 
  • anti-inflammatory 
  • analgesic  
  • antidepressant

Here are a few conditions that may benefit from Cannabichromene.


Cannabichromene can decrease pain although not as effectively as THC. However, it contributes to the overall analgesic effects offered by the hemp plant. Its interaction with various receptors in the body such as TRPA1 and TRPV1 increases the levels of bliss molecule or anandamide in the body that help in decreasing pain. Studies show that it can block pain that is associated with collagen depletion-induced osteoarthritis. Moreover, its analgesic effects are more prominent in the presence of other cannabinoids.


CBC can manage inflammation differently than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs because it does not produce any side effects. Studies show that CBC can reduce inflammation due to collagen breakdown-induced osteoarthritis. Researchers have also found in a recent study on animal models that CBC along with THC can offer remarkable anti-inflammatory effects.[2]

Positive effect on brain cells

Studies show that CBC can positively affect [3] the neural stem progenitor cells that are very important for the healthy functioning of our brain. It was found that the cells become more viable in the presence of Cannabichromene.


CBC has strong antimicrobial properties that enable it to inhibit acne. A research team studying the effects of CBD on acne found that CBC is also highly effective in managing acne.[4] As this skin condition results from excessive sebum production and inflammation of sebaceous glands, researchers concluded that the strong anti-inflammatory properties of CBC help in managing inflammation and also decrease the excessive production of lipids by the sebaceous glands. 


In another recent research study on the role of cannabinoids’ effectiveness against depression, scientists found that CBD in combination with CBC can provide strong antidepressant effects.[5]

Cancer Adjunct

CBD is gaining popularity as a cancer treatment adjunct because it may slow tumor growth. A study in 2006 looked at the role of CBC as a potential fighter against cancer. [6] It is believed that CBC is the second most effective tumor growth-inhibiting cannabinoid after CBG.



  1. Maione S, Piscitelli F, Gatta L, Vita D, De Petrocellis L, Palazzo E, et al. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anaesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;162(3):584–96.
  2. DeLong GT, Wolf CE, Poklis A, Lichtman AH. Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene and its modulation by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010;112(1-2):126-133.
  3. Shinjyo N, Di Marzo V. The effect of cannabichromene on adult neural stem/progenitor cells. Neurochem Int. 2013 Nov;63(5):432-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2013.08.002. Epub 2013 Aug 11. PMID: 23941747.
  4. Oláh A, Markovics A, Szabó-Papp J, Szabó PT, Stott C, Zouboulis CC, Bíró T. Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment. Exp Dermatol. 2016 Sep;25(9):701-7. doi: 10.1111/exd.13042. Epub 2016 Jun 15. PMID: 27094344.
  5. El-Alfy AT, Ivey K, Robinson K, Ahmed S, Radwan M, Slade D, Khan I, ElSohly M, Ross S. Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2010 Jun;95(4):434-42.
  6. Alessia Ligresti, et al, Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, September 1, 2006, 1375-2. 1387;

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