You've heard of cannabinoids, particularly THC and CBD, which are the most well-known. But you've probably never heard of cannabichromene or CBC. CBC is one of the "big six" cannabinoids studied in medical research, having been discovered more than 50 years ago. Although it does not receive as much attention, the effects of CBC are quite promising.

THC and CBD are both derived from cannabigerol acid, which is where CBC comes from (CBGA). CBGA is a precursor of three main cannabinoids: tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA), cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), & cannabichromene acid (CCA) (CBCA).

The breakdown product is "directed" into one of three lines by the specific plant enzymes that cascade and "direct" it. After exposure to heat or ultraviolet light, it changes from CBGA to cannabichromene carboxylic acid (CBCA) and ultimately to CBC.

CBC Works With Other Cannabinoids

Because CBC is non-intoxicating, it does not create the same euphoric effects as THC. Because it binds weakly to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it is non-intoxicating. However, CBC binds to other receptors in the body, including TRPV1 (vanilloid receptor 1) and TRPA1 (transient receptor potential ankyrin 1), all of which are involved in pain perception. Increased quantities of the body's endogenous endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, are released when CBC activates these receptors.

While CBC has distinct effects, researchers believe it also works synergistically with other cannabinoids, a phenomenon known also as an entourage effect. Although the effect of THC and CBD functioning together is well-known, it is unclear whether other cannabinoids have entourage effects.

CBC’s Medicinal Potential

The alleged advantages of CBC have far-reaching consequences. A few medical issues that cannabichromene may help with are listed below.


Cannabichromene's interaction with the body's endogenous endocannabinoid, anandamide, may make it a formidable cancer fighter. CBC also appears to reduce anandamide uptake, allowing it to stay in the bloodstream for longer.

Cannabinoids were found to be beneficial in reducing both inflammation and tumor formation in a recent study in which tumor growth was induced in mice (two-stage mouse skin carcinogenesis model). Given that anandamide has been found to inhibit breast cancer in vitro, CBC or other cannabinoids may one day be used as a chemopreventive agent.

Pain and Inflammation

Cannabichromene has been demonstrated to reduce pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis caused by collagen. Cannabinoids like CBC have a different effect on inflammation than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and they don't have the same negative effects. In a recent animal study, CBC in conjunction with THC showed a strong anti-inflammatory response; together, the two cannabinoids provided a significantly higher effect on inflammation than either cannabinoid alone.

Brain Cells

CBC showed a favorable effect on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs), a cell important for proper brain function, in a 2013 mouse research. When NSPCs were exposed to CBC, they became more viable, which is promising because NSPCs differentiate into astroglial cells, which are the most critical in maintaining brain homeostasis. The astroglial cells have a variety of roles, including neurotransmitter direction and oxidative stress defense. Many of the difficulties that cause neurological disorders and brain pathologies like Alzheimer's disease are counteracted by astrocytes: oxidative stress, inflammation, and toxicity.


A research team that had previously demonstrated CBD's effect on acne looked into the effects of additional cannabinoids, including CBC. Indeed, CBC has been proved to be an effective acne inhibitor. Acne is a skin condition marked by excessive sebum production and irritation of the sebaceous glands. CBC was discovered to have potent anti-inflammatory actions as well as suppress excessive fat production in the sebaceous glands. Arachidonic acid (AA), which is required for lipogenesis, was likewise decreased by CBC. More research is needed, but CBC could become a very effective anti-acne medication in the future.


In yet another great example of the entourage effect, CBC appears to function in tandem with THC and CBD to provide a trifecta of antidepressant effects.

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