What do we know about CBC?

What do we know about CBC?

Continuing our summary of the major cannabinoids, today I want to focus on cannabichromene (CBC), to see what we know about this compound so far.  

What is cannabichromene or CBC? 

Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of five major cannabinoids in Cannabis sativa L. besides THC, CBD, CBG and CBN. This non-psychoactive compound is often referred to as ‘the third cannabinoid’ because it’s the third most abundant cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. And just like most of its brother and sister compounds, it stems from the same mother cannabinoid (or precursor) CBGA. 


When we’re talking about the potential health benefits of CBC or any other cannabinoid for that matter, it’s important to keep in mind that the benefits of CBC are yet to be officially proven and the research done up to this point is still preliminary.
(See references to all research and studies used for this article at the bottom of this page)

What are the potential health benefits of CBC?


It seems that cannabichromene could be a helpful compound in the fight against cancer. According to several studies done over the last decade, cannabinoids, in general, have the ability to inhibit the reuptake of the natural endocannabinoid anandamide. Researchers are focussing their efforts on this compound, in the search for a potential medicine to slow down -or in some cases reduce - the growth of cancer cells.  

A study from 2006 shows that CBC is the second most potent cannabinoid inhibitor, (CBG was first, btw) allowing anandamide more time to do its magic, by slowing down our body’s ability to absorb it.

Pain and Inflammation:

The scientific community is fairly certain that CBD serves a major role in reducing pain and inflammation in our bodies. Now it seems that CBC is one of those major players too. Both CBD and CBC are thought to interact with specific proteins that are involved in how our bodies perceive and control pain and reduce inflammation.

It has to be said, however, that CBD has shown to be twice as effective in this process as CBC, especially if combined with the workings of other cannabinoids like THC through the Entourage Effect. But, that doesn’t diminish the fact that it is good news for the future of pain and anti-inflammatory medication without the side effects of present-day treatments, especially for those who are struggling with one of several forms of arthritis.    

Brain Cell protection:

A study done on mice in 2013 shows that CBC has a positive effect on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs). These NSPC’s make sure our neurotransmitters function correctly and protect our brain from oxidative stress and may even be beneficial to the all-round homeostasis of the brain.

If researchers can prove these initial finds, then this discovery could lead to new advancements in treating brain injuries and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.


Those anti-inflammatory properties we’ve previously talked about may also be helpful for people who have acne problems. It turns out that CBC’s anti-inflammatory action suppresses excessive lipid production in the sebaceous glands - which causes acne - by reducing the levels of arachidonic acid (AA). 

More research is needed to fully understand this mechanism, but there’s a good chance that CBC (together with CBDV and THCV) might one day be the next big thing in anti-acne treatment. 


We have known for a while now that cannabis, in general, may be a helpful treatment for depression. But, in 2010 a group of scientists wanted to see which cannabinoids would be most effective in that particular field of medicine. They discovered that both Delta(9)-THC and Delta(8)-THC, CBD as well as CBC might be the best candidates, while CBG and CBN seemed to be the least effective.     

Antibacterial and Antifungal:

Ever since the early 1980s, we know that most major cannabinoids have antibacterial and antifungal properties. 

The extent of those properties, however, didn’t become clear until much later. More recent studies have found that CBC and other cannabinoids are just as effective against a variety of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA or straph) and E. coli bacteria as the current antibiotics we use today. The big difference between these antibiotics and cannabinoids is that the latter doesn’t cause any negative side effects. 


List of references used for this article: 

Structure-dependent inhibitory effects of synthetic cannabinoids against 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced inflammation and skin tumour promotion in mice
Jun'ichi Nakajima, Dai Nakae, Ken Yasukawa
First published: 21 May 2013 https://doi.org/10.1111/jphp.12082

Anandamide inhibits breast tumor-induced angiogenesis
P Picardi 1, E Ciaglia 1, Mc Proto 2, S Pisanti 1
PMID: 25147760 PMCID: PMC4140423

Antitumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma
Alessia Ligresti, Aniello Schiano Moriello, Katarzyna Starowicz, Isabel Matias, Simona Pisanti, Luciano De Petrocellis, Chiara Laezza, Giuseppe Portella, Maurizio Bifulco and Vincenzo Di Marzo
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics September 2006, 318 (3) 1375-1387; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1124/jpet.106.105247

Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anaesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action
Sabatino Maione 1, Fabiana Piscitelli, Luisa Gatta, Daniela Vita, Luciano De Petrocellis, Enza Palazzo, Vito de Novellis, Vincenzo Di Marzo
PMID: 20942863 PMCID: PMC3041249 DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01063.x

Inhibitory effect of cannabichromene, a major non-psychotropic cannabinoid extracted from Cannabis sativa, on inflammation-induced hypermotility in mice
Angelo A Izzo 1, Raffaele Capasso, Gabriella Aviello, Francesca Borrelli, Barbara Romano, Fabiana Piscitelli, Laura Gallo, Francesco Capasso, Pierangelo Orlando, Vincenzo Di Marzo
PMID: 22300105 PMCID: PMC3417459 DOI: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01879.x

Pharmacological Evaluation of the Natural Constituent of Cannabis Sativa, Cannabichromene and its Modulation by Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol*
Gerald T. DeLong,1,2 Carl E. Wolf,3 Alphonse Poklis,3 and Aron H. Lichtman1
doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.05.019

The effect of cannabichromene on adult neural stem/progenitor cells
Noriko Shinjyo 1, Vincenzo Di Marzo
PMID: 23941747 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuint.2013.08.002

Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment
Attila Oláh 1, Arnold Markovics 1, Judit Szabó-Papp 1, Pálma Tímea Szabó 1, Colin Stott 2, Christos C Zouboulis 3, Tamás Bíró 1 4
PMID: 27094344 DOI: 10.1111/exd.13042

Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L
Abir T El-Alfy 1, Kelly Ivey, Keisha Robinson, Safwat Ahmed, Mohamed Radwan, Desmond Slade, Ikhlas Khan, Mahmoud ElSohly, Samir Ross
PMID: 20332000 PMCID: PMC2866040 DOI: 10.1016/j.pbb.2010.03.004

Biological activity of cannabichromene, its homologs and isomers
C E Turner, M A Elsohly
PMID: 7298870 DOI: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1981.tb02606.x

Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study
Giovanni Appendino 1, Simon Gibbons, Anna Giana, Alberto Pagani, Gianpaolo Grassi, Michael Stavri, Eileen Smith, M Mukhlesur Rahman
PMID: 18681481 DOI: 10.1021/np8002673

New potent and selective inhibitors of anandamide reuptake with antispastic activity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis
Alessia Ligresti,1 Maria Grazia Cascio,1 Gareth Pryce,2 Sanjitha Kulasegram,3 Irina Beletskaya,4 Luciano De Petrocellis,5 Bijali Saha,3 Anu Mahadevan,3 Cristina Visintin,2 Jenny L Wiley,4 David Baker,2 Billy R Martin,4 Raj K Razdan,3 and Vincenzo Di Marzo1,*
doi: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0706418

The Endocannabinoid Reuptake Inhibitor WOBE437 Is Orally Bioavailable and Exerts Indirect Polypharmacological Effects via Different Endocannabinoid Receptors
Inés Reynoso-Moreno1,2, Andrea Chicca1, Mario E. Flores-Soto3, Juan M. Viveros-Paredes2* and Jürg Gertsch1* https://doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00180

Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia
F M Leweke,1,2,* D Piomelli,3,4,* F Pahlisch,1,3 D Muhl,2,3 C W Gerth,2 C Hoyer,1,2 J Klosterkötter,2 M Hellmich,5 and D Koethe1,2

Back to blog