Medical Research

CBC…What is it?

Written by Sabine Downer

Why haven’t I heard of this cannabinoid yet?

Cannabis is a complex plant that can produce up to 100 different cannabinoids. You are familiar with the well-known THC and CBD. But what is CBC? Cannabichromene was discovered over 50 years ago and has since been the focus of medical research.

Similar to THC, CBC is found first in cannabis in another form. Cannabichromenic acid (CBCA) converts to CBC when exposed to UV light or heat. Unlike THC, the conversion from CBCA to CBC does produce a high. CBC has derivatives similar to other major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. These include cannabichromevarin (CBCV) and cannabichromevarinic acid (CBCVA).

Because it does not bind to the CB1 receptor in the endocannabinoid system, CBC is non-psychoactive. It has been shown to have a wide range of medical applications.

It has strong antibacterial properties [1]. It appears to have anti-inflammatory properties without inflicting the negative side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [2]. And it acts as a neuroprotectant [3] and anticonvulsant [4]. In fact, the anticonvulsant applications of CBC include CBCA, CBCV, and CBCVA as well as the well-known use of CBD. According to the study by Anderson, Et al, “Cannabis-based products are increasingly being used to treat refractory childhood epilepsies such as Dravet syndrome,” and CBC is “frequently detected in artisanal cannabis oils used in the community by childhood epilepsy patients” [4].

These properties and applications for CBC are only enhanced when combined with other cannabinoids. Due to the fact that every endocannabinoid system is as unique as the individual it belongs to, the specific effects of CBC are variable. However, as with most applications for cannabis, the cannabinoids work best together through the entourage effect.

Even though CBC was identified over 50 years ago and we have decades of research to show the potential benefits, there are currently no human studies being preformed to show the efficacy of this perticular cannabinoid and its benefits and applications.


1- Turner, C.E. & Elsohly, M.A. Biological activity of cannabichromene, its homologs and isomers. Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Aug-Sep 1981;21(S1):283S-291S. doi: 10.1002/j.1552-4604.1981.tb02606.x. Times cited=14. Journal impact factor=2.812

2- Zurier, R.B. & Burstein, S.H. Cannabinoids, inflammation, and fibrosis. FASEB Journal. 2016 Nov;30(11):3682-3689. doi: 10.1096/fj.201600646R.Times cited=31 Journal impact factor=4.966

3- Stone, N.L. Et al. A systemic review of minor phytocannabinoids with promising neuroprotective potential. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2020 Oct;177(19):4330-4352. doi: 10.1111/bph.15185.Times cited=9. Journal impact factor=8.739

4- Anderson, L.L. Et al. Cannabichromene, Related Phytocannabinoids, and 5-Fluoro-cannabichromene Have Anticonvulsant Properties in a Mouse Model of Dravet Syndrome. ACS Chemical Neuroscience. 2021 Jan 20;12(2):330-339. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.0c00677. Times cited=2. Journal impact factor=4.48

About the author

Sabine Downer