What is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

Alternaleaf Team
Written by
Alternaleaf Team
Jan 1, 2023
Last updated:
Sep 22, 2023

Each cannabis plant contains dozens of medicinal cannabinoids that affect our body and mind differently. Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the most common cannabinoids, but it doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.

What Is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

CBC is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It’s a minor cannabinoid and has a similar structure to THC and CBD. This is because they’re all derived from the same compound, CBGA. As the cannabis plant matures, CBGA converts into three different compounds: THC, CBD, and CBC.

CBC was first discovered over 50 years ago and is considered one of the “big six” cannabinoids. It’s found in cannabis strains with a recessive gene, meaning it’s possible to breed plants with high CBC content deliberately.

Is CBC Intoxicating?

Besides CBD, CBC is one of the most common non-intoxicating medicinal cannabinoids. It won’t cause any intense psychoactive effects like THC does. So you won’t experience effects like euphoria or altered perception from pure CBC.

Instead, CBC works more like CBD, influencing pain and inflammation responses. The reason? CBC interacts with our body in a different way than THC.

How Does CBC Work?

Like all cannabinoids, CBC interacts with receptors in our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a fascinating system vital for homeostasis, keeping our body regulated in a healthy way.

There are many different receptors in the ECS throughout our whole bodies. And they’re prevalent in the immune and nervous systems. These receptors are designed to interact with cannabinoids that occur naturally in our bodies (like anandamide). But they also interact with other cannabinoids, like those found in the cannabis plant.

THC is psychoactive because it interacts with a common receptor in our nervous system (CB1). CBC, meanwhile, doesn’t interact with CB1 receptors, which explains why it has no mind-altering effects.

But it does interact with other essential receptors. One is the vanilloid receptor (or TRPV1), which is responsible for our sensation of pain and heat. Similarly, CBC interacts with TRPA1 - also known as the Wasabi receptor, which causes sensations of pain, cold, and itchiness.

What Does the Research Say About CBC?

soap bubbles, close up that look like molecules. blue
There is a lot of new research into this minor cannabinoid that is worth getting excited about

Researchers have explored whether CBC could help with conditions as varied as epilepsy, cancer and depression. And the results are promising.

Mood Booster and Antidepressant

Researchers are exploring whether CBC and other cannabinoids could help treat depression. One team found that CBC showed “antidepressant-like” effects in mice.

This research explores if CBC could help boost mood and alleviate depression by allowing natural cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) to stay in the bloodstream for longer. Anandamide, a common endocannabinoid, is known as the “bliss molecule” and is crucial for controlling our mood. With anandamide sticking around for longer, it’s possible there could be an antidepressant effect.

Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Relief

One study found that CBC reduced inflammation in the digestive tracts of mice. There’s also evidence that CBC could reduce inflammation in the skin that leads to acne. The study's authors said, “CBC [and other cannabinoids] show promise to become highly efficient, novel anti-acne agents.”

CBC could also be an effective pain relief treatment. For example, one study found CBC reduced pain response in mice.

Anticonvulsant for Epilepsy

In 2021, researchers showed that CBC can reduce seizures in patients with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. CBD is already approved to treat Dravet syndrome in Australia, and some patients also use cannabis oils that contain CBC.

Is CBC Safe?

CBC is widely considered a safe medicinal cannabinoid, and there are no reported problematic side effects at typical doses. Because CBC is not psychoactive, when taken alone, it won’t cause any unwanted side effects of THC, such as paranoia or anxiety.

CBC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, which is considered a relatively safe drug. Of course, like any medicine, it’s important to take the correct dose, so speak with your doctor about what you need.

CBC A Medicinal Cannabinoid to Boost Your Mood

CBC is a fascinating compound undergoing research for depression, pain and even acne. But medicinal cannabis is unique because, in every treatment, cannabinoids work together in complex ways to provide symptom relief.

Because your symptoms, history, and experiences are unique, your medical cannabis formulation should be too. Book a consultation with a doctor at a medical cannabis clinic or your local GP to learn more and find out if medical cannabis could be the right treatment for your chronic condition.

Related articles