What is Cannabichromene?

Cannabichromene (CBC) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with a multitude of potential therapeutic benefits. Like the better known cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), CBC is formed from the acid form of cannabigerol (CBG), known as cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). Furthermore, CBC is commonly seen in hemp and CBD-rich cannabis plants. CBC has been linked to some potentially impactful therapeutic applications, much like those associated with CBD.

What Does the Research Show About Cannabichromene?

Research indicates CBC indirectly interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to stimulate the activity of the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoids. Also, CBC has also been shown to interact with a number of other receptors in the body. These receptors include the TRPV1 (transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1) and TRPA1 (transient receptor potential ankyrin 1) which are associated with transmission of inflammation signals and how the brain perceives pain.

Cannabichromene has been found to reduce pain in animal models. A 2011 study from the British Journal of Pharmacology concluded that CBC and CBD could both fight pain by “interacting with several target proteins” involved in pain control at the spinal level.

Cannabichromene has also been shown to be a powerful inhibitor of acne. As the most common skin disease, acne is characterized by excess sebum production and pore inflammation. CBC appears to exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory properties and suppression of excessive sebum production.

In one of the earliest studies involving CBC published in 1981, researchers found that CBC exhibited “strong” antibacterial activity. Furthermore, a more recent 2008 study concluded CBC and other cannabinoids showed “potent activity” against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

More Research About Cannabichromene?

Cannabichromene may also be beneficial in treating depression. A 2010 animal study found “significant” antidepressant effects with both CBC and CBD.

In a 2013 animal study, CBC was shown to have a “positive effect” on neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs), which are essential to healthy brain function. This finding suggests CBC may play an important role in reversing processes such as oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain leading to beneficial effects in diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Furthermore, research suggests CBC may be most effective when combined with other cannabinoids and terpenes (known as full spectrum oil) in order to maximize the therapeutic potential the whole cannabis plant offers. Therefore, although much more research needs to be done, cannabinoids like CBC show exciting potential to positively impact a wide array of medical conditions affecting millions of people every day.


Maione S et al; Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the descending pathway of antinociception in anaesthetized rats through several mechanisms of action; British Journal of Pharmacology; 2011 Feb; 162(3): 584 – 596.

Olah A et al; Differential effectiveness of selected non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte functions implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment; Experimental Dermatology; 2016 Sep; 25(9): 701 – 707.

Turner C et al; Biological activity of cannabichromene, its homologs and isomers; Journal of Clinical Pharmacology; 1981 Aug-Sep; 21(S1): 283S – 291S.

Appendino G et al; Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study; Journal of Natural Products; 2008 Aug; 71(8): 1427 – 1430.

El-Alfy A et al; Antidepressant-like effect of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L; Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior; 2010 Jun; 95(4): 434 – 442.

Author Bio:

Dr. Wright Penniman M.D. is a board certified family physician with 15 years of clinical experience and 4 years of experience as a medical director with a major health insurance company.

Article written by Dr. Wright Penniman M.D.


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