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Cannabichromene (CBC)

Ethan Parker

Written by: Ethan Parker

Updated on December 21, 2023

What is Cannabichromene (CBC)

While the world of cannabinoids is often dominated by more familiar names like CBD and THC, there’s a rising star quietly making waves in the background: CBC, or cannabichromene. Despite being less known, CBC is emerging as a cannabinoid of interest among researchers and wellness enthusiasts alike.

As we delve deeper into the world of cannabinoids, CBC is showing promise of becoming a significant player in the health and supplement industries. It’s time we familiarize ourselves with cannabichromene and unravel the mysteries behind its potential impact. To start, let’s dive into understanding what exact is CDC?

What is CBC?


Cannabichromene (CBC), also known as cannabichrome, cannanbichromene, pentylcannabichromene, or cannabinochromene, is one of the major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Its chemical structure is similar to other cannabinoids. CBC is derived from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), a process that also produces THC and CBD. However, unlike its more famous counterparts, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), CBC does not have psychoactive effects. It was first identified by scientists in 1966, and since then, researchers have been exploring its potential medicinal value.

How does CBC interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body?

Cannabichromene (CBC) interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body, but CBC’s interaction with the ECS is complex and not fully understood, requiring further research to fully elucidate its mechanisms. However, its potential therapeutic benefits in areas such as pain management, anti-inflammation, and neuroprotection are areas of active investigation. CBC primarily interacts with the ECS in the following ways:

Unlike THC, which directly binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBC does not bind strongly to these receptors. However, it may interact with other non-cannabinoid receptors in the ECS or influence the ECS indirectly. For example, CBC has been found to activate the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), both of which are involved in pain perception.

CBC appears to influence the levels of the body’s endogenous cannabinoids, like anandamide, by inhibiting their uptake and degradation. This enhances their presence and efficacy in the ECS.

CBC has demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties, although the exact mechanism is not fully understood. It’s speculated that these effects are mediated through its interaction with the ECS and other cell signaling pathways.

There is emerging evidence that CBC may have neuroprotective properties, possibly through its interaction with the ECS and modulation of neuroinflammatory processes.

What are the Benefits of CBC?

Although CBC is lesser-known cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but it has garnered interest due to its potential health benefits. While research is still in its early stages and more comprehensive studies are needed to fully understand its effects, some of the reported benefits of CBC include:

Anti-inflammatory Properties

CBC has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects, which could be beneficial in treating conditions associated with inflammation. Unlike nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), CBC achieves its anti-inflammatory action without the typical side effects associated with these medications. This makes it a potential alternative for managing conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and other inflammatory conditions.

Pain Relief

Studies suggest that CBC may contribute to the overall pain-relieving effects of cannabis. It seems to work by interacting with receptors that influence pain perception, potentially making it useful in the management of chronic pain.

Neuroprotective Effects

Early research indicates that CBC might have neuroprotective properties. It might support the survival and health of neural cells, which is essential in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This neuroprotective effect could open avenues for the use of CBC in the prevention or treatment of such diseases.

Antidepressant Activity

Some studies suggest that CBC may possess antidepressant properties. By influencing levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, CBC might help to alleviate symptoms of depression, though this area requires more extensive research.

Anti-cancer Potential

Preliminary research has explored the possibility of CBC inhibiting the growth of cancerous tumors. Its interaction with anandamide, a naturally occurring endocannabinoid, might play a role in this potential anti-cancer activity. However, this aspect is still under investigation, and more conclusive studies are needed.

Promotes Healthy Skin

CBC may have positive effects on the skin. It is thought to inhibit acne by regulating the production of sebum and reducing inflammation. These properties could make CBC a component in future skincare products, especially for acne-prone skin.

What is the process of CBC biosynthesis?

The synthesis of Cannabichromene (CBC) in the cannabis plant is a complex biochemical process involving the production of several compounds and enzymatic actions. The detailed breakdown of the 4 main steps involved production of GPP and olivetolic acid, synthesis of CBGA, conversion of CBGA to CBCA, decarboxylation of CBCA to CBC.

Production of Geranyl Pyrophosphate (GPP) and Olivetolic Acid

The first step in CBC synthesis involves generating two key precursor compounds: Geranyl Pyrophosphate (GPP) and Olivetolic Acid. GPP is synthesized through the combination of two smaller molecules, isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP), catalyzed by the enzyme geranyltransferase. Concurrently, Olivetolic Acid is produced through a separate pathway. This process involves the enzyme olivetolic acid cyclase (OAC), which catalyzes the cyclization of hexanoyl-CoA (a derivative of a simple fatty acid) with GPP.

Synthesis of Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA)

The synthesis of CBGA occurs through the combination of Olivetolic Acid with GPP. This crucial step is catalyzed by the enzyme CBGA synthase. CBGA synthase catalyzes a condensation reaction between these two molecules, forming Cannabigerolic Acid (CBGA).

Conversion of CBGA to Cannabichromenic Acid (CBCA)

CBGA serves as a common precursor for various major cannabinoids. In the synthesis of CBC, CBGA is converted into Cannabichromenic Acid (CBCA) through the action of the enzyme CBCA synthase.

Decarboxylation of CBCA to CBC

CBCA undergoes a decarboxylation reaction under the influence of heat or UV light, where a carboxyl group is removed, and carbon dioxide (CO2) is released, converting it into Cannabichromene (CBC).

Biosynthesis of Cannabichromene (CBC)

CBC vs. CBD – What are the Difference?

Cannabichromene (CBC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, but they differ in chemical structure, psychoactive effects, mode of  interaction with the ECS, potential therapeutic benefits and research.

Chemical Structure

While both CBC and CBD share a similar molecular backbone, their chemical structures have distinct differences. These structural variations affect how each cannabinoid interacts with various receptors and systems in the body.

Psychoactive Effects

Both CBC and CBD are non-psychoactive, meaning they do not produce the ‘high’ associated with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This makes both cannabinoids appealing for therapeutic purposes without psychoactive side effects.

Mode of Interaction with the Endocannabinoid System

CBC interacts with the endocannabinoid system primarily by influencing the levels of endogenous cannabinoids like anandamide. It does this by inhibiting the uptake of anandamide, allowing it to remain in the bloodstream longer​​​​​​​​.

CBD, on the other hand, is known for its ability to interact with a variety of receptors outside the traditional cannabinoid receptors, including serotonin receptors. CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system is more indirect compared to other cannabinoids.

Potential Therapeutic Benefits

CBC has been studied for its potential anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant, and neuroprotective properties. It has also shown potential in promoting healthy skin and stimulating bone growth.

CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective effects. It is widely recognized for its potential in treating conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Research and Availability

CBD is one of the most researched and widely available cannabinoids in the market, found in various products including oils, tinctures, and topical creams.

CBC, while gaining interest, is less researched and not as commonly found in commercial products compared to CBD.

Ethan Parker
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