What is CBC? – A scientific update

A scientific summary of what we know about CBC so far

A simplified summary of CBC (Cannabichromene)

For the full and scientific summary, scroll down.

CBC is one of the four major cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, besides THC, CBD, and CBN and is mostly present in fresh cannabis flower and leaves, before they are harvested and dried. The one thing that sets CBC apart from the other major cannabinoids is that CBC seems to have more of an “assistant-role” in our endocannabinoid system (ECS). This means that CBC is partly responsible for an increase in the number of endocannabinoids available for the body to work with.

Medicinal benefits of CBC

According to early research, CBC seems to have positive effects on the following (medical) conditions:

– CBC has shown to have a positive influence on our digestive system.
– CBC seems to help with our ability to detect and deal with the sensation of pain.
– CBC can increase our appetite.
– CBC seems to elevate our mood and may help to reduce feelings of depression.
– CBC may help us sleep faster and longer.
– CBC has potential as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Research is being done on CBC as a possible alternative for antibiotics.

CBC and the entourage effect

According to early research, CBC seems to be more effective if combined with the terpenes Caryophyllene Oxide and Limonene or with the cannabinoids CBD and THC (at low doses).

A scientific summary of Cannabichromene (CBC)

Cannabichromene (CBC) is the fourth major cannabinoid in cannabis (alongside Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), and cannabinol (CBN)). It is particularly abundant in freshly harvested cannabis products. CBC derives from an acidic precursor named cannabichromenic acid (CBCA), which is in turn originated from a common precursor called CBGA.

Heat or UV light trigger a reaction known as decarboxylation, which involves the loss of a carbon dioxide molecule from CBCA, with the resulting conversion of this acidic precursor to CBC.

CBC extracts through cold water extraction

Cannabis extractions with a high CBC content can be obtained through a “cold water extraction” of immature leaf material from selectively cultivated cannabis chemotypes. This technique allows, among other things, to obtain undamaged trichomes preserving most of the substances contained inside – including volatiles such as terpenes, which are normally diminished during the drying and curing phases.

CBC provides the body with more endocannabinoids

CBC was shown to be a potent activator of the receptors named “transient receptor potential ankyrin 1-type” (TRPA1) (1) and to inhibit the endocannabinoid cellular re-uptake (2) and the subsequent elevation of local endocannabinoid levels . This means that CBC is partly responsible for an increase in the number of endocannabinoids available for the body to work with (bio-availability).

Medicinal benefits of CBC

Both endocannabinoids and TRPA1 are known to be involved in the control of intestinal motility (3) and in the detection of pain (phenomenon known as antinociception) with a positive effect on pain perception (analgesic effect), increase of appetite and mood elevation.

Additionally, CBC displays an antibiotic/antifungal, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, and sedative properties; such properties are made even more effective by the action of some terpenes such as Caryophyllene Oxide and Limonene and cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, (which, at low doses, seems to enhance the pharmacological effects of CBC).


(1) TRPA1: is a member of the TRP family. It is expressed by fibers in the gut called “general visceral afferent fibers (GVA)”, responsible for the conduction of sensory impulses, and by cells of the intestinal mucosal (also referred to as the intestinal barrier, responsible for protection against harmful substances and absorption of nutrients). In some animal models, TRPA1 agonists have been shown to evoke contractions and to affect intestinal motility (the movements of the digestive system, and the transportation of the contents within it).

(2) Re-uptake: The reabsorption of a secreted substance by the cell that originally produced and secreted it.

(3) Intestinal Motility: The movements of the digestive system, and the transportation of the contents within it.


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Although Gelato is a balanced hybrid, its effects are distinctly sativa-like. Consuming this strain, you will be hit by a psychedelic high, accompanied by a euphoric sensation. Its strong effects mean that Gelato is not a strain for productivity. On the other hand, it’s great for house parties.


● Andre CM, et al. Front Plant Sci. 2016;7:19.
● DeLong GT, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010;112(1-2):126-33.
● Flemming T et al. ChemInform 39(29) 2008.
● Halent. Cannabinoids primer. Available at
● Izzo A, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Jun; 166(4): 1444–1460.
● Romano B, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2013; 169(1): 213–229.
● Russo EB. Br J Pharmacol. 2011;163(7):1344-64.
● Turner CE et al. J Clin Pharmacol. 1981;21(S1):283S-291S.

Post author
Fran Ca
Fran Cà is Coffeeshop Guru's in-house medicinal cannabis expert and all-around science nerd. She scours the latest research papers with pin-point precision to keep you up-to-date on the most recent developments and thrilling discoveries surrounding the awesome power of cannabis.
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