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CBD 101

What is Cannabichromene? CBC Oil Benefits & Uses

What is Cannabichromene? CBC Oil Benefits & Uses

Author: Emily Spring

At this point in time, you’re likely aware of cannabinoids—namely THC and CBD. However, chances are you’re unfamiliar with cannabichromene (CBC), a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Although it was identified more than a half century ago and is considered one of the primary cannabinoids, it hasn’t garnered nearly as much attention, until recently. 

Although research is still in its infancy, early indicators are positive and the potential therapeutic benefits of CBC are quite promising. Curious to see how CBC oil might be able to help you? Read on to discover everything you need to know about this exciting compound.  

What is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

CBC is a cannabinoid that can be extracted from cannabis after a series of biological processes take place within the plant. As with THC and CBD, CBC is converted from cannabigerolic acid (CBGA). That CBGA is then broken down into cannabichromene carboxylic acid (CBCA), and finally into CBC once it’s been exposed to heat or UV light. According to Leafly:

CBC is non-intoxicating, so it doesn’t produce a euphoric high like THC. The reason it is non-intoxicating is because it binds poorly to CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the brain. But CBC does bind with other receptors in the body, such as the vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1) and transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), both of which are linked to pain perception. When CBC activates these receptors, increased levels of the body’s natural endocannabinoids like anandamide are released.

Although CBC has its benefits when used in isolation, it works best by synergizing with other cannabinoids, thus creating an entourage effect. That said, studies indicate that CBC may be a useful means for:  


In order to best understand the symbiotic relationship between CBD and CBC, it’s important to review how CBC and CBD are extracted from cannabis. Both CBD and CBC are created through a process of decarboxylation: or the lengthy heating process used to turn these cannabidiolic acids into their later forms.  

While other significant compounds, like cannabichromenic acid (CBDa) and cannabigerolic acid (CBGa), are minor cannabinoids whose natural enzymes are present before decarboxylation, CBC—like CBD—requires decarboxylation to interact with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for modulating:

  • Pain sensitivity
  • Body temperatures
  • Neurogenic inflammation
  • Appetite 
  • Immune function
  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Motor control
  • Memory
  • Pleasure/reward

Thus, CBC has great potential for positive therapeutic impact without all of the intoxicating properties associated with THC. 

What is CBC Oil?

Since CBC is on the cutting edge of cannabinoid research, CBC-specific products are still in their experimental stages. That said, there are indirect forms of CBC hemp oil on the market. Typically, it can be found in full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids needed to fully unlock CBD’s potential. The CBD is commonly administered in any of the following ways:

  • Tinctures
  • Blams
  • Capsules
  • Lotions
  • Serums

As versatile as CBC oil is, you don’t have to wait to be in chronic pain or experience a chronic illness before using it. CBC oil for pain management can be used preventatively as well as therapeutically. Have an ache, cut, or bruise? Take a drop or two from your favorite broad or full spectrum CBD oil and gently apply it to the area. 

CBC Oil Benefits & Uses 

CBC research is in its preclinical and clinical phases. However, early signs point to it having several benefits and uses, including: 

  • Decreases inflammation – A 2010 study published in the British Pharmaceutical Journal, noted that CBC seemed to have remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Its ability to positively interact with the ECS, modulates the gastrointestinal motility in rats in physiological and pathological states. The study concludes that CBC selectively reduces inflammation-induced hypermotility in a manner that is independent of cannabinoid receptors. In simpler terms, CBC is a more useful anti-inflammatory than THC since it does not interact with our CB1 and CB2 receptors. 
  • Eases aches and sores In a 2011 report published in the US National Library of Medicine, Italian researchers at the Second University of Naples, demonstrated that CBC “stimulated descending pathways of antinociception (pain relief) and caused analgesia (inability to feel pain) by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control.” Essentially, CBC helped relieve pain through electrical activity in the brain. 

Although these tests have yet to undergo human studies, as the report states, “CBC might represent a useful therapeutic agent with multiple mechanisms of action.” 

  • Strengthens cells In today’s world, we unfortunately interact with carcinogenic materials on a daily basis. And while more clinical trials and testing are needed, it appears that CBC has promising ability to inhibit the growth of mutated cells. It’s speculated CBC’s cell strengthening properties are a result of its interaction with anandamide endocannabinoid which is produced naturally by our bodies. 

CBC inhibits the uptake of anandamide, which allows CBC to stay in the bloodstream longer. Anything that inhibits the growth of mutated cells is going to draw attention from medical scientists. Although these experiments have not been conducted on humans, CBC shows great potential as a future alternative to chemo. 

  • Promotes healthy brain activity  – A 2013 study, published by the Endocannabinoid Research Group in Italy, concluded that CBC was an effective agent in promoting neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs)—cells that are essential to brain function as well as healthy pathology. Researchers concluded that CBC improves the viability of NSPCs.
  • Fights bacteria – In some of the recent trials of CBC, the cannabichromene displayed a palpable ability to fight bacteria and fungi. Research has shown that CBC exhibits strong bacteria fighting effects against a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. CBC also displays mild to moderate effects against several types of fungi. 
  • Improves stress and moods In a 2010 study published by the National Institute of Health, CBC natural interaction with our ECS has shown significant stress relieving effects. Other prominent forms of cannabinoids like cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) did not show similar mood improving effects. 

The 2010 CBC tests concluded that it had increased mobility and other mood-elevating properties similar to traditional options. The best part? While pharmaceutical treatments are known to have adverse side effects and often lead to addictive dependency, CBC as a potential holistic alternative becomes more than just a cannabinoid. It becomes a potential life-saver. 

In the 2016 tests, CBC showed an aptitude for significantly reducing arachidonic acid and lipogenesis, which is the metabolic formation of fat. CBC also showed an ability to reduce proliferation of inflammation of excessive sebaceous lipid production, all of which contribute to skin inflammation and facial blemishes. As an organic compound, CBC offers itself as a safe, novel tool in skin restoration and rejuvenation. 

Ask for a Certificate of Analysis

As with any emerging products in the CBD industry, you need to make sure what you’re getting is 100% safe and certified. A 2019 study by the University of Utah Health & Medical Marijuana suggested that 70% of cannabis products are mislabeled when it comes to disclosing their THC percentages. As we move through the wild west of cannabis, it’s important to stay informed and investigate where your hemp oil products are coming from.

In order to do this, you shouldn’t use a CBD product without seeing that it has a certificate of analysis (COA) lab results. A certificate of analysis is a third-party lab report breaking down the entire plant's entourage effect. In addition, COA testing will ensure your products are free from pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal, or other harmful contaminants.

Finding Your CBC Oil Product

We find ourselves in an exciting period of research and discovery. CBC appears to have significant therapeutic properties that contribute to CBD’s efficacy. So, as you begin hunting for a CBC-rich CBD product, be sure to know your source.

At Plant People, our full-spectrum CBD products are third-party lab-tested and come with their very own COA. When you shop Plant People, you know exactly what you’re getting. On top of that, all of our hemp-based CBD oil products come from organically grown farms; they’re vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Simply put, you’re receiving the very best CBD products on the market.  

Written by Emily Spring 

Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.

Reviewed by Anne Kurtz

Anne Kurtz holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. from Cornell University in Food Science, specializing in flavor chemistry and neuroscience. She is a sustainability and consumer product expert, with nine years in the consumer packaged goods industry working across R&D, innovation, claims, and digital marketing. Anne is passionate about consumer tech and writes a weekly newsletter called The Juicy Byte


British Pharmacological Society. Inhibitory Effect of Cannabichromene, a Major Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid Extracted from Cannabis Sativa, on Inflammation-induced Hypermotility in Mice.

NCBI. Antidepressant-like Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and Other Cannabinoids Isolated from Cannabis Sativa L.

NCBI. Pharmacological Evaluation of the Natural Constituent of Cannabis Sativa, Cannabichromene and its Modulation by Tetrahydrocannabinol.

NCBI. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids modulate the Descending Pathway of Antinociception in Anaesthetized Rats Through Several Mechanism of Action.

NCBI. Differential Effectiveness of Selected non-Psychoactive Phytocannabinoids on human sebocyte function implicates their introduction in dry/seborrhoeic skin and acne treatment.

NCBI. The Effect of Cannabichromene on Adult Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells.

CBD Oil Review. What Is CBC?

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