What is the CBC cannabinoid? Putting the rare cannabinoid front and center

What Is The CBC Cannabinoid?

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Cannabinoids are revolutionizing the health and wellness sector. More and more people are turning to these compounds to address varying health needs. Researchers contend there are over 100 cannabinoids, but most people only know a handful.

So, today, we’re going to shine some light on cannabichromene (CBC) – a minor cannabinoid surging in demand across the market.

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Key Takeaways

  • CBC is a minor mostly non-psychoactive cannabinoid formed from cannabichromenic acid (CBCa), which comes from CBGa.
  • CBC research is in its infancy, so its pharmacological profile is relatively unknown.
  • Existing research suggests that CBC may have potent anti-inflammatory effects, possibly stronger than CBD.

What Is Cannabichromene (CBC)?

Cannabichromene is a mostly non-psychotropic cannabinoid found in cannabis. Its molecular structure resembles CBD’s, but both cannabinoids have entirely different effects.

CBC is considered one of the ‘big six’ cannabinoids in cannabis research. However, it exists in extremely low concentrations (~0.3%), which makes it a rare cannabinoid. Compared to CBD and THC, CBC doesn’t have nearly as much of a fan following, but it appears to have promising health benefits.

While research on CBC is not extensive, this cannabinoid was discovered in the early 1960s. However, research on CBD and THC eclipsed that of minor cannabinoids like CBC, probably because they existed in such low quantities.

Today, these minor cannabinoids are mostly artificially synthesized from hemp-derived CBD. This aligns with the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp as long as its THC levels don’t exceed 0.3% by dry weight.

How Does CBC Make You Feel?

CBC is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid for most people, like CBD. Therefore, it’s unlikely to make you “high.” One of the appealing attributes of cannabis is its ability to alter the mind and induce feelings of euphoria, happiness, and calmness.

This property of cannabis is attributed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the dominant cannabinoid in many strains. After the enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, the permitted levels of THC were set to 0.3% or less. So, even with full-spectrum hemp products, it’s not easy to get a “high.”

Psychoactivity may not be a property of CBC, but it has other potential health benefits that we shall get to shortly.

Does CBC Get You High?

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No, CBC doesn’t get most people “high” because it’s non-psychoactive. In other words, it doesn’t activate the CB1 receptors like THC and, therefore, can’t make you “high.” Like CBD, CBC mostly stimulates the CB2 receptors, which explains its potent anti-inflammatory property.

The CB2 receptors are predominant in the peripheral nervous and immune systems. These receptors are widely implicated in immune system functions and anti-inflammatory responses. For this reason, their activation doesn’t cause psychoactive effects in most people.

What Are The CBC Cannabinoid Effects?

CBC cannabinoid effects are non-psychotropic. So, you won’t experience any physical body effects from taking CBC products. Still, CBC has amazing potential health benefits that you should know about.

It exerts its effects via the endocannabinoid system (ECS) by interacting with the CB2 receptors. It also demonstrates the ability to activate non-cannabinoid receptors, especially the transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channels.

Of course, more research is still needed to learn more about this cannabinoid. But at the moment, its anti-inflammatory property is its standout attribute.

Pros & Cons of Cannabichromene

CBC just recently got into the limelight, and not much is known about it. Still, these are its possible pros and cons


  • Hemp-derived CBC is federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • CBC is non-psychoactive for most people and typically does not make users “high.” This property makes it a potential candidate for developing novel medications.
  • It’s hailed as an invaluable cannabinoid in the potential treatment of inflammatory issues.



  • Scarce research on CBC makes its pharmacological profile relatively obscure.

Potential Cannabichromene Benefits According to Studies

Here are some of the potential you can expect from CBC.

Pain and Inflammation Relief

CBC may be a potential candidate for managing pain and inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory properties may be valuable in treating inflammation-based diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

In the ECS, CBC preferentially binds to the CB2 receptor. This means its painkilling effects are not associated with CB1 activation but rather with its binding activity on TRP ion channels.

On closer scrutiny, pain and inflammation are closely related. When tissues get inflamed, they put pressure on pain sensors, causing them to send signals to the brain. These signals are interpreted as pain. So, due to its potent anti-inflammatory effect, CBC may help manage pain.

In fact, a study investigating neurobehavioral actions showed that CBC exerted weak analgesia in mice (that’s because it was compared to THC!).

Brain Cells

If you want your brain to function properly well into old age, you’d better listen to this! A 2013 study of mice found that CBC positively impacted neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs). These cells are vital to healthy brain function because they differentiate into astroglial cells, which are critical to maintaining brain homeostasis.

These astroglial cells also play an important role in protecting the brain from oxidative stress, toxicity, and inflammation.


Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people, especially teenagers. At the core of it, it’s characterized by the production of excess sebum, which leads to inflammation of the sebaceous glands.

Fortunately, studies show that CBC’s potent anti-inflammatory properties may help here. This cannabinoid may alleviate acne by suppressing sebum production in the glands.


CBC’s antidepressant effect is not backed by scientific proof but appears to correlate with the “entourage effect.” When combined, THC, CBC, and CBD deliver a strong antidepressant effect.

It’s not precisely clear which cannabinoid is responsible for this effect. However, even on its own, THC, in low to moderate doses, produces euphoria and relaxation – effects that are undoubtedly beneficial for depression.

Can You Smoke CBC?

Yes, you can. Growers are continuously developing strains with different cannabinoid profiles. While there are not many strains high in CBC, cannabis breeders are working to develop more of this variety.

So, just like you can smoke a THC or CBD-rich flower, you can also smoke a CBC-rich flower. That said, smokable CBC distillates are readily available on the market, like this CBC Distillate by ELYXR. With 98.7% CBC, this is the easiest way to explore the beneficial effects of CBC since it has no other ingredients.

Can You Eat CBC?

NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum CBC Tincture Oil

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With the variety of CBC products being churned out by cannabis companies, CBC edibles are certainly another way to consume CBC. For example, this CBC + CBD Tincture Oil by Rare Cannabinoid can be taken sublingually (i.e., place a few drops under the tongue). It contains a 1:1 ratio of CBD and CBC with 250mg of both cannabinoids in this small 30ml, full-spectrum formula bottle.

Another great product similar to the tincture above is this CBC + CBD Oil from ELYXR. This oil has a whopping 1000 mg of pure CBC isolate. If you want to taste CBC in all its glory, it really doesn’t get better than this nano-infused tincture.

The third option we’d like to suggest here comes from NuLeaf Naturals in the form of a 900 mg bottle of CBC Oil. This is a full-spectrum formula that’s loaded to the brim with 60 mg/mL of cannabinoids (mainly CBC but has trace amounts of CBN and CBD as well) and terpenes. Anecdotal evidence has suggested that NuLeaf’s CBC oil may work great for arthritis patients.


One of the main comparison areas between CBC and CBD is their abundance. CBD is the clear winner because it naturally exists in substantial quantities, making its direct extraction viable and cost-effective. Regular consumption of CBD will be much cheaper as compared to CBC.

CBC exists in trace amounts of ~0.3% of the total cannabinoid content. As a result, it’s artificially synthesized from hemp CBD as per the 2018 Farm Bill, which allows the synthesis of such rare cannabinoids from hemp compounds.

Another area where CBC and CBD differ is how they work. Both cannabinoids target the ECS receptors, CBD targets some non-cannabinoid receptors outside the ECS. Therefore, it displays a complex and broad pharmacological profile hence its wide-ranging potential health benefits.

CBD and CBC are non-psychoactive for most people because they don’t bind to the CB1 receptor. However, CBD displays inverse agonist tendencies at the CB1 receptor and can influence CB1 receptor activity.

Finally, the amount of research on CBD means it’s better understood than CBC. This explains its soaring popularity and widespread use for recreational and medical reasons. Comparatively, CBC is still relatively unknown though studies suggest it may also have impressive health benefits.

Is CBC Legal?

Yes, CBC is federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp. As a result, all hemp-derived cannabinoids are permitted in the US.

That said, the laws governing hemp production and processing are quite fluid. Some states are yet to adopt the federal Farm Bill, which makes hemp remains illegal in such states. Before you purchase CBC, make sure it’s allowed in your state.

But by and large, CBC and all hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal.

Where to Buy CBC Online

Thinking of where to buy CBC online? Vendors like NuLeaf and Elyxr are currently leading the charge on CBC products in the market. If you’re looking to buy CBC products, you just can’t go wrong with these two products. Other than that, Rare Cannabinoid also has some decent CBC products.

Cannabichromene: FAQ

How Much CBC Should I Take?

Here’s the thing – cannabinoids don’t follow a regimented dosing guideline like conventional meds. Everyone responds to cannabinoids differently, so dosing is a very subjective exercise. As a result, we advocate for a “start low and slow” approach to minimize unpleasant experiences. So, with CBC, we recommend starting with the lowest dose indicated on the label.

How Long Does CBC Stay in Your System

How long CBC stays in your system depends on several factors, like the amount you take, method of consumption, metabolism, and the form in which it’s taken. There’s no information regarding how long CBC stays in your system, but we can compare it with CBD.

CBD’s half-life ranges from 1 hour to five days, and the body normally eliminates a drug within 4-5 half-lives. This means oral CBD can stay in the body for 10-25 days (chronic use). CBD sprays and sublinguals have short half-lives, ranging from 10 hours to 2 days.

Will CBC Make You Fail a Drug Test?

Drug tests usually test for THC metabolites, so it’s unlikely that you can fail a drug test after taking CBC. However, hemp products get contaminated with other cannabinoids like THC if purification is not thorough.

In a perfect world, CBC won’t technically make you fail a drug test. But, we don’t, and realistically speaking, there’s a chance you might fail the test.

Is CBD The Same as Cannabichromene?

No, CBD and CBC are different cannabinoids with different working mechanisms and effects. CBD comes from cannabidiolic acid (CBDa), while CBC forms from cannabichromenic acid (CBCa).

What Is the Entourage Effect in Cannabis?

The “entourage effect” is the theoretical view that cannabinoids synergize when combined to enhance each other’s effects. This has led to manufacturers crafting varying cannabinoid combinations to improve their overall benefits.

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