What cannabichromene (CBC) is and how it impacts inflammation, infection, and other medically important ailments.

Discovered more than 50 years ago, CBC has long been established as one of the most important cannabinoids. However, it’s potential as medicine is often outshined by the fame of THC and CBD—the former’s fame stemming from years of infamy and the latter’s from more recent marketing.

Its lack of fame belies its medical capabilities as outlined by a series of studies.

For example, we’ve long known that CBC treats inflammation and fights off some infectious diseases and fungi. According to a 1981 study that appeared in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, researchers showed that CBC outperformed phenylbutazone—at the time a popular NSAID—in treating inflammation1. Researchers demonstrated its strong antibacterial properties and antifungal properties that were described as “mild to moderate.”

A more recent study published in 2010 added weight to the idea that CBC is an anti-inflammatory2. Published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, the researchers demonstrated that the “combination of CBC and THC leads to enhanced tetrad and anti-inflammatory actions.”

Of equal importance as CBC’s anti-inflammatory properties, is its ability to improve brain functioning. A 2013 study that appeared in Neurochemistry International showed that CBC plays a significant role in the fate of adult neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs)3. CBC plays this part by:

  • Down-regulating Glial fibrillary acidic protein
  • Stimulating ERK1/2 phosphorylation
  • Increasing ATP levels during differentiation of NSPCs

The authors of the paper concluded that “CBC raises the viability of NSPCs while inhibiting their differentiation into astroglia, possibly through up-regulation of ATP and adenosine signaling.”

CBC has far more potential than just treating inflammation and improving NSPC functioning. However, considering those impressive qualities, it’s possible that CBC is being overlooked. More research should be done on this critical cannabinoid and how it interacts with terpenes and other cannabinoids.


  1. Elsohly and Turner. “Biological activity of cannabichromene, its homologs and isomers.” J Clin Pharmacol. 1981. 21(S1):283S-291S. [Times cited = 58; Journal Impact Factor = 2.812]
  2. DeLong GT, Wolf CE, Poklis A, Lichtman AH. “Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene and its modulation by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol.” Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010;112(1-2):126-33. [Times cited = 43; Journal Impact Factor = 3.322]
  3. Di Marzo and Shinjyo. “The effect of cannabichromene on adult neural stem/progenitor cells.” Neurochem Int. 2013 Nov;63(5):432-7. [Times cited = 32; Journal Impact Factor = 3.603]