Cannabichromene: of all the cannabinoids out there, CBC might just have the coolest name. 

This trace cannabinoid is more than just cool - it also confers some health benefits of its own. Here are the details. 

What is CBC?

CBC, or cannabichromene, is a trace cannabinoid naturally present in both cannabis and hemp. You might not have heard of CBC yet...but it’s actually one of the “big six” cannabinoids. Like everyone else, CBC gets its start as CBG before being slowly converted by special enzymes into its final form. 

CBC actually has a lot in common with CBD, at least from a molecular perspective. Both compounds have a molecular weight of 314 g/mol and both share a very similar structural makeup. 

Acronym soup aside, let’s look at what CBC actually does. 

What does CBC do?

The short answer is simple: all sorts of stuff.

Preliminary research shows CBC may be an effective acne treatment. Acne, like so many other health concerns, is partially caused by inflammation, and CBC may help reduce inflammation by slowing the conversion of dietary fats into inflammatory molecules. Not surprising when you consider that cannabinoids are actually made of these very same dietary fats. 

A 2013 study by the Italian Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry suggests that CBC may boost neurogenesis — neuronal growth — by improving cellular function. To put things in layman’s terms, CBG appears great for your brain. Just like virtually every other cannabinoid! One animal study saw rats treated with CBC responding better to stressful situations.

One final area researchers are looking into: CBC for depression. Some research shows CBC amplified other cannabinoids and their natural antidepressant effects, though follow-up studies are needed. 

How is CBC made?

Like CBG, CBC is a trace cannabinoid. Unlike CBG, however, hemp’s cannabichromene levels don’t really rise or fall at any given time. They’re always present in trace amounts. 

That leaves only one real option: separating CBC off from the rest of hemp concentrates during the plant’s extraction. Over time, large amounts of residual CBD can build up. 

That being said, there is one other method. It involves taking hemp extracts and spinning them in a column until the extract’s cannabinoids begin to separate. This process involves a machine called a centrifugal partition chromatograph. Cannabis chemists are impressed. “They just do really efficient separation of a lot of compounds at once,” Justin Fischedick of Excelsior Analytical Laboratory tells Nature Research. 

Just don’t expect CBC-based extracts to get much cheaper until this revamped technology becomes more widespread.

Is CBC legal?

Yes. CBC is fully legal in all 50 States as long as it’s derived from hemp, not cannabis. 

Where can one find CBC products?

CBC-specific products are still pretty hard to come by. And they often fall victim to the same sourcing problems that other trace cannabinoids do. We’d suggest sticking to the basics for now — a Full Spectrum hemp flow or Full Spectrum CBD oil should contain enough CBC to benefit your system.