Cannabichromene (CBC) is one of the 113 cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant and therefore can be also described as a phytocannabinoid – from ancient Greek phyton = “plant”. It bears structural similarity to the other natural cannabinoids, including tetrahydrocannabinol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol, and cannabinol, among others. Evidence has suggested that it may play a role in the anti-inflammatory  and anti-viral effects of cannabis, and it may have also antifungal properties.. Cannabichromene may contribute to the overall analgesic effects of medical cannabis. A study done in March 2010 showed that CBC along with cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol have antidepressant effects. Another study showed that CBC helps promote neurogenesis.
CBC is known to interact with many receptors in the brain. It is widely known that the cannabinoids interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but they also interact with others. CBC in particular is known to interact with the TRPV1and TRPA1 receptors as well, which may result in some of its medicinal properties. Also, in mice, its antiinflammatory activity appears to be modulated by the administration of THC and is independent of the CB2 receptor. This suggests an interplay of the two molecules.
Within the Cannabis plant, CBC occurs mainly as cannabichromenic acid (CBCA, 2-COOH-CBC, CBC-COOH). Geranyl pyrophosphate and olivetolic acid combine to produce cannabigerolic acid (a key intermediate for multiple cannabinoids), which is cyclized by the enzyme CBCA synthease to give CBCA. Over time, or when heated, CBCA is decarboxylated, producing CBC. See biosynthetic scheme below the chemical data table.
A 2011 study in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD and CBC stimulated descending pathways of antinociception and caused analgesia by interacting with several target proteins involved in nociceptive control.A study in Neurochemistry International suggested that cannabichromene might stimulate the growth of brain cells by stimulating adult neural stem progenitor cells (NSPCs). The study said “our results suggest that CBC raises the viability of NSPCs while inhibiting their differentiation into astroglia, possibly through up-regulation of ATP and adenosine signalling.
In a 2012 animal study, CBC was shown to normalize gastrointestinal hypermotility (diarrhea) without reducing the transit time. The study notes that this is of potential clinical interest, as the only drugs available for intestinal dysmotility are often associated with constipation.
In a 2015 study, CBC, together with other common phytocannabinoids, appeared to be promising in skin inflammatory conditions. Specifically CBC, cannabidivarin and tetrahydrocannabivarin showed promise to become highly efficient, novel anti-acne agents.