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CBD vs CBC: Is CBC The Next CBD (Benefits)

Cannabis has been a popular topic due to its potential in medicinal applications.

Published on 07/21/2020
Article: CBD vs CBC: New Cannabinoid on the Block


Cannabis has been a popular topic due to its potential in medicinal applications.[1] The psychoactive component of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC. [1] However, there are other non-psychoactive components of cannabis that have therapeutic applications: cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabigerol (CBG), just to name a few.[1] This article will explore what is currently known about cannabichromene and its potential in dermatological therapeutics.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis.[2] The therapeutic effects of CBD have been preliminary studied in dermatology for diseases such as acne, psoriasis, and even melanoma. CBD has been shown to inhibit lipogenesis in sebocytes, which may help in treating acne vulgaris by decreasing sebum production.[3] A topical ointment containing CBD was also shown to improve hydration and elasticity while decreasing trans-epidermal loss, proving to be effective in treating inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.[4] CBD may even have a future role in melanoma treatment. A study found that a preparation of equal amounts of CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) applied to melanoma xenografts inhibited tumor growth and cell proliferation while increasing autophagy and apoptosis.[5] CBD’s multi-faceted therapeutic applications appear promising in treating a variety of dermatological diseases.

What is CBC?

Cannabichromene, also known as CBC, is another common non-psychoactive agent found in cannabis.[1] CBC, along with tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), was shown to suppress sebaceous lipid synthesis.[6] Additionally, CBC was shown to decrease arachidonic acid-induced lipid synthesis.[6] These findings suggest that CBC could be effective in treating acne. Although the research of therapeutic effects of CBC on skin is limited, CBC shows to have some antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects in vivo and may regulate inflammatory dermatological conditions.[7] Another study in mice showed that CBC had antinociceptive effects.[8] Although these effects have yet to be more thoroughly studied in human subjects and on the skin in particular, CBC’s therapeutic effects appear to be promising.

CBD vs.CBC How do they compare?

Overall, CBD appears to be better studied than CBC. The following table summarizes the comparison between CBD and CBC. 

Comparison of CBD and CBC




Mechanism of action

Inhibitor of AEA uptake and metabolism[2]

TRPA1 agonist, Inhibitor of AEA reuptake[2]







Trans-epidermal Water Loss






Skin conditions that may be treated:

Acne vulgaris,[3] psoriasis,[4] dermatitis,[4] wounds,[9] epidermolysis bullosa,[9] scleroderma,[10] melanoma[5]


*indicates no published research found on this topic


In summary, both CBD and CBC need to be further studied to determine the full extent of their therapeutic potential in dermatology and medicine.

CBC in dermatology: Where is this headed?

The future of CBC in dermatological therapeutics appears promising. Preliminary data suggests that CBC may have anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, and sebostatic activity.[6,8] Research on CBC has only skimmed the surface. Further research will help inform development of therapeutics in both dermatology and medicine as CBC and the use of cannabinoids in medicine becomes more mainstream.

Main takeaways:

  1. There is not much research on CBC and its effects on the skin.
  2. Studies show that CBC has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body; however, more studies need to be done on the skin specifically. 

Images (CBD structure and CBC structure)

  1. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9a/Cannabidiol.svg
  2. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cannabichromene.png

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