What is CBC Oil? Benefits, Uses, and Risks

As cannabis becomes more widely supported, researchers are uncovering more and more exciting components of the plant with the potential for medical and recreational use. Cannabichromene (CBC) is one such chemical, though it’s one of the oldest cannabinoids scientists know about, first discovered in 1966. 

hemp leaves on a pink and green background

CBC, like CBD, is derived from the cannabis or hemp plant and interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system to produce certain effects. Also, like CBD, CBC is non-intoxicating and won’t produce the same high as THC.

Read on to learn more about CBC, its potential uses and risks, and everything to understand about trying CBC oil.

Key Takeaways

  • CBC is the third-most abundant cannabinoid in the cannabis plant after CBD and THC.
  • Little research exists on CBC, but limited evidence suggests its potential to support mood, pain relief, brain function, and skin health.
  • CBC oil can be consumed sublingually, with food or beverages, or used topically.

What is CBC?

Cannabichromene (CBC) is the third most prevalent phytocannabinoid found in cannabis or hemp, behind THC and CBD. Despite its discovery dating back to the 1960s, science understands little about the chemical. What limited research exists suggests CBC has potential as an anti-inflammatory useful in treating pain and promoting healthy immune function.

CBC also works alongside other cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, to help boost their anti-inflammatory effects in a process known as the entourage effect. 

What is CBC oil?

Like the more well-known CBD oil, CBC oil is simply extracted CBC molecules infused into a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. When infused in carrier oil, CBC works similarly to other cannabinoids with an improved bioavailability. The formulation of CBC oil products also allows for improved, precise dosing, meaning that users can know exactly how much CBC they consume in a given dose.

Despite CBC being the third-most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, it doesn’t exist in naturally high quantities in most strains. But as breeders produce more CBC-rich varieties and cannabinoid extraction processes improve, we may see more CBC oils hit the market.

How It Works

CBC and other cannabinoids interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which manages homeostasis in many vital systems, such as sleep, metabolism, stress, inflammation, and hormones. CBC binds with particular cannabinoid receptors throughout the body, including some involved with inflammation and the perception of pain.

Early research suggests that CBC may be up to 10 times more effective than CBD at treating stress and anxiety. Other studies have discovered evidence of CBC’s potential in treating inflammation, addressing tumor growth, neurological protection and health, and even bone-growth stimulation.

Like CBD, CBC doesn’t produce any intoxicating effects. Researchers have found that CBC enhances the effects of other cannabinoids via the Entourage Effect. This means that the presence of CBC may increase the perceived high of THC.


We still don’t understand much about CBC, as most studies focus on THC and CBD. However, limited research gives us some insight into the potential merits and risks of CBC.

Potential Benefits

In rodent studies, CBC has clinically shown potential effectiveness in treating depression and anxiety, especially when combined with other mood-boosting cannabinoids like CBD and THC. Other evidence shows its potential in effective pain management, dulling the receptors involved in the sensory experience of pain. 

In cancer patients, CBC was shown to be the second-most effective cannabinoid after THC in stopping the growth of new tumors. CBC may also help promote healthy brain function and even help mitigate the oil gland over-production that causes acne.

Potential Risks

We have little research available examining the risks and potential side effects of CBC. As such, it’s best to proceed cautiously, start with smaller amounts of CBC, and gradually increase consumed amounts as you understand your personal tolerance levels.

How to Use CBC Oil

There are many options available for incorporating CBC oil into your daily life. 

Sublingual consumption (under the tongue) is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of CBC, as the oil gets absorbed by micro-capillaries that quickly introduce the chemical to the bloodstream. 

Sublingually, you can expect the effects of CBC oil to start at around the 30-45 minute mark, depending on dosage and your metabolism. You can also add CBC oil to your favorite food or drink, though the effects will take about 90 minutes to kick in as the cannabinoid gets processed by the digestive system. 

CBC oil can also be used topically to address dermatological skin concerns where inflammation is the issue. While little research has examined topical uses of CBC oil, anecdotal reports claim it to have skin-conditioning and healing benefits. However, you’ll want to make sure that the carrier oil used is appropriate for skin use and doesn’t block the pores on the skin,

Is CBC Oil Legal?

When sourced from marijuana, CBC oil is only legal in states where recreational cannabis products are available. Medical patients can acquire CBC oil with a valid medical marijuana card in states with existing programs.

When sourced from hemp plants, CBC likely shares the same legal status as CBD and must contain no more than 0.3% THC per product’s dry weight. However, regulations may vary from state to state, and it’s important to be aware of shifting laws regarding CBC oil.

The Bottom Line

CBC is an exciting major cannabinoid that’s shown early potential in providing many medical and general quality-of-life enhancements. CBC’s ability to boost the effects of other cannabinoids may make CBD more relaxing and THC more intoxicating and show other Entourage Effect-driven benefits.

Find cannabinoid-based wellness in CBD oils and other products in EVN’s shop.

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