Pharmacological evaluation of the natural constituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene and its modulation by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Nov 1;112(1-2):126-33. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.05.019.


In contrast to the numerous reports on the pharmacological effects of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the pharmacological activity of another substituent of Cannabis sativa, cannabichromene (CBC) remains comparatively unknown. In the present study, we investigated whether CBC elicits cannabinoid activity in the tetrad assay, which consists of the following four endpoints: hypomotility, antinociception, catalepsy, and hypothermia. Because cannabinoids are well documented to possess anti-inflammatory properties, we examined CBC, THC, and combination of both phytocannabinoids in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) paw edema assay. CBC elicited activity in the tetrad that was not blocked by the CB(1) receptor antagonist, rimonabant. Moreover, a behaviorally inactive dose of THC augmented the effects of CBC in the tetrad that was associated with an increase in THC brain concentrations. Both CBC and THC elicited dose-dependent anti-inflammatory effects in the LPS-induced paw edema model. The CB(2) receptor, SR144528 blocked the anti-edematous actions of THC, but not those produced by CBC. Isobolographic analysis revealed that the anti-edematous effects of these cannabinoids in combination were additive. Although CBC produced pharmacological effects, unlike THC, its underlying mechanism of action did not involve CB(1) or CB(2) receptors. In addition, there was evidence of a possible pharmacokinetic component in which CBC dose-dependently increased THC brain levels following an i.v. injection of 0.3mg/kg THC. In conclusion, CBC produced a subset of behavioral activity in the tetrad assay and reduced LPS-induced paw edema through a noncannabinoid receptor mechanism of action. These effects were augmented when CBC and THC were co-administered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Camphanes / metabolism
  • Camphanes / pharmacology
  • Cannabinoids / administration & dosage
  • Cannabinoids / metabolism
  • Cannabinoids / pharmacology*
  • Cannabis / chemistry
  • Catalepsy / chemically induced
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Dronabinol / metabolism
  • Dronabinol / pharmacology*
  • Hallucinogens / metabolism
  • Hallucinogens / pharmacology*
  • Hypothermia / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Piperidines / metabolism
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Pyrazoles / metabolism
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2 / metabolism
  • Rimonabant


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Camphanes
  • Cannabinoids
  • Hallucinogens
  • Piperidines
  • Pyrazoles
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1
  • Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB2
  • SR 144528
  • Dronabinol
  • cannabichromene
  • Rimonabant