What Is Cannabicyclol?


Table of contents

  1. What Is Cannabicyclol (CBL)?
  2. Potential Uses and Benefits
  3. Potential Risks and Side Effects
  4. Strains with CBL
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

Cannabicyclol (CBL) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. Like cannabinol (CBN) is a degradative product of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBL is a degradative product of the phytocannabinoid cannabichromene (CBC). Sunlight, heat, and acidic conditions can degrade CBC to CBL. CBL is not a well-researched cannabinoid, but it may have anti-inflammatory effects similar to cannabidiol (CBD).

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What Is Cannabicyclol (CBL)?

CBL is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is a degraded byproduct of CBC that is not produced directly by the cannabis plant and is found in trace amounts in cannabis and hemp. Due to its low concentration in the cannabis plant, CBL is considered a minor cannabinoid. CBL’s molecular formula is C21H30O2. There is little understanding of how CBL interacts with the human body.

When in cannabis and not decarboxylated, cannabicyclol is in its acidic form, called cananbicyclolic acid (CBLA). CBLA is a degradative product of CBC in its non-decarboxylated form, cannabichromenic acid (CBCA). Neither CBL nor CBLA is produced by the cannabis plant directly.

Potential Uses and Benefits

Few studies are looking at the effects of CBL in humans. Structurally, CBL is similar to CBN but lacks the double-bond structure that gives CBN slightly sedative, psychoactive effects. There is no evidence to suggest that CBL interacts with cannabinoid receptors 1 (CB1) or 2 (CB2). CBL has no known physiological effect, so it could be considered non-psychoactive based on current research.

CBL’s structural similarities to CBC and CBN mean that it may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, neurogenic (brain cell growth-boosting), and antiemetic properties. CBL may also help aid sleep. It is scarcely found in cannabis and may exert therapeutic effects via interaction with other cannabinoids and terpenes in cannabis (the entourage effect). CBC inhibits anandamide uptake, meaning more is available in the brain and bloodstream. This increase in anandamide levels can boost mood and help manage chronic pain.

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Potential Risks and Side Effects

As there is little research into CBL and its effects on people, there is not much to report regarding adverse side effects. One study carried out on rabbits in 1976 showed that a dose of 8 mg/kg of CBL produced seizures and resulted in the death of one rabbit. However, this study was small and did not offer any firm conclusions regarding using CBL in humans.

Strains with CBL

As CBL is a degradative byproduct of CBC, strains (cultivars) high in CBC may be high in CBL and the cannabis ages. Cannabis strains high in CBC include:

  • Maui Dream
  • Blue Cherry Soda
  • Blue Cadillac
  • Bubba Cookies
  • Purple Candy

It is worth noting that CBC itself is a minor cannabinoid, so it is rarely ever found in large concentrations, even in some high-CBC cultivars.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does cannabicyclol do?

Little is known about CBL and how it affects the human body. CBL does not interact with cannabinoid receptors, as far as we know, but this does not mean that the cannabinoid doesn’t interact with other receptor systems (e.g., serotonin, dopamine, opioid). CBL originates from CBC.

Cannabis produces cannabinoids to protect it from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and its insecticidal and antimicrobial properties. Many animals and insects find the effects of cannabis and certain cannabinoids overwhelming (and perhaps even deadly in some cases), helping protect the plant from predators. Many humans, however, find the effects of cannabis pleasant. However, our interest in the plant and its multiple uses could be one of the reasons why Cannabis sativa is such a thriving plant, has been a major crop for many civilizations, and evolving alongside us.

What are the effects of cannabicyclol?

There is little research into cannabicyclol and its interaction with the human body. There is no suggestion that it has an affinity for CB1 or CB2 receptors and is thought not to have any psychotropic effects. Its structural similarity to CBC and CBN suggests that CBL may have anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and anticancer properties.

One study on rabbits found that a dose of 8 mg/kg caused convulsions; this has not been replicated in humans. CBL is considered safe for human consumption, and there is not a high concentration of CBL in cannabis.

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