CBL molecule in front of blue bubbles

Cannabicyclol: What is CBL?

If you’re looking for a more mysterious, little-known cannabinoid, look no further than cannabicyclol (CBL), also called cannabipinol (CBP). In this guide, we’ll discuss:

  • What is CBL?
  • Where is CBL Found?
  • What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBL?
  • What are the Benefits of CBL?
  • Where Can You Find CBL?

What is CBL?

We call this little phytocannabinoid (that means it’s natural to the cannabis plant) mysterious for a reason: there is very little we know about it. What we do know is that it’s non-intoxicating and is created when CBC is decarboxylated. In other words CBC degrades when exposed to heat, turning it into CBL. This means that when heating cannabis, you release CBL.

Interestingly, CBL has the exact same molecular formula (C₂₁H₃₀O₂) as THC and CBD—along with CBC and CBG. But because it does not contain any double bonds, it does not have the psychoactive qualities of THC.

Cannabinoids are amazing. Learn more about them in our guide to cannabinoids.  

Where is CBL Found?

CBL is found in the cannabis plant. It was first discovered by Korte and Sieper in 1964, when they isolated this unique cannabinoid. Unfortunately, due to marijuana’s continued status as a Schedule I drug, and since CBL is a cannabinoid derived from marijuana, scientists have not been able to conduct much research around the possible effects of CBL.

However, since its discovery we’ve realized that CBL has been under our noses for a long time. In fact, when an ancient strain of cannabis was discovered in a Chinese tomb dating back thousands of years, scientists studied the sample. When testing this cannabis, researchers found CBL. This makes it quite a unique and stable molecule.

What’s the Difference Between CBD and CBL?

What we know so far is that CBD tends to be available in higher amounts in cannabis plants. CBL is typically only found in strains with a higher concentration of CBC (the cannabinoid that becomes CBL).

One of the biggest differences between CBD and CBL is in the sale of these unique compounds. Because CBL is relatively unknown and occurs in such small amounts, it’s very hard to create products that center around this minor cannabinoid. This is why you won’t find much, if any, CBL isolate or CBL products. However, CBD is something that is much more available from licensed marijuana retailers.

Have you heard of CBC? Read more about this cannabinoid.

What Are the Benefits of CBL?

CBL is found in low concentrations in most cannabis strains, making it hard to extract and study. There’s no question it is one of the many cannabinoids contributing to the entourage effect—the notion that the effects experienced when consuming cannabis are caused by the cannabinoids and terpenes working together.

Beyond that, we haven’t done a lot of research or pharmacological evaluations on this minor cannabinoid. That being said, as cannabis increases in popularity, it stands to reason that cannabicyclol will be studied.

Where Can You Find CBL?

There are strains that contain CBC, which becomes CBL when decarboxylated (exposed to heat). This way, when you consume your cannabis, like popcorn flower, you can experience this unique cannabinoid. The strains that contain CBC include Blue Cherry Soda, Bubba Cookies, Sour Tsunami, and Charlotte’s Web.

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.