HHC is a chemically modified form of THC that’s created via hydrogenation. It’s more resistant to damage caused by light and heat than THC, allowing it to maintain its potency longer.
It’s also said to produce less psychoactive effects than delta-9 THC, ideal for first-time users and those who want a more calming high. Many consumers find that HHC is more effective for pain relief, too.
HHC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive cannabinoid that gets you high when using cannabis. It’s a close relative to Delta 8 THC and is said to offer similar wellness effects and a feeling of euphoria.
Organic scientist Dr. Roger Adams created HHC for the first time in 1947 by incorporating hydrogen into the THC molecule. The difference between HHC and THC is apparent in its hydrogen component. HHC differs from THC because it has more hydrogen in the cyclohexyl ring and lacks the second double bond on the ninth carbon atom. Most HHC products are synthetically derived, though trace amounts may naturally occur in some hemp plants. Because HHC is new to the legal markets, there’s little research on its potential benefits and side effects. Most of what we know about HHC is anecdotal, based on user experience and surveys.
Like THC, HHC interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the brain and nervous system’s endocannabinoid system to produce psychoactive effects such as a shift in perception and emotions. It also alters heart rate and brain activity, increases appetite and relaxes the muscles. It increases creativity and improves focus while reducing anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, and insomnia.
The onset of HHC’s effects can be fast and intense, especially when consumed orally. It can be felt in the body and mind, producing a buzzing sensation lasting up to several hours. It’s been used to help reduce nausea and vomiting, ease pain and inflammation from injury or disease, and relieve stress and anxiety.
HHC is said to interact with the same cannabinoid receptors as THC but may produce less of a high. It can also metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC, appearing on drug tests for work or government reasons.
Because of this, it’s essential to ensure they have a certificate of analysis (COA) when shopping for hemp products with THC content. Without one, you can’t be sure that the product contains only what the label claims. If a product doesn’t have a COA, it may contain dangerous chemicals or even be toxic to your health. It’s also a good idea to avoid products that claim to contain “THC” or other chemical compounds that aren’t listed in the Farm Bill, which is the only way to guarantee a pure, potent, and safe product.
Despite the vast number of cannabinoids now available to consumers, few cannabis products contain HHC. Because HHC does not occur naturally in marijuana or hemp, most HHC products are produced synthetically.
Commercially produced HHC is made from hemp-derived CBD and a chemical process called hydrogenation. The process involves inserting two hydrogen atoms into the THC molecule, changing its molecular structure, and altering its physical properties. This process also makes the molecule less reactive and allows it to resist heat, light, and oxidation.
Since there is little research on the effects of HHC in humans, it is unclear how it affects the body. However, anecdotal reports suggest it produces similar results to THC, including relaxation, euphoria, and symptom relief.
Like all cannabinoids, HHC interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This is a complex network of cannabinoid receptors that regulate emotions, thought processes, and memory. The brain and other body parts include CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which cannabinoids bind to. This interaction helps regulate mood, anxiety, pain, appetite, and sleep.
Cannabis is also known to have adverse side effects, including paranoia and dry lips, in addition to psychoactive effects like feelings of euphoria and increased sensory awareness. These effects can range in intensity according to tolerance levels, product quality, and other elements.
While it is unclear how HHC compares to THC regarding effect, it appears to be much less potent. This may make it a safer option for consumers who want to avoid the more intense side effects of Delta 9 THC. However, it is still essential to choose high-quality cannabis and only use products with a certificate of analysis to verify the content of your purchase. Products without a COA could be dangerous to your health and land you in legal trouble.
Because of its low THC content, synthetic HHC is a popular substitute for cannabis in the illegal drug market. There has been an increasing number of seizures of products containing HHC in Europe since October 2022, with large shipments found in Italy, Poland, and Germany. It is essential to avoid these products, as they are likely unsafe or legal to consume and could cause long-term harm. They are often mixed with other synthetic cannabinoids and chemicals, which are not regulated by law and may have harmful side effects. These products are often found in capsules or as liquids and are sold at smoke shops, street corners, and online.