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In recent years, many popular hemp derivatives have been making their way onto the cannabis market. First, it was the major cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD). Then came products featuring Delta 8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a less potent compound similar to Delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Now, there’s hexahydrocannabinol (HHC). But what is it and what do consumers need to know about this obscure compound? The Hemp Doctor answers some of the most asked questions below.
A General Overview of How HHC Works
What is HHC and how is it made?
Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is considered a synthetic cannabinoid derived from hemp. It was first discovered in the 1940s by Roger Adams, an organic chemist credited for isolating and identifying CBD. At the time, the process used to create this compound was antiquated compared to the modern methods. Technically, this substance consists of semi-synthetic cannabinoids and a hydrogenated form of THC. These products are formulated by converting CBD or THC into HHC, using a process called Hydrogenation.
Synthetic cannabinoids are defined as a class of designer drug molecules that bind to the same receptors as other cannabinoids and are similar to Delta 9 THC. These receptors are found throughout the human body and make up the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system helps control the levels and activity of most of the other neurotransmitters, including regulating hunger, temperature, or alertness. Cannabinoid Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabinoid Receptor 2 (CB2) interact with the individual compounds of cannabis to produce a plethora of effects.
HHC is different from other cannabinoids like Delta 9 THC and CBD. Here’s how:
- Both Delta 9 THC and CBD are major compounds found in cannabis, along with more than 100 other cannabinoids. Whereas HHC can only be found in pollen and seeds in much lower quantities.
- Formulations like THC-O and HHC are synthesized in a lab and are usually derived from hemp.
- The chemical structure of HHC and Delta 9 THC are very similar. The difference is that the double bonds have been broken and replaced with hydrogen (AKA hydrogenation) to create HHC. This makes the molecule much more stable, giving these formulations a longer shelf-life.
- Delta 9 THC and HHC both produce psychoactive effects vs. CBD, which is considered non-intoxicating.
- The legal status is different for each of these compounds. Only formulations that have less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC are legal under the current laws, federally speaking.
Is it legal to buy HHC products in the United States?
On a federal level, HHC might be legal under The Farm Bill of 2018. This bill allows the sale and consumption of cannabis products that contain less than 0.3% THC. Products like these have become popular since the bill’s introduction because of the interpretive nature of the farm bill. Many hemp derivatives fall into this grey area of the law currently. Another factor that usually affects the legal status of any cannabinoid is the state laws. At this time, HHC is legal in most states. However, some are considering treating it like Delta 8 THC, which could lead to it becoming banned in some places.
Is HHC going to get me high?
We cannot say for sure how a product like this will make someone else feel. Any effects from cannabis are interpretive and can be influenced by factors such as individual tolerance, etc. Like THC-O, HHC has a high bioavailability, which produces its psychoactive effects. These effects are similar to the psychoactive response experienced from Delta 9 THC but are milder. Consumers have reported experiencing a delayed onset and a feeling more like a head high. There has been no confirmation of whether or not HHC will cause you to fail a drug test. If you are subject to drug testing, consume with caution.
Are HHC’s effects more powerful than Delta 9 THC?
HHC products are still fairly new to the market, so more consumer data is needed to say for sure. However, this compound generally produces a milder high than Delta 9 THC but is more potent than Delta 8 THC.
Are HHC products safe to consume?
Regulated cannabis products are thought to be well tolerated by most consumers. However, further research is needed before it can be deemed completely safe. The most important factor to consider is the quality of the product. Most companies will provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for each product, which is usually found on their website. This report will verify the potency levels and determine if there are any unwanted contaminants present, including heavy metals or chemical solvents. If you use inhaled formats, you might be at risk of lung disease from illegal vapes containing Vitamin E acetate. Another reason why it’s important to purchase products from a reputable retailer like The Hemp Doctor.
Buy HHC Products in the U.S.
Despite its relatively short time on the market, you can purchase HHC products in a wide variety of formats. Consumers can purchase whole-flower, vape cartridges, and edibles, including gummies or tinctures. Purchasing HHC products online is the best way to compare products and see the available third-party lab testing.
Try the most potent in the industry! Sourced from the purest form of HHC in the market, The Hemp Doctor offers this HHC Vape Cartridge. These vapes come in five different cultivars with something for everyone.
These are exciting innovations for adult consumers interested in alternative cannabinoids. If you are looking for a milder high with the benefits of Delta 9 THC, HHC products could be a good option. Hemp-derived products that provide a legal high will only continue to gain popularity. Safety and consumer education will improve once a more definite regulatory framework is introduced. Enjoy responsibly, and remember to start low and go slow, particularly when consuming products that can be intoxicating.
The Hemp Doctor offers the newest and most exciting cannabinoids on the market! Sourcing the purest form of HHC, The Hemp Doctor has produced an HHC vape with exceptional attention to detail and quality. See our line of full-spectrum cannabinoid products, including our HHC Vape Cartridges.