Bring up THC or CBD in a conversation, and chances are, people will instantly recognize these acronyms as the two most well-known cannabinoids derived from the cannabis plant. While THC and CBD are currently the most studied among the hundreds of known cannabinoids, there are others just making their way into the spotlight, such as PHC and THCA.
We’ve talked about THCA before, but what is the PHC cannabinoid?
PHC is a recently identified cannabinoid that is gaining attention for its alleged potency and long-lasting effects. Let’s explore PHC, understand its effects, and compare it to popular cannabinoids like THC.
What is the PHC Cannabinoid?
So, what is PHC? THC and other cannabinoids, as highlighted above, are commonly recognized for their varying effects and uses, but PHC stands out as a unique player in this diverse family.
PHC, which stands for hydrox4PHC, is a synthetic compound derived from delta-9 (D9) acetate, also known as THCO or sometimes abbreviated as D9o. Don’t be too alarmed by the term “synthetic” here — it’s not a concoction made up in a mad scientist’s lab. “Sythnetic” simply means that the PHC cannabinoid doesn’t exist by itself in the cannabis plant; it must be extracted from naturally produced THC through a lab-run chemical process.
D9o interacts with your body much like D9, with the only distinction being an additional acetate on the molecule. This extra acetate renders the compound inactive until the body breaks it down. It also results in a slower rate of metabolism, which means the resulting byproduct — THC — may stay in the body for a longer period of time.
Since PHC is derived from D9o, PHC molecules undergo a similar process, essentially transforming into or behaving like THC when consumed.
What is PHC Weed and How is it Made?
Ultimately, PHC weed refers to any product that contains the PHC cannabinoid. However, this naturally prompts a follow-up question: how is PHC made?
PHC and D9
As previously mentioned, the production of PHC, as with other cannabinoids, involves a specialized process, typically conducted in a professional lab setting. The initial step in the process consists of combining THC with a chemical known as acetic anhydride to create D9o.
Once D9o is synthesized, it undergoes a sequence of controlled chemical reactions designed to replicate naturally occurring processes in the cannabis plant. These reactions transform D9o into the final product, PHC.
PHC Live Resin
The extraction of PHC from D9o involves a highly specific process, but PHC live resin undergoes an even more rigorous extraction method. The PHC live resin process occurs at a lower temperature, which helps preserve the natural aroma and taste of the cannabis plant. This preservation allows the concentrate to retain the cannabis plant’s distinct flavors and potency.
With its heightened potency, consuming PHC live resin tends to yield a more elevated experience, delivering a complex high.
Even more potent than PHC live resin is PHC distillate, which is produced through a meticulous distillation process conducted at higher temperatures. This process eliminates terpenes, the elements responsible for the flavors and aromas of the cannabis plant while extracting concentrated oil.
The result is a nearly 100% pure PHC distillate. This refined form of PHC boasts heightened potency, providing an intense and prolonged high.
Does PHC Cause a High?
PHC is metabolized into THC, which means it produces psychoactive effects. However, due to its status as a relatively recent discovery, there is a limited body of research on PHC.
The potential effects of PHC mirror those typically associated with Delta-9 THC but are described as longer-lasting and sometimes more potent. People have described experiencing feelings of:
While the described effects of PHC are similar to those commonly linked with Delta-9 THC, it’s important to note that these observations are primarily anecdotal. Current research into PHC is still ongoing, and much of our understanding comes from individual experiences and preliminary observations. Consequently, while some users may describe these effects, they may not apply to everyone.4
Additionally, taking too much PHC, like any other cannabinoid, can result in adverse effects. To mitigate these risks, begin with minimal dosages and incrementally adjust the amount. This will allow you to build your tolerance and become accustomed to the effects of PHC, ensuring a safer and more enjoyable experience.
PHC vs. THC
Since PHC effectively turns into THC once consumed, it’s natural to wonder about any notable differences between the two.
One of the primary differences between PHC and THC is the duration of effects. A Delta-9 high from vaping, smoking, or tinctures can last 1–4 hours, with effects from Delta-9 edibles lasting as long as 4–8 hours. PHC, often consumed as vapes or gummies, typically produces a high that lasts upwards of 8 hours, setting it apart from other cannabinoids that typically offer a shorter duration of effects.
Generally, though, the sensations linked to PHC are similar to those associated with Delta-9, with some people describing an experience comparable to consuming Delta-9 edibles.
PHC Legality and Availability
Currently, PHC is a federally legal cannabinoid.
The 2018 Farm Bill5 states that hemp-derived cannabinoids that contain 0.3% THC or less are federally legal in the US. Because PHC is compliant with Farm Bill stipulations, it’s considered federally legal.
However, the DEA has raised concerns6 about the legality of synthetic cannabinoids, claiming that they don’t fall within the coverage of the Farm Bill. Although this stance is specifically regarding THCO, designating it as a controlled substance, there is a possibility that it could evolve to include PHC in the future.
Some states have banned psychoactive cannabinoids derived from hemp, so it’s best to look up your state’s regulations before purchasing PHC products.
Experience The Hemp Doctor Difference
There’s still much to be learned about PHC, and staying well-informed, keeping up-to-date with the legislative landscape in your state, and buying PHC products from reputable sources are essential measures for those interested in exploring this new addition to the cannabinoid family.
Curious about the latest developments in the cannabinoid world? Our blog is full of in-depth information on PHC and hemp-derived products to help you understand your options and make informed decisions.
When you’re ready to add cannabis to your routine, explore products with confidence by choosing from The Hemp Doctor’s premium selection of Delta-8 and Delta-9 offerings. Our commitment to 100% organic farming and the use of US-grown hemp plants ensures the highest quality, with rigorous third-party testing guaranteeing our products’ purity and effectiveness. Whether you prefer edibles, softgels, tinctures, or inhalants, we’ve got something for your lifestyle.
1Kaul, Malvika, et al. “Effects of Cannabinoids on Sleep and Their Therapeutic Potential for Sleep Disorders.” Neurotherapeutics, vol. 18, 12 Feb. 2021, https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-021-01013-w.
2 Childs, Emma, Joseph A. Lutz, and Harriet de Wit. “Dose-related Effects of Delta-9-THC on Emotional Responses to Acute Psychosocial Stress.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 169, 1 Nov. 2016, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037687161730220X.
3Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University. “An Individuality of Response to Cannabinoids: Challenges in Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis Products.” PMC, vol. 2023, 20 Mar. 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10058560/.
4Miller, Sarah. “Is Cannabis a Remedy for Anxiety?” Jefferson Health, 8 Mar. 2023, https://www.jeffersonhealth.org/your-health/living-well/is-cannabis-a-remedy-for-anxiety.
5“Farm Bill.” USDA, www.usda.gov/farmbill. 6“The Drug Enforcement Administration Clarifies That Delta-9-THCO and Delta-8-THCO Are Controlled Substances.” Cannabis Science Tech, 21 Feb. 2023, www.cannabissciencetech.com/view/the-drug-enforcement-administration-clarifies-that-delta-9-thco-and-delta-8-thco-are-controlled-substances.