There has been a wave of new cannabinoids sweeping the country. From delta 8 THC to delta-O, there are an abundance of new compounds in the spotlight. All of these new cannabinoids invite potential accompanied by questions. One compound circulating more questions and confusion than the rest is HHC.
Is it legal? How does it affect the body? Is it naturally occurring in the cannabis plant? Let’s make sense of HHC with a basic breakdown of the major things to know.
What is HHC?
HHC was first made by American chemist Roger Adams in 1944. By adding hydrogen molecules to delta 9 THC, Rogers created HHC through a process known as hydrogenation. This process converts traditional delta 9 THC to hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC.
Though Rogers created HHC with cannabis-derived THC, these days the compound is most often made through a process that begins with hemp plants, the lower THC-containing plant made federally legal through the 2018 Farm Bill. HHC has been long known to scientist, but just recently started gaining traction with cannabis users.
HHC is said to be similar to delta 8 and delta-9 THC by consumers. It does have psychoactive properties and could boast some of the same benefits as other compounds.
Is HHC Legal?
Because of recent production being derived from hemp plants, early manufactures and distributors of products containing HHC often claim its full legality. Some argue because HHC is typically derived from hemp plants and CBD that undergoes a hydrogeneration process, it is not actually THC and therefor consumers should be in the clear. For now, HHC exists in the murky legal zone delta 8 THC seems to be navigating its exit from.
In May 2022, delta 8 THC was confirmed to be legal under the Farm Bill hemp definition by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Along with delta 8 THC, all other derivatives and compounds of hemp containing under 0.3% delta 9 THC are also legal.
Until HHC finds itself under a state-regulated system, consumers must weigh the pros and cons of this compound for themselves and decide whether its for them or not.
Is HHC Safe to Consume?
Similar to any cannabinoid, there is no set or standard dose and limited research on both long-term and immediate effects. Some early consumers of HHC have claimed a reduced “high” effect similar to that of delta 8 THC.
When produced in a lab, HHC has two types of molecules, both active and inactive. The active HHC binds with receptors in the endocannabinoid system well, which could be the cause of its psychoactive properties. Hydrogenation alters the structure of delta-9 THC, replacing the double bond on its carbon chain with two hydrogen atoms.
HHC is found in miniscule amounts naturally in hemp plants, but not enough can be extracted for use in products. Most products found today are made with the HCC that was created in a lab. Because of this, HHC is considered semi-synthetic. The process to create HHC – hydrogeneration – adds hydrogen atoms to the chemical structure which stabilizes it. This can make the new chemical compound more resistant to degrading and oxidation, giving it a longer shelf life. Overall, nothing points to HHC being an unsafe cannabinoids product.
With that being said, just like any cannabinoid product, it is key to find a reliable and trustworthy source. Due to its recent popularity, there is very limited testing when it comes to HHC. Finding products that submit to third-party laboratory testing is the best way to ensure you are getting a good and reliable product.
Turn to Real Tested CBD for the most transparent independent lab testing in the cannabinoid industry. Bringing trustworthy and un-biased reviews and lab tests directly to the consumer, you can make an educated purchase easily.