What is HHC? A Complete Guide

HHC is another up-and-coming cannabinoid gaining popularity due to it being a great legal alternative to THC. This also makes it a great option for those who live in a state that has banned Delta 8. More people are becoming aware of the potential benefits these cannabinoids such as Delta 9 THC, CBD, and Delta 8 give, but what about HHC? We will take an in-depth look at HHC, its definition, uses, and potential benefits in this complete guide to HHC. You can then decide if HHC is right for you.


What is HHC?

Cannabis contains over 100 cannabinoids, isomers like Delta 8, Delta 10, CBD, and HHC. HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC, replacing the double bonds with hydrogen atoms.  What are cannabinoids anyway?  These are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant. Each one of these individual compounds contain their own unique function, benefits, and uses. These cannabinoids are found in trace amounts naturally, meaning that most must be made scientifically in order to be a viable commercial product.


Similar to other cannabinoids like THC and CBD, HHC reacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. There are two types of receptors, the CB1 receptor, which is responsible for controlling the nervous system and the CB2 receptor which controls the immune system. These receptors interact with different cannabinoids to produce various physical and chemical reactions.


Another reason some of these substances are becoming popular is due to the legality surrounding them. After the popularity of Delta 8 continued to rise, many states responded with an outright ban on the substance. The very same can be said about CBD after its emergence to the market. As of today, more is understood and accepted with CBD. The 2018 Farm bill cleared the way for many hemp-derived products availability, popularity, and success. This bill also set forth some clarity including definitions on allowable THC content for hemp-based products.


The History of HHC

The same chemist, Roger Adams, who was responsible for identifying and Isolating CBD in the 1940’s also created HHC, or Hexadydrocannabinoil. HHC is essentially a hydrogenated derivative of THC. Once hydrogen molecules were added to Delta 9 THC, through a process called hydrogenation, THC converts into HHC. This process is very similar to turning vegetable oil into margarine.


Even though HHC was discovered in the 40’s, there is still minimal research surrounding it and its effects. As you may imagine, one of the main chemical differences of HHC over THC is the presence of the two extra hydrogen atoms. This results in a change in how the molecule binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body. Due to this chemical difference, HHC actually has a much longer shelf life and tends to breakdown at a much slower rate than when exposed to UV light and heat. This means HHC retains a higher amount of its potency for much longer period of time, all good news for the consumer. 


How is HHC Made?

HHC can be made from THC, but it can also be derived from hemp. Being created from hemp is what allows the HHC products you find for sale online to be legally allowed. The process of making HHC starts off with extracting cannabidiol from raw hemp. The CBD is distilled and isolated. The powdery end product is then sold as CBD isolate products. CBD conversion to HHC can then be carried out which involves the use of artificial gastric juice. Another method commonly used is through the use of the terpenes citronellol and L-carvone via the same process. Finally, the catalyst is then removed from the mixture and the process has been completed.


Is HHC Legal?

HHC is federally legal because it occurs naturally in the hemp plant and industrial hemp is now legal to grow in the United States. This is only true for HHC made from hemp and consisting of no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, which is considered legal in all 50 states. HHC’s legality is put to question if it was deemed synthetic or not derived from hemp.


Is HHC stronger than Delta 9 THC?

The potency of HHC when compared to Delta 9 is difficult to articulate exactly. This is simply due to the fact that a lot of different factors come into play that are specific to the user. That said, with all factors equal HHC looks to be around 80% as potent, or intoxicating than Delta 9 THC, while HHC is around 20% more potent than Delta 8.


Does HHC Get You High?

The short answer is yes, although to what amount depends on a few variables.  The effects someone feels from HHC will depend on various factors, such as your previous cannabis tolerance, physical characteristics such as weight, physiology, and overall health. As mentioned, since HHC is roughly 80% as potent as Delta 9 THC (THC most people think of or reference when talking about weed), it is more than potent enough to get you high. Keep in mind, those who do have a higher tolerance for other cannabinoids can still expect a psychoactive experience, however it may be more mellow than traditional cannabis.


Being as HHC has an 80% potency compared to Delta 9, those with a low tolerance should first use HHC with caution and start out using no more than 3-5mg in order to first gauge how it affects your mind and body.


HHC Effects and Benefits

HHC looks to be a promising newcomer to the market. Psychoactive effects have been said to give more of a “productive high” when compared to Delta 9. This is great for those looking for an option that allows them to function through the day or focus on specific tasks at hand. Aside from a potency being greater than that of Delta 8, HHC may also provide the array of following benefits:

  • Anxiety Relief
  • Promote Relaxation
  • Feeling of Euphoria
  • Alleviate nausea and vomiting
  • Improve sleep quality


Is HHC Safe?

Like many new cannabinoids to the market, there is a lack of evidence to support their safety one way or another. While there are no existing reports as far as side effects go, this does not mean that HHC is necessarily safe. To ensure that you are getting a safe product, be sure to get your HHC products from a reputable source so that you can not only ensure their safely but also their legality. Remember, as mentioned earlier, HHC products must be hemp-derived and contain no more than 0.3% THC in order to be considered legal. Brands that provide full panel third party testing on their products will be the ones that you want to go with if you decide to try HHC for yourself. Rest assured, Everyday Delta only carries reputable brands and products that are backed by full panel third party testing, giving you peace of mind and confidence that you are getting a premium product free of harmful chemical and additives.  


Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?

While some indicate that HHC has the possibility of eluding a standard 5 panel drug test, the short answer is most likely yes. While there still has not been enough research completed for a definitive answer, the early evidence indicates that HHC will show up on a drug test. Although HHC is not technically considered THC, some users have reported passing drug tests whereas others have reported quite the opposite.


It is important to understand that there are a lot of different factors relating to how long HHC stays in your system. Factors include, amounts of HHC consumed, method of consumption, frequency of use, your overall tolerance, your body mass, and your own body’s unique physiology. All of these factors make an impact on whether or not HHC will remain in your system and if it will show up on a urine test. That said, we would not recommend taking HHC within 4 weeks or less of having to take a drug test. Until there is more research done and the legality of HHC becomes more definitive we wouldn’t recommend risking it.


To Recap

HHC is a great alternative for those looking for a product that is stronger than Delta 8 but less potent than Delta 9. It is also a great alternative for those who have limited legal access to either marijuana or Delta 8 in their area. Lastly, HHC is a great option for anyone who is looking for the psychoactive properties that CBD does not provide If you decide to give HHC a try, be sure to start out with a small dose around 3-5mg and properly assess your tolerance before moving onto a higher dosage.  


Find a great selection of HHC products ranging from disposable vapes, vape cartridges, and gummies at Everyday Delta.


(Disclaimer: All statements made by Everyday Delta referencing delta 8 THC, delta 9 THC, HHC, CBD, and other cannabinoids have not been evaluated by the FDA. No entity at Everyday Delta is a medical professional nor is Everyday Delta giving any medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the effects of cannabis, please reach out to a trusted medical professional.)