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What Is HHC?

What Is HHC?

As cannabis products get more attention with legalization being passed in more states, people are naturally curious about exploring a wider variety of products—especially in those places were you still can’t get THC. That’s where HHC comes in.

Among all the various “alternative cannabinoids” on the market—CBD, CBG, CBN—you may already have heard of HHC. But…what is HHC? And is it really a viable substitute for the most renowned cannabinoid of all?

Relax. We’re going to help you get it all sorted out. We know that researching cannabis products can be confusing as there are so many compounds, each with its own properties and effects—not to mention the ever-changing legal status of these products, both from state to state and federally. In today’s article, we'll answer these burning questions, so keep reading to understand what HHC is, the properties of this unique cannabinoid, HHC’s effects, how it compares with THC, and its current legal status.

What Is HHC?

If you know anything at all about cannabis and hemp, it’s probably that the best-known cannabinoids derived from these plants are THC and CBD. THC, of course, is best known for imparting an intoxicating high—but it has a surprisingly wide range of medicinal effects too, like easing pain and nausea among many others.

A pink background with various cannabis products

CBD isn’t intoxicating like THC, though some people describe a gentle “buzziness” that can feel a little like caffeine. Studies show it can help relieve pain and tame anxiety, and even more than THC, it may be linked to many other benefits.

Hemp and cannabis plants contain more than 100 other cannabinoids, some of which have only recently been identified and studied. One of these that has been getting some attention lately is HHC—or hexahydrocannabinol—a compound which is actually derived from various forms of THC. 

It was first discovered in the 1940s by a chemist named Roger Adams, who used a chemical process called hydrogenation to change THC into HHC. According to those who work with it, hydrogenation improves HHC’s chemical stability and resistance to breakdown. Those two additional hydrogenated carbons also give HHC distinct effects, in addition to the impact on shelf life and resistance to the effects of UV radiation.

Some research suggests that HHC may exist naturally in cannabis and hemp in trace quantities, but this hasn't been verified so far. These days, HHC is usually produced from other hemp-derived cannabinoids such as Delta-8. Several methods are used to convert Delta-8 into HHC, many of which use various metals as chemical catalysts. One thing’s for certain: You can't safely produce your own HHC at home unless you have a knowledge of chemistry and a well-equipped laboratory.

What is HHC-P?

Just like HHC is produced by hydrogenating THC, HHC-P is made by altering the chemical composition of HHC. By enhancing the structure of its carbon side chain, some research suggests that HHC analogs may bind to our CB1 cannabinoid receptors—the ones that allow us to feel the euphoric “high”—more efficiently. 

This reinforces what many people report they experience from HHC-P’s effects—as more potent and longer lasting than HHC.

What is HHC-O?

HHC-O is also produced by altering HHC. In this case, a chemical compound called acetic anhydride is applied to regular HHC. This makes HHC-O even more chemically similar to delta-9 THC, which is the most common form of THC found in hemp and cannabis. People report that HHC-O feels pretty close to ingesting THC in terms of speed, absorption, and effects. 

HHC vs THC: What’s the Difference? 

If HHC is chemically similar to THC and has similar effects, why would you seek it out? Aside from the legal question—which we’ll dig into—there are subtle differences. While the two cannabinoids have much in common, they’re not the same thing! Most people report that HHC’s effects are milder than THC, though more potent forms of HHC like HHC-P and HHC-O may be more on par with THC’s effects.

HHC’s Benefits and Effects

People enjoy cannabis products for a wide variety of reasons. Some take it to relax, improve their mood, or enhance social interactions. Others take it for medical reasons such as pain management. But when someone asks “what is HHC,” they’re probably most interested in what kind of effect it has on the body, the mind, and the emotions.

If you’ve ever tried THC, you know what that very special euphoric psychoactivity feels like. And given that HHC is derived from THC, the easiest way to describe it is that it creates a similar, if less intense high. 

Remember how we mentioned delta-9 THC—the “regular” form of THC—a moment ago? If you’ve ever tried the other most common form of THC (delta-8) you have a pretty good idea of what working with HHC feels like. It definitely feels like it’s related to THC, just not quite as strong. If you’re looking for an HHC product that packs a bigger punch, you may want to try HHC-P and HHC-O.

The Dopest’s HHC products have over 11,000 five-star reviews, and our customers report enjoying HHC for:

  • Pain relief
  • Reducing stress and boosting mood
  • Relaxation
  • Better sleep

While most experts agree that more research is needed to better understand HHC’s effects and how they interact with our bodies, many people are already enjoying the benefits and effects of HHC products.

Potential Side Effects of HHC

As with any substance, natural or synthetic, some people may experience certain side effects from working with HHC. While the effects of HHC haven't been studied as extensively as those associated with other cannabinoids, HHC may produce side effects that are similar to THC, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Slowed reaction times

Generally, these side effects are associated with taking too large a dose. It's important to learn your own levels of tolerance since everybody experiences cannabinoids differently depending on their own physiology. Start with small dosages and gradually increase them to find your ideal dose for the effects you’re looking for. 

Your experience may also differ depending on the dosage and potency of the product, which is why it's important to check out the lab test results for any product you’re purchasing. In addition to reporting on potency, you can find other information on purity and safety in a Certificate of Analysis provided by the testing lab. 

What’s the Legal Status of HHC?

As you’re no doubt aware, the legal status of cannabis products can be confusing because there are both state and federal laws, and both are subject to frequent changes and updates. But if you want to try cannabinoids out for yourself, it's important to be aware of these laws if you want to safely purchase these products.

Cannabis-derived delta-9 THC is currently illegal at the federal level. States differ, with some legalizing marijuana for medical use only, others for recreational use, and some outlawing it altogether. However, because HHC is chemically distinct from THC and produced from hemp, laws restricting THC don't actually apply to HHC. This means that HHC is still legal federally when it’s hemp derived and compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill.

What if you’re in a cannabis-illegal state? HHC is relatively new to the marketplace, which means that most states haven't specifically banned or legalized it. However, if your state has broad restrictions that cover all cannabinoids, these may apply to HHC as well. 

Stay on top of it, because as HHC gains traction and these products get better known and more popular, it’s entirely possible that states may pass legislation limiting its use and sale. We recommend that each person interested in HHC and related cannabinoids do their own due diligence in the state in which they live, to be sure they understand and are in compliance with local and state laws.

Exploring HHC With The Dopest

As cannabis laws become less restrictive, there will be a wider variety of products hitting the market, including newer cannabinoids like HHC, HHC-P, and HHC-O.

Created by hydrogenating the popular cannabinoid THC, HHC is functionally similar though most people report it’s not quite as strong. That said, there are more powerful chemical cousins of HHC known as HHC-P and HHC-O that you may be interested in trying out. And while HHC may be similar to THC in many regards, there’s at least one major advantage: all of our HHC products are compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill and can be shipped to all 50 states.

Ready to try HHC? You’re in the right place! We make it a point to stock only the best and purest HHC products, and we stand behind each and every one of them by sharing the Certificate of Analysis for all our exceptional HHC products. From The Dopest flower to 2G liquid diamonds to disposable vapes and beyond, we’ve got what you need. Try our HHC products and let us know how your experience was in the comments section. Or learn more about HHC, THCA, and other dope topics on the blog.