1. What are the effects of HHC cannabinoids on the body?
HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) is one of many alternative THC analogs finding their way into the limelight thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. Unlike more common extracts of hemp or the cannabis plant, such as delta-8 or delta-9, HHC is relatively new to the market. HHC is found in a variety of hemp and cannabis plants, but in small quantities. Experts are still conducting research studies, but it is possible to speculate about the way the compound works and how it affects the human body. This is because HHC is merely a hydrogenated THC molecule. Its synthesis process utilizes palladium to convert delta-8, delta-9, or delta-10 from hemp in a similar process to making margarine from vegetable oil. The added hydrogen atoms through the process of hydrogenation extends the shelf-life of the finished product, reducing molecular breakdown and degradation, and making changes to the chemical structure of the compound.
Just as margarine has similar properties to butter, HHC is thought to have similar properties to THC. In fact, their chemical structure is almost identical and they affect the body in similar ways. This includes working within the endocannabinoid system to bind with cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 receptors. The endocannabinoid system is also known as the bodily system that regulates important functions like:
- Immune system
Through this regulating system, HHC interacts with the above critical bodily functions as it enters the system. From there, it produces the benefits and side effects we’ll discuss in later questions.
2. How do HHC cannabinoids interact with other drugs?
Science has not yet mapped out all of the ways HHC might interact with various medications. However, there are a few things we can share. First, dose matters. Too much of the drug can be the catalyst for seriously bad side effects, and this is also true when it comes to interfering with other drugs. Consuming a modest dose first and working your way up to higher amounts slowly can help avoid negative reactions.
We also know that it can interact with medications like warfarin and estrogen, so check with a doctor before you add HHC to the mix.
3. What are the medical benefits of HHC cannabinoids?
HHC’s medical benefits are purely anecdotal at this time. It will require further study by scientists and researchers to determine potential problems or any type of negative effect associated with the consumption of HHC. Because it is so similar to THC, it is thought that it offers many of the same benefits. Evidence suggests that it offers many users pleasant feelings when they use it. These range from euphoric to relaxed and are generally considered to be positive outcomes, especially for people living with depression or PTSD, and similar disorders. It can also sometimes help with seizures, working to relax muscles, as well as potentially slowing cancer growth and improving ADHD. Scientific data also suggests that, similarly to marijuana products, HHC and other cannabinoids provide therapeutic benefits for patients with glaucoma, muscle spasticity, and sleep issues. Other potential benefits include reduced inflammation, euphoria, a sense of calm, lower anxiety and stress, and better sleep, in addition to others. These aren’t universal effects that everyone feels, however, as the results vary from case to case. HHC pairs well with other compounds, including CBN and CBD.
4. What are the side effects of HHC cannabinoids?
HHC is a more stable version of the traditional cannabis plant strain delta-9 as well as its sibling delta-8. So stable, in fact, that it is resistant to heat, UV light, and oxidation, which offers it a long shelf life and prolonged potency and makes it perfect for stashing.
What else does this stability mean? It means that its side effects are presumably more predictable than other THC strains. At this stage, however, we are left to speculate about side effects that are similar to those of conventional THC. These effects include:
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Rapid heart rate
- Sensitivity to sound and light
Cannabinoids affect everyone differently. Some people might experience many of the above side effects while others experience none of them. The size and concentration of doses are other important factors to consider. In general, higher HHC concentrations produce more intense results, including stronger side effects.
5. How are HHC cannabinoids metabolized by the body?
HHC’s metabolization process is similar to other cannabis-derived cannabinoids such as CBD and THC. The compound first enters the bloodstream and heads to your brain. Once it binds with your CB1 receptors, it travels to the liver where it is broken down. Next, the kidneys take care of removing it from your body entirely.
6. Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?
With all of its similarities to THC, does HHC show up on urine drug tests? The answer is murky. Some tests indicate that HHC metabolizes into similar metabolites as THC, like 8beta-hydroxy-HHC and 8alpha-hydroxy-HHC. These might be picked up on a drug screen. Even if they aren’t, residual THC in the chemical might.
Because there is so little research into the drug, most information comes from other users’ experiences. Some claim that HHC does not show up, while others claim that it does. The bottom line is that if you are worried about upcoming drug testing, staying away from the compound might be the best choice.
7. How do HHC cannabinoids affect the brain?
HHC interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a network consisting of endocannabinoids, enzymes, and receptors. More specifically, it binds with your CB1 reactor to alter your perception, appetite, and mood. In layman’s terms, it gives you a high.
More specifically, the CB1 receptor is responsible for triggering the sense of well-being and euphoria many users report. It can also respond to HHC use by triggering pain alleviation, anti-inflammation, sleep promotion, and better overall health.
8. What are the behavioral effects of HHC cannabinoids?
The behavioral effects of HHC vary from person to person. In some cases, it leads to a sense of relaxation and even euphoria. Individuals with these effects tend to also experience lower stress and anxiety than when they aren’t using. Lethargy and listlessness are other, neutral, behavioral side effects of HHC. Negative effects include triggering paranoia and insomnia, among others.
9. What are the long-term effects of HHC cannabinoids?
The long-term effects of HHC along with its long-term safety are currently unknown. Further research is required.