As the legislation around cannabis and hemp products grows and the substances’ legality in much of the United States becomes more clearly defined, the benefits of marijuana and cannabinoids are available to people in much of the country. Among these products, delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8) and hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) are some of the most popular for individuals looking for help with conditions ranging from appetite, anxiety, sleep quality, and everything in between. Regulations change from state to state. We urge that you research legal information, and laws on possession before ordering any cannabinoid.
2. History of HHC
First created in 1944, HHC was discovered when Roger Adams, a noted American chemist, added hydrogen molecules to delta-9, one of the most common components found in cannabis plants. Also known as hydrogenation, the process converts THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) to HHC (hexahydrocannabinol). The added hydrogen atom bonds to the cannabinol molecule, changing the chemical structure, which improves the stability of the molecule. This results in reduced breakdown or degradation when exposed to light and heat, providing a longer shelf-life. Adams created the compound using traditional cannabis plant-derived THC. Today, HHC is typically derived from hemp plants, a low-THC plant recently made legal on a federal level through the 2018 farm bill. The solvents and catalysts used to synthesize HHC can be dangerous if manufacturers do not have strict production and remediation methods in place. Consuming unresearched compounds is not without risk, for the sake of safety, start by researching the ingredients used to decide if the safety profile and manufacturing process align with your lifestyle. Your choice of companies, brands or lab for sourcing HHC will determine the safety and quality of your experience.
3. History of Delta 8
The history of delta-8 is a bit more storied than that of HHC. The substance also hails from the 1940s, but it wouldn’t be completely synthesized until the mid-1960s. Much of the early research on the compound in the United States was completed in the 1970s.
In 1974, researchers began examining the impact of the cannabinoids delta-8, delta-9, and CBD on mice. Conducted by the National Cancer Institute and primarily intended to prove that THC was harmful to the immune system, the research instead discovered that delta-8 possessed cancer-fighting abilities. Additional research was carried out the next year, this time using rats. Scientists found that high purity delta-8 has the ability to shrink tumors.
4. Differences between HHC and Delta 8
While delta-8 and HHC have numerous similarities, they also have a number of differences. HHC is known as a “natural phytocannabinoid” while delta-8 is a THC isomer. HHC is most popular in markets with laws that restrict THC isomers as an alternative to delta compounds. While both drugs can be found in the cannabis sativa and hemp plant. Both interact with cannabinoid receptors, HHC is found in trace amounts while delta-8 is available in more ready supply. It can also be synthesized, which has been a difficult process for HHC. Both HHC and delta-8 primarily bond with the CB1 receptor to produce their effects. Pairing either of these compounds with terpenes and other cannabinoids like CBN and THC-O improves the entourage effect, and can provide a wider range of benefits.
With all of that said, what is the main difference between delta-8 and HHC in layman’s terms? HHC is slightly less potent than delta-8.
5. Benefits of HHC
HHC is a less popular cannabinoid option than delta-8, and relatively few research studies have been done into the way it impacts the human body. Any discussion of benefits will be more speculative than delta-8’s, but there are a few things we can say with reasonable certainty. We know that HHC can help with inflammation, pain relief, and anxiety in some people. For others, HHC also helps improve sleep quality, especially at higher potency doses.
For most users, HHC produces a gentle experience with mellow side effects and moderate strength. Thanks to the low-stress high, it is often the strain beginners purchase.
6. Benefits of Delta 8
Individuals familiar with cannabis strains will be familiar with the general benefits delta-8 THC has to offer. The product is very mellow without giving up as much potency as HHC and offers the “Hallmarks” of a THC high:
- Increased energy levels
- Pain relief
- Better focus
- Increased hunger
- Intense relaxation feelings without “brain fog”
These benefits tend to be dose-specific and increase or wane depending on the amount consumed and a person’s tolerance. Note that the impact of delta 8 is lower than that of delta 9, but it can still produce a strong high if taken at higher concentrations.
7. Side Effects of HHC
Just as it is difficult to say what benefits HHC reliably offers, the little research regarding the chemical’s reaction with the endocannabinoid system makes it difficult to name concrete long and short-term side effects. While HHC has yet to produce reports of serious, life-threatening risks, there are still some effects to keep in mind.
Because HHC is so similar to delta-8, some of the same side effects users experience when taking it are also thought to be present in HHC. These include:
- Sleep disturbances
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Red eyes
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Failed drug tests
Side effects are uncommon and are generally symptoms of overconsumption. If you find yourself feeling these effects, some studies have shown cannabidiol or CBD to be effective option for reducing negative effects. For best results, take a test dose to see how your body reacts before consuming large amounts.
8. Side Effects of Delta 8
Delta-8 side effects are similar not only to those described above but also to those caused by delta-9 THC. This includes:
- Red eyes
- Rapid heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Slowed reaction time
- Reduced coordination
- Memory loss
These reactions vary from person to person, and not everyone experiences them. It is important to take the proper quantities of the drug in all cases and take any health conditions like advanced age or disease in mind when taking delta 8 THC. Your personal nutrition, level of exercise, and water consumption can play a part in the way any cannabinoid affects you. With severe reactions, consult a doctor if side effects persist longer than 24 hours.
9. Uses of HHC
The uses of HHC are quite difficult to determine. We can look at other strains of the marijuana plant and the way they impact people around the world to reasonably speculate about the drug’s potential purposes.
For some cannabis users, HHC is thought to improve concentration, sleep health, and cognitive function. Reduced anxiety and increased relaxation are two other potential benefits.
As with anything, these uses might not be true for just anyone. They depend on consumption amount and tolerance to the drug as well as the body’s unique reaction to the chemicals, which can vary from person to person.
10. Uses of Delta 8
Scientific evidence shows that delta-8 can be used to lower nausea and vomiting induced by cancer chemotherapy treatment. It has also been used to improve mood and appetite in these patients, sometimes inducing the “munchies” and allowing them to eat despite the cancer treatment. Remember that delta-8 has not been evaluated by the US FDA.
11. Comparative Analysis of HHC and Delta 8
The main differences between HHC and delta-8 are related to potency and the strength of side effects. HHC has not been known to cause any notable long-term negative side effects, while delta-8, a stronger drug, sometimes does. If you have further questions regarding legality in your state, please visit our site or call our knowledgeable account managers.