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What is HHC

What is HHC & What Do We Know So Far?

At this point, you’ve probably heard of lots of different cannabinoids, compounds found in the cannabis plant. There’s the famous tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), Delta 8, 9, and 10, plus many more.

There are more than 100 known cannabinoids in cannabis plants. One cannabinoid you may not be familiar with is Hexahydrocannabinol, also known as HHC. That changes today.

Let’s explore everything you need to know about HHC, from its legality to its potency and other relevant factors.

What Do Scientists Know About Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC)?

So far, there’s a lot that’s still unknown about HHC. Scientists have been aware of HHC for years but since it’s only a minor cannabinoid that occurs in small amounts, it hasn’t garnered much interest until recently. HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC. That means it has hydrogen atoms added to its chemical structure. The discovery of HHC occurred back in the 1940swhen scientist Roger Adams was working with natural THC from cannabis Sativa. Adding hydrogen to THC molecules is a minor alteration that produces HHC, a more stable molecule. This process, called hydrogenation, is also used for other purposes like converting vegetable oil into margarine. The hydrogenation creates a small difference that makes it so HHC lasts longer and is more damage-resistant than THC.

Where Do You Get HHC?

There are reports that there is only one US manufacturer who produces HHC and sells it wholesale. Whether that’s true is unclear but it’s certainly true that very few companies are currently producing HHC. 

That means there aren’t many companies selling retail HHC products, either. Customers who want HHC products may have to do some searching or choose to shop online. 

Online retailers offering HHC products generally have HHC oil and gummies. HHC vapes and tinctures are less common. 

If the law doesn’t change and demand for HHC increases, you can expect more retailers to start selling HHC products.

How Do People Use HHC Products?

People can use HHC products in many different ways, depending on the specific type of product.

HHC gummies, for example, are used the same way as any other edibles. The user chooses their dosage, eats the HHC gummy, and waits to feel the effects.

Similarly, an HHC tincture is used the same way as a CBD tincture. The only difference is which cannabinoid is in the product. 

You have plenty of flexibility regarding how you can use or consume HHC products. Many people use it recreationally but some people use it for different medical purposes, too.

How Do People Use HHC Products?

Is HHC Legal?

The legality of HHC is currently murky. The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp derivatives, as long as the substance does not contain any more than 0.3 percent THC. Since HHC is technically not THC, it should be legal under this bill.

However, commercial HHC is made in a lab through hydrogenation which makes it a semi-synthetic cannabis compound. Because of this, it could get the attention of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). At the moment, it’s all up to interpretation.

It’s worth mentioning that individual states can make HHC illegal, too. That’s not likely to happen yet since HHC is still a niche product but it could happen in the future if HHC gets more popular.

Will HHC show up in a drug test?

It’s assumed that HHC won’t show up on drug tests but that is by no means a certainty.

It seems that HHC doesn’t break down in the body the same way THC does. Other forms of THC like delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 get broken down in the body into 11-hydroxy-THC but HHC doesn’t appear to. This is the substance that most drug panels look for so if HHC doesn’t turn into 11-hydroxy-THC, HHC users should pass their drug tests. 

However, more research into this topic is still required. If you’re consistently drug tested, you should probably still avoid using HHC just to be on the safe side. 

How is HHC made?

In terms of commercially producing HHC, the process is fairly complicated. 

As mentioned previously, the term for the process of altering a THC molecule into an HHC molecule is called hydrogenation. It may sound simple but the process is quite sophisticated.

To get a usable amount of HHC, the producer needs to saturate THC with hydrogen atoms under high pressure. They also need a catalyst like palladium or nickel. 

How potent is HHC?

The potency level of HHC depends on the ratio between active and inactive HHC molecules. 

When producers are making HHC, they try to keep the ratio at least 50:50 but ideally 2:1 active to inactive. In this ratio, the HHC should be fairly potent.

What Are the Side-Effects of HHC?

While more studies into HHC are needed to have a comprehensive view of its effects, preliminary research into the compound is encouraging. It doesn’t seem any less safe than THC and reportedly produces similar side effects.

These potential side effects include:

      Eye redness

      Increased heart rate

      Trouble sleeping

      Increased appetite



      Dry mouth


As always, if you have any concerns about the potential side effects that HHC use could have on you, you should consult a medical professional. It’s better to be on the safe side when it comes to your health. 

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