One of the newer cannabinoids that is being consumed more regularly these days is HHC. HHC is a cannabinoid present in hemp and cannabis plants. Although it may be one of the lesser-known cannabinoids at this time, mainly because it wasn’t discovered all too long ago, it is becoming quite popular as far as consumption is concerned.
Although the laws do keep changing, at this time, HHC is illegal in some states and unregulated in others. However, what is not federally legal is Delta-9 THC, or what most people just call THC. What is interesting to note is that the 2018 Farm Bill states that any cannabinoid that is derived from the hemp plant and contains less than 0.3% THC (Delta-9 THC) is legal.
So, does HHC have THC in it? We’re going to dive deeper and answer some pressing questions. What is HHC? Does HHC come up in a drug test? Let’s get to it and do a little HHC vs THC comparison.
- HHC stands for hexahydrocannabinol.
- HHC is a cannabinoid derived from THC.
- HHC does not contain THC, but it will still get you high.
What is HHC?
HHC stands for hexahydrocannabinol. HHC is a minor cannabinoid found in both hemp plants and marijuana plants. People have known about HHC for quite some time, although it hasn't been thoroughly researched yet. Although HHC is found in many cannabis and hemp plants, it is not present in very high quantities. This is unlike CBD and THC, which are major cannabinoids and can be found in high quantities.
Because HHC is not present in high quantities, extracting it is not cost-effective or feasible. However, it is possible to take THC from plants and turn it into HHC through a special process that we will discuss below. In simplest terms, HHC is a cannabinoid that does occur naturally in hemp and cannabis plants, although when it comes to human consumption, we synthesize it out of THC because it just doesn't exist in large enough quantities to make extraction feasible.
How is HHC Made?
If we are talking about how HHC is made, the process is quite difficult. The process here is known as hydrogenation. This is when the THC molecules are added. Specifically, one of the double bonds on the Delta-9 THC is taken and replaced with two hydrogen atoms.
This makes the molecule more stable and changes its weight, which leads to a longer shelf life. The process is a little more complicated than that, although those are the basics. Hydrogenation effectively turns Delta-9 THC into HHC, a completely different cannabinoid. It’s interesting that this cannabinoid occurs naturally, yet we choose to synthesize it in a laboratory setting.
Does HHC Get You High?
Although HHC is not THC or contains any THC, it will still get you high. HHC is very closely related to THC and only differs slightly in terms of molecular structure. HHC is a psychoactive substance and an intoxicant, which, in simplest terms, means that it will get you high.
An interesting fact here is that when HHC is produced in a laboratory setting, a batch of HHC is technically a mix of both inactive and active THC molecules, with about half of them being active and half being inactive. This means that the active HHC molecules bind with your body's cannabinoid receptors, whereas the others do not.
So, how high a specific batch of HHC makes you depends on how well that batch was mixed and how many active molecules it contains. However, technically speaking, this cannabinoid should get you high, with the effects being similar to those of Delta-9 THC.
What are the Effects of HHC?
As mentioned above, the effects of HHC are quite similar to those of THC. You are most likely going to feel all of those same effects, such as elation, euphoria, happiness, talkativeness, gigglyness, sociability, and being uplifted. You may also feel heavy, sedated, hungry, tingly, tired, and more. Just like THC, HHC may produce both a cerebral head high and a body high.
Both HHC and THC are psychoactive and intoxicants, which means that they get you high and impair your judgment and your cognitive abilities. While the effects of HHC are quite similar to those of THC, the difference lies in the potency or strength of the two cannabinoids. Although this is more anecdotal than anything else, many people do report that HHC doesn't have quite as many negative side effects as THC.
While it can make you feel hungry and tired and may also produce red eyes and dry mouth, it really shouldn't make you feel anxious or paranoid like high doses of THC might. In other words, HHC produces what most people would call a fairly smooth and relaxed high.
Is HHC Stronger than THC?
No, HHC is not stronger than THC. Although HHC is intoxicating and psychoactive, it is a bit weaker than THC. The potency of HHC is between 50% and 75% of THC. Therefore, it could take up to about twice as much HHC to produce the same kind of high as you would get from Delta-9 THC.
However, many people do appreciate this because it allows for a much smoother and mellower high and is therefore ideal for beginners and for people who just don't want to get too stoned.
Does HHC Contain THC?
Does HHC have THC? The answer here is no; HHC does not contain any THC. That hydrogenation process effectively turns THC molecules into HHC molecules. They are no longer the same things.
HHC is at this time not legal in every state but unregulated in some, which is exactly because it contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. Technically speaking, they are two completely different molecules, so HHC and THC are realistically two different things.
Will HHC Show up on a Drug Test?
Although this is not 100% confirmed, it is thought that HHC will not show up on a drug test. Drug tests look for what is known as 11-hydroxy-THC, which is what your body turns THC into as it breaks it down. Various forms of THC, such as Delta 8, Delta 9, and Delta-10 THC, all metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC.
However, it is thought that THC does not break down into 11-hydroxy-THC like other forms of THC do, and therefore it might not show up on a drug test. Once again, this has not yet been 100% confirmed, so don't stake your career on it.
Is HHC Legal?
According to the 2018 Farm Bill, which states that cannabinoid derivatives that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal, HHC should be legal. In order for HHC to be legal, it must also be hemp-derived, which means that it has to be derived from cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, not the cannabis plant. Therefore, at this time, HHC is federally legal, but individual states like Florida and Minnesota have still banned it and more states may follow.