The buzz around cannabinoids has been growing steadily in recent years. More and more people are curious about their potential health benefits. Therefore, players in the hemp and cannabis industry are coming up with new products containing less well-known cannabinoids.
One of these cannabinoids is HHC or hexahydrocannabinol. This cannabinoid is found in very low concentrations in the cannabis plant. In fact, its concentration is so low that it’s often considered a trace cannabinoid. So, is HHC THC-free? In this article, we will explore this question in detail. We will also take a look at the effects of this cannabinoid and whether it can show up in a drug test. Read on!
What is HHC?
HHC (or hexahydrocannabinol) is a minor cannabinoid that has been long known to science, but its new-found popularity in recent years is attributed to its potential therapeutic benefits.
HHC is one of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. However, it is semi-synthetic, meaning that it is produced in the lab thanks to its trace amounts in the plant. Watch this video to understand HHC better.
How is HHC Produced?
It is found in very small amounts in the cannabis plant; extracting it naturally is quite challenging. Therefore, it is extracted using a method known as hydrogenation.
Hydrogenation is a process that uses hydrogen gas to convert unsaturated organic compounds into saturated ones. The resulting product is a more stable compound that is less likely to oxidize or go bad. This process was first developed in the early 1900s and is commonly used in the food industry to hydrogenate oils (such as vegetable oil) to make them more shelf-stable.
When cannabis extracts are exposed to hydrogen gas, the hydrogen atoms attach to the carbon atoms in the THC molecule. This “saturates” the molecule and makes it more stable. The end result is a compound that is more resistant to oxidation and degradation.
Also, the hydrogenation process alters the chemical structure of THC. This means that instead of the double bonds found in THC, hydrogen atoms are attached to the carbon atoms. This makes HHC less psychoactive than THC.
Does HHC Get You High?
There is no consensus on the potency of HHC. Some people say that it is very potent, while others claim that it is not potent at all. This confusion can be explained by understanding HHC's manufacturing process.
After hydrogenation, the end product is a mixture of two HHC molecules: 9R HHC and 9S HHC. The ratio of these two molecules is not known, and it is possible that the ratio varies from batch to batch. The difference between the two molecules is significant because 9R HHC binds strongly to the body's endocannabinoid receptors, especially CB₁ receptors. This binding leads to the psychoactive effects associated with HHC use.
On the other hand, 9S HHC has a slightly different chemical structure that prevents it from binding as strongly to CB₁ receptors. This means that it is not as likely to produce the psychoactive effects of HHC. So, what does this all mean? If the ratio of these two molecules in a particular batch of HHC is high in favor of the psychoactive molecule (R), then that batch will be more potent and likely to get you high. If the ratio is low in favor of the non-psychoactive molecule (S), then that batch will be less potent and not as likely to get you high.
The bottom line is that we don't know the potency of HHC because the ratio of these two molecules can vary. However, the potency of this cannabinoid can be compared with that of delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC is about half as potent as delta-9 THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. However, experts argue that the hydrogenation process used to make HHC can produce a more potent product than delta-8 THC but less potent than delta-9 THC.
So, does HHC get you high? Yes! The potency ranges from mild to strong, depending on the ratio of R to S molecules in a particular batch. However, the exact ratio of these molecules is not clear, and it's impossible to say exactly how potent any given batch of HHC will be. So, if you're looking to get high from HHC, start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.
Effects Of HHC
Like any other cannabinoid, HHC can produce various effects on the human body. The most common effects reported by users include:
Euphoria: This is a feeling of intense happiness or well-being. It is characterized by a sense of mental and physical well-being, increased self-confidence, and feelings of social connectedness.
Relaxation: When you consume HHC, you may feel a sense of relaxation and calmness. This is because HHC binds to the body's CB₁ receptors, which regulate mood and anxiety.
Sensory Enhancement: HHC may also cause an increase in sensory perception. This means that you may become more aware of your surroundings and the sensations you feel. You may also notice colors and sounds more vividly.
Energy Boost: Some people report feeling more energetic after consuming HHC. You may feel a sense of motivation and an increase in physical activity.
Happiness: HHC is often used to improve mood and alleviate stress. This is because it can increase levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for regulating mood and happiness.
Does it Have Side Effects?
Yes, like all cannabinoids, HHC can produce side effects. The most common side effects include:
Anxiety: Some people may feel anxious after consuming HHC. This is a feeling of unease, worry, or fear. If you feel anxious after consuming HHC, it is best to stop using it and speak with a doctor.
Dry mouth: This is a condition in which the mouth feels dry and sticky. It is caused by a decrease in saliva production.
Dizziness: This is a feeling of lightheadedness or unsteadiness. It can be caused by a drop in blood pressure.
Increased heart rate: Just like THC, HHC can increase heart rate. This may not be a big deal for some people, but it’s something to be aware of if you have a heart condition.
Paranoia: This is a feeling of suspicion or distrust. This side effect often goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. It is common in people who consume large amounts of HHC.
Remember, the effects of HHC vary from person to person. What may cause one person to feel relaxed may cause another person to feel anxious. Several factors can influence the effects of HHC, including:
The amount consumed: The effects of HHC are dose-dependent. This means that the more you consume, the more pronounced the effects will be.
The ratio of R to S molecules: As mentioned earlier, the ratio of R to S molecules can affect the potency of HHC. A higher ratio of R to S molecules will result in a more potent product.
The individual’s body chemistry: Everyone has different body chemistry. This means that the same dose of HHC may produce different effects in different people.
The individual’s tolerance: Tolerance is the body’s ability to adjust to a substance. The more you use HHC, the less effective it will be. This is why it’s important to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed.
The individual’s mood: Your mood can affect the effects of HHC. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you may find that the effects of HHC are more pronounced.
The individual’s environment: The environment in which you consume HHC can also affect the effects. If you’re in a relaxed setting, you’re more likely to feel relaxed after consuming HHC. But if you’re in a stimulating environment, such as a crowded bar, you may find the effects more intense.
How To Minimize The Side Effects Of HHC
There are a few things you can do to minimize the side effects of HHC:
This is the most important piece of advice. Start with a very small amount of HHC and increase gradually as needed. The best HHC carts, such as HHC Vape Cartridge Bubba Kush and HHC Vape Cartridge Sour Elektra, come with well-written instructions on how to start slow. But since there is no one-size-fits-all approach, it’s always best to start with a few puffs in intervals of a few hours and see how you feel.
Water is your friend when it comes to HHC. Staying hydrated will help minimize the cotton mouth effect and other possible side effects, such as dry eyes.
Alcohol and HHC don’t mix well. Avoid alcohol if you’re using HHC, as it can intensify the side effects. However, if you must drink, do so in moderation and give yourself plenty of time to recover before using HHC again.
Get Some Sleep
HHC can sometimes cause insomnia, so it’s important to get some sleep when you can. If you have trouble sleeping, try taking a hot bath or reading a book before bed. Avoid using HHC late at night if possible.
Get Some Rest
HHC can sometimes cause anxiety or paranoia, so it’s important to get some rest after using it. If you feel anxious or paranoid, try lying down in a dark room and breathing deeply until the feeling passes.
Don't Be Afraid To Try Different Products
If you find that one HHC product doesn't work for you, don't give up on the whole category. There are many different HHC products on the market, each slightly different. Trying a few different products until you find one that works for you is the best way to succeed with HHC.
HHC is a great way to consume cannabis, but it’s essential to be aware of the possible side effects. By following the tips above, you can minimize the chances of experiencing any negative effects.
Is HHC Legal
Federally, all HHC products are legal as long as they conform to the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that HHC products typically contain less than 0.3% of THC. However, state laws vary, and some states have not yet updated their laws to reflect federal law. It’s always best to check your local laws before purchasing or consuming any HHC products.
For instance, selling, manufacturing, or possessing cannabis products in states like Iowa and Mississippi is illegal. However, other states have not yet passed laws regulating HHC products. This means that, while technically legal, the sale and possession of HHC products in these states are a legal grey area.
Check your local laws before purchasing or consuming any HHC products. Remember, there are currently no laws specifically regulating HHC at the federal level, so it’s up to each state to decide how to handle these products. Therefore, it is your responsibility to know your local laws before consuming HHC.