As cannabis becomes more widely available in many states around the country, a new cannabinoid is gaining popularity: Hexahydrocannabinol (also known as HHC), which is a derivative of delta-9 THC.
While this type of cannabinoid is still new to the market, it’s promising to be one of the newest and most potent compounds that are poised to dominate the cannabis scene in years to come.
HHC, pronounced “hexa,” is one of these lesser-known cannabinoids. It occurs naturally in small quantities, but it’s been synthetically produced in labs for a few years now.
Hexahydrocannabinol – A Hydrogenated Derivative of Tetrahydrocannabivarin
Hexahydrocannabinol is a hydrogenated derivative of tetrahydrocannabivarin, aka delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This minor cannabinoid is commonly used in cannabis products to provide relaxation and similar effects.
It is legal in most states, and it can be found in tinctures, vapes, gummies, and edibles. It’s also legal in some medical marijuana jurisdictions, and is especially beneficial for those suffering from chronic pain or other serious ailments.
Hexahydrocannabinol can be extracted from the hemp plant by acidic treatment and successive hydrogenation. The latter process replaces a double bond with two hydrogen atoms, which alters the molecular weight and improves its stability.
This process can be done in an open vessel, like a flask, or under an atmosphere of argon. The solvent can be ethanol, which is known to withstand hydrogenation well.
It’s believed that hydrogenation modifies the pharmacology of HHC by changing its metabolites, which are primarily the nor-carboxy and 11-hydroxy forms of THC. These new metabolites will have different pharmacokinetic profiles from those of the original THC compounds, which may be beneficial for certain conditions.
How Does HHC Compare to THC – Delta 8 and Delta 9?
They all give you a powerful psychoactive buzz. They also offer a variety of wellness benefits, including stress relief, pain relief, rest, and relaxation.
Delta 8 and Delta 9 THC have similar effects as HHC, but they bind to different receptors in the brain. While Delta 8 has an effect on the CB1 receptor, HHC binds to both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
This makes HHC a more effective pain reliever than either Delta 8 or Delta 9. In addition, HHC has a much lower psychoactive effect than either Delta 8 or Delta 9. It is also non-addictive, making it the perfect choice for those looking to relieve pain without experiencing the high associated with THC.
HHC vs Delta 9
Delta 9 THC is a major cannabinoid found in the hemp plant and is federally legal in all states as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3% delta 9 THC per dry weight. It offers a powerful psychoactive high that can be very addictive, but is less likely to produce the onset of paranoia or anxiety.
Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), has a chemical structure that is similar to delta 9 THC. But the main difference is that HHC lacks a double bond, which means it doesn’t always interact with the endocannabinoid system as strongly.
HHC vs Delta 8
HHC and delta 8 THC differ in molecular structures. The structural difference means that the high from delta 8 THC is about 30% less potent than the same dose of HHC.
Nevertheless, both HHC and delta 8 THC are strong cannabinoids that interact with your endocannabinoid system in the same way that THC does. They bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The euphoric and relaxing effects of HHC make it a great choice for those seeking to enjoy a cannabis buzz without the THC high, or if you want to try out something new. It’s a mild cannabinoid that takes longer to work than THC, but that doesn’t mean it’s less effective.
Does It Have Any Medical Benefits?
Hexahydrocannabinol medical benefits have been well established, and research shows that it can help treat a variety of ailments. It may be beneficial in helping reduce chronic pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, nausea and vomiting, insomnia and other sleep disturbances, seizures, muscle spasms and more.
Hexahydrocannabinol is believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain relief properties. It may also help shrink tumors in cancer patients.
Studies suggest that this form of THC can also help with appetite stimulation in patients who have issues with eating due to certain medical conditions. HHC can also be used to help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
HHC is a very unique cannabinoid that is being researched and tested as a potential medicinal cannabinoid. While more studies are needed, it has the potential to be a powerful pain reliever and stress-relieving agent.
Do You Need to Worry About Drug Tests When Using HHC?
Most drug tests look for metabolites, which are chemicals that the body produces when it breaks down chemical compounds. Because HHC has a similar structure to THC-COOH, it can metabolize similarly, and the metabolites will likely show up on your test.
It’s also important to note that HHC may be harder to get a handle on than other cannabinoids, especially for users who are new to cannabis. As with any new cannabinoid, moderation is key. It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before you begin using HHC or any other cannabinoid.
Does Hexahydrocannabinol Get You High at All?
Like for all cannabinoids, this is an emerging topic of research, and not everything is fully understood yet.
Hexahydrocannabinol is a CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist that produces mild euphoria in small doses.
Despite its popularity, HHC is still very much in the legal gray area. However, this hasn’t stopped it from gaining traction with users who are looking for an alternative to THC that won’t show up on drug tests.
While it’s true that the 2018 Farm Bill made hemp federally legal, that doesn’t mean that any product containing HHC is safe for consumption. This is because HHC doesn’t occur naturally in large quantities, and it must be chemically produced via several steps to get usable amounts.