With consistent, ongoing research on cannabis and its compounds, we have come to know about the incredible therapeutic and recreational effects of different cannabinoids. The most popular of these compounds are CBD, THC, and its variants. Cannabis is a combination of over 400 different compounds that occur at different stages of the plant’s life cycle.
Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is a relatively new addition to the cannabinoid family of cannabis, which is also becoming popular in the wellness sector. It is an excellent option for people looking for effects similar to THC but in a milder tone. Let’s have a comprehensive review of HHC and its usage.
What is Hexahydrocannabinol?
HHC is one of the scarce cannabinoids of cannabis/hemp. It is detected in minute quantity but available in a wide variety of products. The synthetic form of HHC is produced by using CBD and THC. The cannabinoid was first created by chemist Roger Adams in 1944. For many years, the compound remained hidden, but now it has emerged as a mild alternative to THC.
How is synthetic HHC created?
The process of hydrogenation produces synthetic HHC by using delta-9 THC. Liquid vegetable oil and hydrogen gas are mixed to bring about the chemical reaction to produce HHC. Initially, the process was carried out with THC from cannabis, but now most of it is hemp-derived.
Much like other cannabinoids derived from hemp, HHC gained federal legality due to its natural presence in the hemp plant. However, individual states retain the authority to prohibit it if they so choose. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) conveyed its stance on cannabis and its components under the 2018 Farm Bill, asserting that “All synthetically derived tetrahydrocannabinols remain Schedule I controlled substances.”
The central debate surrounding HHC’s legality revolves around its classification as synthetic or naturally occurring within hemp plants. As long as federal regulators categorize it as a naturally derived cannabinoid with less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, HHC remains legal. Advocates emphasize HHC’s natural origin within cannabis plants to support its legality.
Does HHC get you high?
The answer to this question is yes. Even though the high may not be as strong as that produced by delta-9 THC, the compound possesses intoxicating properties. However, the exact effect depends on the unique physiology of each body, its tolerance towards the Cannabis product, and overall chemistry. Each cannabinoid, including Delta 8 THC, Delta 9 THC, CBD, and HHC, will give you a varying experience. Most users report having a smooth cerebral high that is more Mellow than that produced by Delta 9 THC. HHC produces more energetic effects than delta-8 THC.
Effect of HHC on the body and mind
The potential of HHC is confusing as there are two types of HHC molecules produced as a result of hydrogenation. One of the molecules, 9R HHC, can actively bind to the endocannabinoid receptors of the body, whereas 9S HHC lacks the same affinity. In simple words, the former variant can fit in the receptors in a much better pattern than the latter. A significant amount of 9r HHC produces results similar to delta 8 THC. It is half as potent as delta-9 THC.
Benefits of HHC
The potential health benefits of HHC are pretty similar to those of Delta 9 and Delta 8 THC. Since HHC is less psychoactive than the other THC variants, Delta 9 THC is potent and may add to anxiety, which can ruin the recreational experience. Being less robust, HHC offers a smooth and safe experience. However, let’s not forget that HHC is still more potent than delta 8 and THCa. HHC also offers incredible therapeutic potential and offers relief from pain, stress, and low appetite. The exact experience depends on the user’s body chemistry, health condition, and cannabinoid tolerance.
Side effects of HHC
Much like other recently discovered cannabinoids, there is limited research on the safety and potential side effects of HHC. Most of the available information on its safety is speculative and based on consumer reports. Preliminary studies suggest that HHC carries a risk and safety profile similar to THC, with users who have consumed high doses of THC reporting similar adverse reactions. It’s crucial to adopt a “start low and go slow” approach when using any cannabis product. Every person’s endocannabinoid system reacts inversely, so you will have to consume cautiously and determine the suitable dosage for your body. Excessive HHC consumption may result in symptoms such as anxiety, dizziness, dry mouth, insomnia, increased appetite, paranoia, red eyes, and a rapid heart rate.
What to look for when buying HHC?
Typically, with the rise of a new global trend, there’s a tendency to saturate the market with subpar, uncertified products, which can not only exhaust our finances but also endanger our well-being. HHC exists in various forms, and it is easy to come up with low-quality products.
One prevalent form is 9-beta-hydroxyhexahydrocannabinol, widely accessible but completely synthetic. It can be remarkably challenging to distinguish from Delta 8, even in laboratory examinations. HHC may be combined with delta 8 to reduce costs and market it as “pure HHC” with forged Certificates of Analysis (COA).
The production process often employs metal catalysts such as palladium on carbon, platinum on carbon, or nickel. It’s crucial that these metals are meticulously removed through multiple filtration stages, as their presence, if not adequately addressed, could lead to long-term health concerns.