The consumer cannabis industry is growing so quickly that it can be tough to keep up with what’s new in the world of cannabinoids. These incredible compounds, derived from the cannabis plant, are used by millions of people around the world for therapeutic benefits, relaxation and recreation, and as an alternative to many traditional prescription medications.
Emerging research tells us there are many compounds with therapeutic benefits beyond the two most people are immediately familiar with: THC and CBD. Much is known about THC and CBD, and the market is flooded with products containing these compounds.
However, interest is growing in other compounds that offer benefits, such as HHC. Below, we will take a look at what it is, how it works in our bodies, and what to expect from HHC in consumer cannabis products.
What Is HHC?
Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is the end result of adding hydrogen to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. That process, which is known as hydrogenation, is used in a variety of settings to improve the stability or “shelf life” of food products.
Hydrogenation has come under scrutiny in the food industry as it is associated with processed foods—such as canned cake frostings or margarine—and has been linked to high cholesterol.
However, the scientific process as it relates to cannabis conversions does not yield those same issues. The real safety concern as far as HHC goes is the lack of information and testing available (thus far), so users should always do their homework to check for any byproducts resulting from the THC to HHC conversion.
And that is a good rule of thumb for cannabis products in general: you should only purchase them from reputable manufacturers who test their products and use all-natural ingredients.
HHC: Benefits and Effects
Most of the evidence is anecdotal when it comes to HHC, but the general consensus among users is that it is not quite as strong as THC, though still psychoactive.
HHC is growing in popularity as an alternative to Delta-9 THC, and some users describe it as similar to Delta-8 THC. There is also a growing consensus that places HHC somewhere in the middle of Delta-9 and Delta-8. Those looking for a less euphoric high but still want the mood-lifting benefits of THC are giving HHC a try.
Like THC, HHC has been used for a variety of therapeutic reasons, including as a sleep aid, as a tool for managing pain, and as a means to reduce stress and anxiety.
Is HHC Found in Cannabis?
There has been some debate surrounding whether or not HHC exists in cannabis. The compound is indeed one of hundreds that occur naturally in cannabis; however, HHC occurs in such trace amounts that manufacturers would be unable to create HHC products without creating it synthetically.
Think of the cannabis plant as one massive diagram of scientific formulas, and over the years, scientists have slowly picked them apart and continued to find new ones.
The abundance of products containing Delta-9 THC or CBD, for example, relates to how easy it is to extract these from marijuana and hemp. But beyond those popular cannabinoids, there are hundreds of others waiting to be discovered and tested.
HHC Versus THC: Which One Should I Use?
Cannabis products are not “one size fits all,” and they are used for so many different reasons that the answer will vary among individuals. Perhaps you are looking for a slight uplift in your mood or a burst of creative energy.
Maybe you are seeking a pain management alternative to highly addictive prescription medications. Some users may be plagued by sleep issues and looking for a bedtime remedy, and others may be interested in cannabis to manage stress.
You will need to consider the specific benefits you are seeking if you are trying to decide between THC, and to help guide you, we have outlined some of the key things to keep in mind for each compound.
- Delta-9 THC products are legal as long as they are derived from hemp with a concentration of less than .03% THC, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill.
- Delta-9 (and Delta-8 and Delta-10) products are widely available for purchase.
- There has been a considerable amount of research and testing devoted to cannabis products containing Delta-9 THC, so you will generally have an easier time finding specific product and manufacturer information, ingredient lists, testing certifications, and more.
- Many (but not all) THC products are best enjoyed at nighttime and sought out for their relaxing and sedative effects.
- THC has also been shown to work well in combination with CBD to manage inflammation.
- HHC has psychoactive effects, but they are generally milder than Delta-9 THC, so it may be preferred by some users for daytime activities.
- HHC has been described as producing a “clear-headed high,” and it may be favored by some who work in creative environments.
- First-time cannabis users may prefer HHC since the effects are milder than THC.
- HHC has not been studied or researched as extensively as THC, so we know less about both its benefits as well as any potential drawbacks.
- HHC is not as widely available in the consumer market as Delta-9 THC products, though it would generally be classified as legal under the 2018 Farm Bill as described above.
A Note on Drug Screenings
Both HHC and Delta-9 THC products will show up in drug screenings, which is an important consideration before using either product containing either one. If you expect to undergo a drug screening during an employment interview, for example, you will want to abstain from using both before testing.
Final Thoughts on HHC and THC
Cannabis products containing THC or HHC, such as gummies, capsules, tinctures, or vapes, may provide therapeutic benefits for a wide variety of issues you may be experiencing. In order to reap the benefits of cannabis, you should always make informed buying decisions and purchase products only from high-quality, reputable manufacturers and follow their specific dosing guidelines. A good rule of thumb, especially when trying a new cannabis product, is to start out small and take it slow. See how your body reacts to a cannabinoid before overdoing it, and then you can adjust dosing as needed to reach your desired effects.
Delta-9 gummies from Snoozy are made with organic, all-natural ingredients, and we would love for you to drop us a line if you have any questions about our products.