Hexahydrocannabinol, HHC, tetrahydrocannabinol, THC

HHC vs. THC

In case you haven’t heard, there is a new cannabinoid of interest hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), which is found in the hemp plant alongside the other cannabinoids that we have come to know and love.  HHC is a fascinating cannabinoid that’s so new, there’s still a lot that we don’t know about it.  But, people have tried it and have found it to offer quite enjoyable effects and properties.  HHC is commonly compared to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and that’s why it’s important to compare the two to understand what each one brings to the table.

HHC vs. THC: What We Know So Far

HHC is active in its own right with similar potency to THC, but further simplification and variation of this parent structure lead to more potent, yet structurally simpler derivatives such as CP 47,497 and CP 55,940,[3][4][5] which after several steps of modification have become quite structurally distinct from THC, while HHC on the other hand is still substantially similar in structure to THC. [Source]

Different Parts of the Plant

THC is a cannabinoid that exists solely in the flowering buds of the cannabis plant.  Meanwhile, HHC is only derived from the seeds and pollen of the cannabis plant, which is quite unexpected as we have been told in the past that the only active source for cannabinoids is the plant’s flowers.

Similar Effects

As of now, it seems very likely that HHC and THC behave similarly in the body, and perhaps almost identically.  This is based on what users have reported after consuming it.  It’s largely agreed upon that the type of high it creates is basically the same, and that the other effects are also largely similar, such as its potential effects on pain levels, nausea, and appetite. 

Potentially Different Bioavailability Levels

We still can’t say for sure, but scientists believe there’s a chance that HHC is more bioavailable than THC, binding to cannabinoid receptors more efficiently for stronger effects in the same concentration levels.  This could mean that effective dosing with hexahydrocannabinol could be achieved through lower concentrations than what we’re used to with tetrahydrocannabinol.

Different Levels of Prominence in the Plant

Delta 9 THC exists in only a trace amount of the hemp plant: 0.3%.  But, HHC is even less prominent in the plant material.  The exact amount of HHC that occurs in the plant has not yet been determined, and it may vary depending on the strain, but overall, the amount is so miniscule that consuming full spectrum hemp products or flower will not give you the effects of HHC, similarly to the way it is with THC.

Availability

Hexahydrocannabinol is not yet available on the market.  It has only been an isolated cannabinoid for a short period of time, and only now are manufacturers developing their own extraction and formulation techniques in order to launch HHC in the near future.  This means that you really can’t find HHC on the market just yet.

Of course, delta 9 THC is not available on the open market either due to being federally illegal and illegal in many states.  If you live in a state that has legalized delta 9, that’s a different story.  But, the majority of United States residents cannot legally access either cannabinoid just yet, although that will change in the near future as HHC is predicted to be widely available soon.

Legality

Delta 9 THC is federally illegal, as we all know.  While some states have legalized it for recreational use, and many more for medical use, the average American can’t go into a store and buy THC.  Also, there is no online marketplace for delta 9, as this would be against federal law.

Hexahydrocannabinol is considered legal under federal law.  That’s because it’s a non-THC compound.  The law clearly states that all hemp derivatives can be sold legally as long as they contain no more than 0.3% delta 9 THC, and HHC complies with this stipulation.  Therefore, you will be able to purchase HHC online without breaking the law.

Now, when it comes to state laws, of course things are more confusing.  Some states may ban HHC, which can be hard to predict. 

Forms in Which it Comes

HHC is extracted so that it can be infused into formulas such as vapes, edibles and tinctures.  Therefore, the HHC market will look a lot like the existing hemp market in terms of the product types that are available.  This is true of THC as well, which can also be extracted and used to make the same types of products.

The Takeaway

Both may be extremely similar cannabinoids in terms of the effects and properties that they offer, but what’s interesting is that HHC may be able to mostly mimic THC while being a federally legal compound, like THC.  Therefore, we’re extremely excited for HHC to hit the market and introduce an experience to users that comes with properties that many already know and love.

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