HHC vs. Other Cannabinoids

Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
September 14, 2021
HHC Cannabinoid Versus
HHC Cannabinoid Versus

Did you know there is a growing list of available cannabinoids out there that each interact with the endocannabinoid system in a distinctive way?  The latest to be added to that list is hexahydrocannabinol (HHC).  HHC is a very distinctive cannabinoid that has only really been analyzed very recently, and only now are companies starting to develop HHC products that will be made available to the hemp-enthused public.

While we await HHC’s presence on the market, we can compare it to other cannabinoids that we’re more familiar with, like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), and delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-8 THC), given what we know as of now.  hexahydrocannabinol is such a new addition to our idea of the hemp plant that there’s still a lot to learn about it, including its individual potentially useful properties and its overall effects.

What We Know So Far

There are enough people who have used HHC by now for us to have a good idea of what it’s capable of, and how it compares to similar compounds in hemp.


Obviously, HHC is not available for purchase – yet.  Companies are hard at work in preparation to launch HHC products, which requires that they come up with the right extraction techniques and formulation processes to ensure products that completely satisfy customers’ needs.  In the meantime, other cannabinoids as we mentioned earlier for instance are widely available, so it is just a matter of time before hexahydrocannabinol joins in.


Hexahydrocannabinol is not yet available on the market, which means that there has been no state that has made mention of it in legislation.  Therefore, we can only assume that HHC will be legal because it’s federally legal, like all of the other hemp compounds on the market, as only delta 9 THC is banned.  States that have outlawed delta 8 may go ahead and add HHC to their lists of banned substances, but ultimately, that remains to be seen.

Psychoactive Capability

Hexahydrocannabinol is a psychoactive cannabinoid.  In fact, those who have used it say that the high is basically exactly the same as the high of delta 9 THC.  What’s interesting is that most people who have taken HHC claim that it feels exactly like delta 9 in their bodies, which may indicate some sort of genetic similarity that scientists have yet to fully uncover.

Prominence in the Plant

Like the other psychoactive hemp derivatives available, hexahydrocannabinol exists only in extremely low amounts in the hemp plant, which is why consuming the raw flower will not get you high.  Interestingly, HHC is found in the seeds and pollen of the hemp plant, unlike the flowering buds which is where we derive all other cannabinoids from that are on the market.

Interaction with Cannabinoid Receptors

One thing that we do know is that hexahydrocannabinol binds with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, and this information is very valuable as it gives us a good idea of what it’s capable of.  CB1 receptors exist in the nervous system, and CB2 receptors exist in the digestive and immune systems.  Because HHC binds to both of these types of receptors, it can offer properties that may regulate processes associated with all 3 systems.  We can compare this to delta 8, which essentially has an exclusive affinity for CB1 receptors.

Individual Properties

We don’t yet really know a lot about the individual properties of hexahydrocannabinol, since researchers are still learning about it.  All that we know is that prior users have said that HHC offers similar properties to delta 9 THC when it comes to pain, nausea and appetite.  Without a doubt, studies will emerge in the near future as the interest in HHC grows.


It is possible that Hexahydrocannabinol is more bioavailable, although that has yet to be proven.  Presently, scientists believe that HHC has the capability to bypasses some of the metabolization that occurs when we consume other types of cannabinoids, which ultimately interferes with the complete binding to individual cannabinoid receptors.

Delivery Methods

Hexahydrocannabinol will almost definitely come in the same delivery methods that all other cannabinoid-based products are found in edibles, vapes, capsules, topicals, infused flower, and so on.  Why?  Because HHC can be turned into an oil-soluble extract just like CBD, delta 8, and the like.  Therefore, the delivery methods expected to hit the market will be very familiar to you if you’re already a hemp enthusiast.

There Really is Much to Learn for How HHC Stacks Up Against the Current Group of Cannabinoids on the Hemp Market

Without a doubt, hexahydrocannabinol is a fascinating psychoactive cannabinoid that, like other cannabinoids in hemp, has some properties that will be found to be extremely useful.  As time goes on, we’ll learn a lot more about it, and we’ll be able to try HHC for ourselves to see how it compared to CBD, delta-8, and other compounds that we’ve already had the privilege to explore.