How is HHC-P Made?

Medically reviewed by Alexander Tabibi, MD
August 14, 2022
HHC-P what is
HHC-P what is

When it comes to hexahydrocannabiphorol (HHC-P), the new cannabinoid that promises a high 10x as strong as hexahydrocannabinol (HHC), it’s worth noting that this hemp derivative is semi-synthesized, unlike similar cannabinoids like HHC and tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THC-P).  HHC-P was, in fact, chemically modified to be more similar to THC-P, while retaining the unique chemical stability that makes HHC unique, thanks to its hydrogen atom. 

How Exactly Then is HHC-P Made?

We know that semi-synthesized cannabinoids may set off alarm bells, among those who love the “all-natural” nature of the hemp plant.  But, as you’re about to find out, hexahydrocannabiphorol isn’t synthetic in the true sense – instead, it’s just the result of changing the molecular structure of an existing cannabinoid that is found naturally in the hemp plant. 

So, how is HHC-P made?  Let’s take a look by going over each step.

Step #1: Find the Best Hemp Possible

HHC-P is a hemp derivative, and all hemp products begin with the plant itself.  Now, it’s important not to overlook the importance of finding the best hemp material possible.  Hemp that’s perfect for making HHC-P should be grown as locally as possible, to avoid the breaking down of cannabinoids due to long transit times and exposure to elements like oxygen, light and heat. 

Not only that, but all hemp products should come from hemp that has been grown organically, as this is going to be free of pesticides and other toxins in the environment.  Because the hemp plant is so uniquely efficient at absorbing compounds in the surrounding soil, organic plant material is all the more important.

Step #2: Extraction and Isomerization

Now, the hemp material is run through an extraction process – usually a CO2 process.  This is a 3-chamber method in which pressurized CO2 is pushed through the hemp material, and the resulting extract is collected in the final chamber.  From there, the CBD cannabinoid is purified using, in most cases, steam distillation, which involves exposure to different temperatures and pressure amounts to degrade all unwanted compounds, leaving behind an isolated cannabidiol extract.

Next, we have to turn CBD into HHC through a process called isomerization.  Yes, HHC does exist naturally in hemp, but in such trace amounts that isolating and extracting it just isn’t practical.  Isomerization is the main way in which all psychoactive cannabinoid distillates are produced, in fact.

But, what is isomerization?  Well, all cannabinoids come from CBG (cannabigerol), the “mother cannabinoid” that dominates the immature hemp plant before splitting itself off into the 100+ cannabinoids we know of today.  This means that all cannabinoids share the same molecular makeup.  Rearranging the molecules of one cannabinoid to convert it into another is called isomerization, and that’s how we turn the abundantly available, cost-efficient CBD into HHC.

Step #3: Convert HHC into HHC-P

Here comes the part that’s a bit trickier.  After isomerization, we now have an HHC distillate.  But, the cannabinoid needs to become HHC-P.  To do that, carbon atoms are added to its carbon tail to give it a total of 7.  This allows HHC-P to have “phorol” added to its name, and this is the step that changes how efficiently the cannabinoid attaches to CB1 receptors in the brain responsible for its high.  Basically, chemists modify HHC so that it structurally mimics the carbon tail of THC-P, a naturally occurring, ultra-potent cannabinoid 10 times as intoxicating as delta 9 THC.

Step #4: Use HHC-P Distillate to Make HHC-P Products

At this stage, we now have a pure HHC-P distillate, which is an oil-soluble extract containing anywhere from 90-95% pure hexahydrocannabiphorol – the rest of the extract contains trace amounts of terpenes, also found in hemp, as a 100% pure distillate is a chemical impossibility.  This means we can start making HHC-P products, such as:

  • Disposable vapes
  • Vape cartridges
  • Tinctures
  • Gummies
  • Capsules
  • Beverages
  • Infused flower
  • Concentrates/dabs

Each brand has their own method for formulating products, and their own way to determine how much HHC-P should be in a formula.  But, all HHC-P products on the market contain a distillate produced using the methods above.

Step #5: Lab-Testing

Once that HHC-P product has been formulated, it’s time for lab-testing.  This is when a company sends their product to a state-authorized third-party laboratory, where it’s tested for purity, safety and potency, along with federal compliance.  HHC-P is so new that not all laboratories have the means for isolating it and accounting for it, but may identify HHC-P as HHC instead due to their chemical similarities. 

HHC-P: A Fascinating Cannabinoid All the Way Through 

No doubt, hexahydrocannabiphorol is a cannabinoid that requires a more involved process to produce than most cannabinoids that are out there today.  Still, as you experiment with it and enjoy its high, you’ll quickly see that all of that effort is fully worth it, as its potent, balanced and uplifting high is totally one-of-a-kind. Carries HHC-P Products Here!