Our relationship with cannabis has truly evolved over time. Thanks to decades of research and experimentation through a wide range of cannabis products, we’re learning what the plant is truly capable of. As you may know, not all cannabis is a dense green, skunky flower. There are several cannabis variants out there that are made with extractions of some of the most popular compounds found in the plant. These compounds are called cannabinoids, and as time goes on, we’re learning that the cannabis plant is full of them. Let’s take a look at two cannabinoids that are currently in the limelight.
Table of contents:
- What is HHC?
- What is Delta 8 THC?
- HHC and Delta-8 THC – What is the Difference?
- How Delta-8 Is Made?
- How HHC Is Made?
- The legality of HHC and Delta 8 THC
- HHC or Delta-8 THC: Which One is Best to Choose?
What is HHC?
You might have heard of THC, and even CBD, but there’s another three-letter compound in town that you should know about…
Hexahydrocannabinol is one of the latest cannabinoids to enter the market. Better known as HHC, this hemp-derived compound is gaining recognition and popularity. HHC may be new to hemp menus in your local shops, but it was discovered nearly 80 years ago!
HHC was discovered in 1944 by an American chemist named Roger Adams. Adams decided to tamper with THC and add hydrogen molecules to it– a process known as hydrogenation. This THC experimentation resulted in what we now know as HHC.
Hydrogenation is a common conversion process that’s used to turn vegetable oil into margarine, along with some other processed foods. When added to THC, hydrogen replaces the double bond in Delta-9 THC with two hydrogen atoms. This significantly changes the molecular weight and makes the compound more stable.
When converting HHC, the end result contains two separate molecules, which are referred to as 9RHHC and 9SHHC. These molecules interact with the endocannabinoid system differently from one another. 9RHHC binds to the receptors with ease, while 9SHHC does not. This is one of the many things that makes HHC products so unique.
As HHC products slowly flood the market, cannabis enthusiasts are lining up to learn what this THC alternative is all about and how it compares to other cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC.
Related Article: What Is HHC?
What is Delta 8 THC?
If you keep close eyes on the cannabis world, you may have heard of Delta-8 THC. Delta-8 THC is one of the top cannabinoids thriving in the hemp market right now.
Like HHC, Delta-8 THC was discovered in the 1940s but fully synthesized in the 1960s.
But what is this mysterious cannabinoid, really? Delta-8 THC is produced naturally in cannabis plants in small amounts so many companies create it through a conversion process involving CBD. This requires the use of a solvent and acid and is used to produce larger amounts of Delta 8 products. Delta-8 THC is one of the first cannabinoids to really gain recognition in the hemp market.
Some Delta 8 products include vape cartridges, hemp flower, and Delta 8 gummies. Despite there being many Delta-8 products to choose from, only select brands should be trusted to offer the best Delta-8 products.
So, how does Delta-8 THC differ from other cannabinoids like HHC? Let’s dive into a side-by-side comparison of the two.
Related Article: What Is Delta 8 THC?
HHC and Delta-8 THC – What is the Difference?
As Delta-8 THC and HHC continue to pop up in the cannabis market, everyone wants to know which one of the two is the “best”.
Delta-8 THC and HHC are two of the most favored cannabinoids and their reasons why are evident. They both have some interesting characteristics. Let’s review the differences between Delta-8 THC and HHC.
How Delta-8 Is Made?
We have to start with how each of these compounds is made. They’re both technically hemp-derived but are created through different synthesized processes.
Delta-8 is interesting because it can be made in many different ways. The first and most natural process is through the degradation process of THC– the main active compound in cannabis. This produces the least amount of Delta-8 though. The second process utilizes cannabidiol, a chemical compound produced in large amounts in cannabis, better known as CBD. To jump-start this process, CBD is extracted and dissolved into a solvent, typically a non-polar organic solvent, heptane. This mixture is combined with an acid and then taken through some neutralizing and purifying processes to get the desired end result. Once the final batch of Delta-8 THC has been tested for purity and safety, this highly concentrated product is ready to be used to make a variety of Delta-8 products. This includes Delta-8 tinctures, vape cartridges, Delta 8 flower, gummies, capsules, and Delta 8 concentrate.
Related Article: How is Delta 8 THC Made?
How HHC Is Made?
As we know, HHC was created in the 1940s by adding hydrogen molecules to THC. The HHC in today’s market is pretty close to what was created then but follows a different multi-step process to get there.
HHC products are legal in some states, but not all states—sort of like THC. This leads companies to get a little creative with how they process their HHC. As we learned with Delta-8, cannabis produces compounds that are (relatively) easy to convert into other compounds. These compounds differ in molecular structures that help set them apart, but they’re not all too different from one another, chemically speaking. Thanks to this, HHC can be created using CBD, just like Delta-8.
Note that this process may differ from brand to brand. To process HHC, CBD is first extracted from hemp plants and distilled to create an isolate. Following this, the isolate is taken through a process known as isomerization to convert CBD to Delta 9 THC. This essentially means taking one chemical and altering its structure to create a different one.
After this, we have our THC and it’s time to convert it to hexahydrocannabinol, through a process called hydrogenation. This is a popular method for creating some processed foods, so it’s not that unfamiliar of a process. The process requires breaking the compound’s double bonds by adding hydrogen molecules to the matter.
HHC is one of those compounds that can be created in a variety of different ways, so depending on resources and legality this will differ from brand to brand.
The legality of HHC and Delta 8 THC
You’ll be glad to know that both HHC and Delta-8 THC is actually legal in most states. Unlike Delta-9 THC these products have passed the test of legality. In 2018, the Farm Bill legalized the sale and use of Delta-8 and HHC in select states. These products contain no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol. These two cannabinoids have grown tremendously and in popularity due to their current legal statuses. If you’re interested in trying either HHC or Delta-8 THC, check your local state laws to learn how to enjoy these cannabinoids safely.
HHC or Delta-8 THC: Which One is Best to Choose?
When deciding between HHC or Delta-8 THC, it’s important to know that ultimately, the decision is yours. No matter which you choose, we advise you to choose a product that comfortably fits with your lifestyle and to research the brands that offer these products and read their Certifications of Analysis.