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What is HHC and How Does it Compare to THC?

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What is HHC and How Does it Compare to THC?

It’s happening — cannabinoids are taking over. From THC and CBD to delta 8 and delta 10, each cannabinoid is unique in its own right, possessing powerful properties many are looking to experience.

The insane success and popularity of delta THC and created other legal alternatives to the cannabinoid. The industry has offered consumers other less-known cannabinoids in the cannabis marketplace — one being the unique hexahydrocannabinol cannabinoid, HHC for short. 

If HHC isn’t something you’ve heard of before, scientists have identified hundreds of chemical compounds in nature including cannabi, but only a few have been well-studied and sold in the market.

While this new cannabinoid has been stirring up a lot of chatter and excitement, many are wondering what exactly is HHC and does it measure up to THC? You’re about to find out. 

Undoubtedly, HHC has a ton of undiscovered potential, so consumers need not be surprised if it becomes one of the most commonly consumed cannabinoids very soon. If you’re a newbie in the realm of cannabis and trying to understand the difference between HHC vs THC, we got you covered. In this article we take a closer look at both the similarities and differences of these two unique cannabinoids — here’s what we know so far!

What is HHC?

HHC is derived from the cannabis plant just like THC, and surprisingly has long been known by researchers. Though, due to the long standing prohibition of cannabis, science breakthroughs were far less then, halting science as a whole. But recently, the potential  of HHC has been studied and discussed among researchers and cannabis communities alike. What is it?

Cannabinoids, such as HHC, are natural compounds found in cannabis. Then,

HHC is present in low concentrations, one of the biggest advantages over other cannabinoids such as delta 9 or delta 8 is that it isn’t called THC. There are some cannabinoids that may be converted to create other chemical compounds. In order to obtain HHC, the molecular structure of the cannabinoid is altered by chemical processing in laboratories. 

Compared to other cannabis products on the market, HHC stands out due to its unique properties. While it’s not a THC compound, it’s reported to produce a THC-like high — but we will touch more on that later.

How HHC is Made?

Delving deeper into the science of HHC, the cannabinoid was first discovered in the 1940’s by an American chemist named Roger Adams. In his experimentation with a utilizing THC medicinal purposes, Adams added hydrogen molecules to a potent, sativa-derived delta 9 THC. This process is known as hydrogenation and includes saturating the chemical structure with hydrogen and thus, altering its chemical structure. By adding hydrogen to THC, the formulation was converted to HHC — essentially a cannabinoid analogue. 

While the cannabinoid is found in cannabis naturally, it is in trace amounts, meaning it must be altered in a lab to produce a greater volume for consumption. Compared to other cannabinoids, the end result is a HHC product that offers a long shelf-life, as it’s considered to be the most stable form of THC.

While HHC offers an amazing shelf-life, if you’re a seasoned cannabis consumer, you’re probably familiar with the concept of safe storage for your products. Like any product, HHC is delicate, so to safeguard and prolong its efficacy, it’s important to keep it away from direct sunlight, electronics, heat and anything that might cause cannabinoid degradation. While experts aren’t fully knowledgeable about how long HHC will remain stable, we do know that as a hydrolyzed form of THC, the cannabinoid has the potential to survive for years with proper storage.

HHC is non-synthetic, making the manufacturing, sale and consumption of the cannabinoid federally legal. But how is it different from delta 9 THC? We find out below.

What Is the Difference between HHC and THC?

While HHC is thought to produce similar effects to the delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC cannabinoids, HHC differs from the both of them in an interesting way. 

Firstly, they all have different molecular structures. On the carbon chain., while delta 8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon, delta 9’s is located on the 9th, the HHC cannabinoid is different because it doesn’t have any double bonds at all! Instead, it features two extra hydrogen atoms that cause a difference in effect when comparing delta 9 THC and delta 8 THC. As we said before HHC is made through the process of hydrogenation, which actually causes the THC double bond to break and be replaced with hydrogen — perhaps, this structural difference could explain HHC’s shelf life.

What exactly does this mean? This change to the structure of the HHC cannabinoid results in greater stability, making it far less vulnerable to oxidation and thus, a longer shelf-life.  Not only you store HHC longer, but even when close to heat, it will hold up in a the event that it gets exposed to heat and UV —all without losing potency, 

One similarity though, between the two cannabinoids is the fact that they could both lead to a positive drug test. Drugs typically look for THC metabolites. Delta 9 THC certainly will cause a positive result. Theoretically, HHC should not, but results are inconclusive. Therefore if this is a concern for you, for responsible consumption it’s important to be cautious and assume HHC will also cause a positive drug test — better safe than sorry!

Will HHC Show Up in a Drug Test?

As we said earlier, drug tests typically search for THC molecules — specifically, 11-hydroxy-THC, the metabolite that comes by way of consuming THC.

It’s believed that HHC doesn’t metabolize in the same way as delta 9 or even delta 8, due to its altered chemical structure. But, to be safe and responsible don’t chance consuming HHC if your workplace requires regular drug testing.

By checking the amount of THC in any HHC product containing cannabis before you make a purchase will help you to steer clear. Many products infused with HHC today include additional cannabinoids, which have the ability to build over time and potentially cause a positive drug test. It’s believed that HHC transforms to THC-COOH which is the major metabolite detectable by drug testing. While there is anecdotal information available on HHC and drug testing, as we said more research is needed to make any definitive statements.

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Is HHC Legal and Will it Stay Legal?

When it comes to HHC, the legality is rather confusing and worthy of debate. HHC Essentially falls in the legal loophole, just like delta 8 THC.

Current law still prohibits the manufacturing, sale and consumption of THC on a federal level. Under the Farm Bill signed into law in 2018, there are some states that still legally sell THC products, but they must meet certain guidelines. As for HHC, there is no specific law that has banned the cannabinoid, making it perfectly legal on a federal level — however as the Farm Bill has given the power to the states, there are some places in the region that consider HHC illegal. Ultimately, HHC products must contain at the very least .3 percent THC, which is the current mandated level. Anything more than that is considered federally illegal.

Although some states have now limited the access of certain cannabis products, you’re uncertain about the current cannabis laws where you reside, it’s very important to familiarize yourself and learn about which states offer legal HHC and which ones don’t.

Where Can You Purchase HHC?

Cannabis has come a long way and with it, a Number of different kinds of products. As of now, HHC is limited but you can still find plenty of products infused with a cannabinoid including edibles, gummies, tinctures, vapes, flower, vape cartridges and many others.

Conclusion 

When it comes to understanding naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis, we know all of the science jargon and information can be a little overwhelming — but that’s alright! There’s a ton of misinformation out there, but we hope we’ve cleared up a few things. 

While more research needs to be done to determine the safety and efficacy of HHC, you deserve to experience everything HHC has to offer. Don’t compromise quality or your experience and purchase from us here at ATLRx today!

We are always offering new cannabis products to be added to our collection of premium HHC. In terms of cannabis, we not only have top-notch HHC, but also a number of different products sure to please, guarantee!