Tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabidiol. Cannabigerol. Cannabinol. These are some of the cannabinoids that exist in the marijuana plant. Experts suggest marijuana has about 80–100 cannabinoids that are responsible for a host of different effects. These range from the pain-relieving properties of CBD to the high that THC can offer.
A lot of research is going into these cannabinoids, especially the most popular ones, CBD and THC.
But have you heard of hexahydrocannabinol?
Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant. It is very similar to THC. In fact, it is a hydrogenated version of delta-9 THC. This means that hydrogen molecules react with tetrahydrocannabinol to create HHC. It occurs in trace amounts in marijuana, so it needs to go through an extraction process before we end up with the final product.
You’ve probably heard of avoiding hydrogenated oils for your heart's health. While this is the same hydrogenation process, you won’t have this problem with HHC. Avoid those hydrogenated oils though!
HHC is still new to the market, but it shows a lot of promise. Since it is not regulated like THC, it may be much easier to get your hands on a sample. This is great as it offers many of the same effects as tetrahydrocannabinol without being as intense.
Will HHC make you high?
Everything we know about THC’s hydrogenated cousin is still anecdotal at this point. From what we can tell from user reports, HHC produces similar effects to those of THC. HHC creates a mental high, but it won’t get you so stoned you lose your sense of control.
So in essence, you feel the psychoactive high of THC without the nasty paranoia and other issues it can cause.
This is perfect if you’re a lightweight that can’t handle a high THC strain. Most users describe the effects similar to a delta-8 experience, which is pretty mellow!
Some say HHC is better because it delivers a more energetic, daytime high compared to its counterparts. You can expect a cerebral high with some pain relief properties too. It's also relaxing, according to many first-hand accounts. Others report euphoric effects with a noticeable high, while others say it did nothing and was less intense than Delta-8 THC.
Is HHC potent?
The problem with potency arises in the inactive and active molecules in HHC. 9R HHC is the perfect shape to bind to your endocannabinoid system, so this is what creates the high.
On the other hand, 9S HHC does not bind as well. As far as we understand, this has no effect on the body.
When HHC forms through the hydrogenation process, the end result is a mixture of these two compounds. This makes it difficult to create a strain with the same potency across the board. I’m sure as more research unlocks the secrets of this compound, they will figure out how to extract just the 9R HHC molecule.
So, to put it simply, HHC does have a potency that can affect the mind and body. However, there is much less potency gram-for-gram and it might have very different effects. This is all dependent on the user and the end-result of the HHC in your hands.
Hexahydrocannabinol is about half as potent as delta-9 THC.
Is HHC legal in Europe and Switzerland?
One of the reasons that hexahydrocannabinol is becoming so popular is thanks to its legal status. In Europe, any cannabis product containing more than 0.2% THC is illegal. In Switzerland, that limit is 1%.
Since HHC contains no THC, you should be able to buy it the same way you would buy CBD, depending on your region. So long as it's derived from a hemp plant and doesn’t contain too much THC, you won’t have a legal problem.
This doesn’t mean the law will stay that way. HHC is currently in a bit of a grey area. The legislation may change as we find out more about it. Keep an eye on your local laws to stay in the legal safe zone.
Will HHC show up on a drug test?
The legality of HHC poses another question. Will I fail a drug test if I have consumed it? This is important to know. While cannabis products may be legal where you are, your employer might have a different policy.
According to most users, HHC will not show up on a drug test. There is evidence that hexahydrocannabinol does not metabolise into 11-hydroxy-THC. Drug panel tests check for this THC metabolite, so as long as it isn’t present, the test will be negative.
Research into HHC is still young, so this is all based on anecdotal user reports. No one knows for certain if it won’t show up in a drug test. If your employer tests you, I’d recommend you stay away from this one until we understand more about it.
Dangers and side effects of HHC
As far as we know, HHC doesn’t have any more harmful effects than the other cannabinoids. You can expect side-effects like drowsiness, fatigue, a dry mouth, and so on. From what we can tell, HHC may also cause anxiety and paranoia, but not as severely as THC.
HHC comes with the usual warnings. Don’t drive or operate heavy machinery. Make sure you’ve had a check-up with your doctor before you take it. Consume it in responsible places where a psychoactive high won’t be a problem.
Studies still need to reveal if there are any possible long-term effects of hexahydrocannabinol use. For the most part, it remains on the safe side.
Benefits of HHC
HHC likely has many of the same benefits as THC and CBD. Since it is not considered an illegal narcotic, it could be a good replacement for THC. Some find the effects of CBD too mild, so HHC could potentially fill the gap.
The common benefits include
- Pain relief
- Alleviate stress and anxiety
- Cerebral "high"
- Improved sleep
- Stimulates energy
- Improved mood
Where can you get HHC?
Since it is still in the early phases, HHC has not completely broken through the market. As time passes, we will learn more about this interesting cannabinoid.
Keep watching this space to get the latest on HHC products, information, and more.