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What is HHC and how does it compare to THC?

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2022-09-01-What is HHC and how does it compare to THC?

Following the huge success of delta 8 THC as a legal alternative to the more controlled availability of delta 9 THC, the cannabis industry has sought other lesser-known cannabinoids to compete in the diverse cannabis market. One of the newest and most promising is hexahydrocannabinol, usually abbreviated to HHC.

HHC is a THC that has been known to science for a relatively long time, but was not often discussed by cannabis users until recently. It is a minor cannabinoid; it occurs naturally in cannabis, but in amounts too small to make extraction cost-effective. Since commercial production of the substance is just getting off the ground, it is still not widely known.

Most cannabinoids can be converted to other cannabinoids by changing the chemistry of the molecules. Like delta 8 THC and delta 10 THC, commercial HHC is made from hemp-derived CBD in a lab through chemical processes. It has one major legal advantage over delta 8 and delta 10: it is not called THC.

How is HHC produced?

HHC was discovered in the 1947s by chemist Roger Adams. He created it by adding hydrogen to the THC molecule and changing its physical properties. The process, called hydrogenation, is first described in a XNUMX patent document.

Hydrogenation changes the structure of delta 9 THC by replacing a double bond with two hydrogen atoms, changing its molecular weight and also making it more stable. According to Mark Scialdone, a chemist and BR Brands Chief Science Officer, hydrogenation improves “stability and resistance to thermo-oxidative degradation”, meaning HHC has a longer shelf life and is less susceptible to damage caused by UV light and heat.

Do you get high from HHC? Does it have side effects?

While HHC isn't technically THC, it can have similar effects if you consume enough of it. When produced in the lab, an HHC batch is a mix of active and inactive HHC molecules. The active HHC binds well to the body's cannabinoid receptors, but the others do not.

Manufacturers have not yet come up with a cost-effective way to separate high-potency HHC from its weak twin, so commercial HHC — a mix of the two forms — can feel like a flimsy prouduct to the buyer. HHC does have noticeable effects. User reports generally describe the HHC high as comparable to delta 8 and delta 9 THC.

Pretty much everything we know about the effects and side effects of HHC is anecdotal. Users report the same set of side effects known to delta 9 THC users: anxiety and paranoia, dry mouth, dry and red eyes, hunger and insomnia.

Is HHC Spotted in a Drug Test?

HHC may not be broken down in the body in the same way as THC. Unlike the delta 8, delta 9, and delta 10 forms of THC, there is some evidence that HHC does not convert to 11-hydroxy-THC, the metabolite that is widely tested for. However, this has not been investigated and therefore uncertain. No one can say for sure that hHC does not leave traces of use in blood, urine or hair.

Does HHC Have Medical Benefits?

HHC has not been extensively studied, unlike cannabinoids such as delta 9 THC or CBD. Still, scarce research is promising. A 2011 study showed that some synthetic analogs of hexahydrocannabinol strongly inhibited breast cancer cell-induced angiogenesis and tumor growth. Japanese researchers published a paper in 2007 describing the cannabinoid's impressive pain-fighting ability in mice. It's too early to say if it shows promise as a therapeutic drug.

Is HHC legal and will it remain legal?

Congress made the hemp plant and all of its derivatives federally legal in the Farm Bill of 2018 — as long as the plant or anything made from it contains less than 0,3 percent delta 9 THC. Although HHC is naturally found in the cannabis plant, commercial HHC is made by hydrogenating hemp-derived cannabinoids under pressure with a catalyst such as palladium. Scientists at the National Cannabis Industry Association call the result a “semi-synthetic” cannabis compound.

In May 2022, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed that delta 8 THC was legal under the Farm Bill's hemp definition and that all other compounds and derivatives of hemp are also legal, as long as they do not contain more than the legal maximum 0,3 percent delta. 9 THC. That makes HHC a legal hemp product and protects manufacturers and sellers of HHC (and delta 8 and delta 10 THC, THC-O and THCP), although some advocates note that other federal courts could reach different conclusions.

HHC can be in the VS however, continue to be banned by individual states. This is likely if HHC becomes so popular that it threatens sales in the legal cannabis market, as we have seen with delta 8 THC. There are not many manufacturers and sellers of HHC yet. If HHC remains legally viable and it becomes cheaper to produce potent HHC, this promising cannabinoid will become more available in the diverse cannabis market.

Source: vaping360.com (EN)

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