What is HHC? A Complete Guide

What is HHC? A Complete Guide

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The world of cannabis is rapidly evolving, with new and exciting compounds being discovered and researched every day. One of the latest compounds to make waves in the industry is HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol. Many enthusiasts are raving about this hemp-derived cannabinoid and its unique benefits.

But what exactly is HHC, and how does it differ from other well-known cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC, Delta-9 THC, and CBD? In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about HHC, including its chemical structure, differences from THC, effects on the body, and more. So let's dive in and explore the exciting world of HHC together!

What is HHC? 

HHC stands for "hexahydrocannabinol." It is a compound naturally occurring in cannabis (both hemp and marijuana).  The chemical structure of HHC is similar to that of Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC. 

If you recall, Delta-8 and Delta-9 get their names because they have a double bond. Whether the double bond is on the molecule's eighth or ninth carbon chain determines if it's Delta-8 THC or Delta-9 THC. 

Now let's get back to HHC. HHC does not have this double bond. Instead, it has two more hydrogens

THC molecules (even CBD molecules) have 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms - C21H30O3. 

HHC molecules have 21 carbon atoms, 32 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms - C21H32O3. 

One easy way to think of HHC is as a hydrogenated form of THC. When something is hydrogenated, it is either charged or combined with hydrogen. 

You may be familiar with this chemical quality if you've had margarine, which is actually hydrogenated vegetable oil. 

But in nature, one of the reasons why you'd find HHC in cannabis is that it can be a byproduct of the degradation of Delta-9 THC. And that just about covers it for what is HHC. 

What Is The Difference Between HHC And THC?

hemp flower up close

Molecular speaking, HHC is just THC without a double bond and with more hydrogen atoms. But you're probably more interested in the more... interesting differences, primarily regarding the active effects of these cannabinoids.

But first, let's do some more brushing up, but this time with the endocannabinoid system, or ECS.

The ECS is network of neurotransmitters located throughout the human body. It helps with various functions such as: 
The ECS works in a lock-and-key model, using chemical compounds called endocannabinoids as the keys. Then there are the locks, or receptors, to which these compounds bind to "tell" the ECS that it needs to take action toward one of its functions. 

What does this have to do with anything? Well, phytocannabinoids (which are the cannabinoids you find in cannabis) can also interact with the endocannabinoid system- including THC and HHC. 

Delta-9 THC is known to have a very strong binding affinity for CB1 receptors, stronger than Delta-8 THC and most other cannabinoids. This results in its more intense effects on a milligram-by-milligram basis.

HHC, on the other hand, has less intense effects. When derived from hemp, there are two types of HHC. There's 9RHHC which can bind to ECSs' receptors, and then there's 9SHHC which doesn't bind so well. 

Separating the two is…a bit tricky. So the "active" and "inactive" HHCs are just left together. 

If you had a 50mg THC gummy (either Delta-8 or hemp-derived Delta-9), each milligram of that cannabinoid has the potential to bind to your cannabinoid receptors.  However, if you had a 50mg HHC gummy, roughly half of that can bring about effects. 

So if you've tried hemp-derived Delta-9 or Delta-8, think of a 50mg HHC gummy as more of an approximately 25mg gummy, if that makes sense. 

How Does HHC Make You Feel?

MOOD HHC Gummies

Remember that endocannabinoid system we talked about earlier? Well, just like my digestive or nervous system is not identical to yours, everybody's endocannabinoid system is unique. As a result, the way the human body processes cannabinoids will vary from person to person, resulting in unique effects. 

Generally speaking, however, enthusiasts who have tried HHC have reported feelings of: 
If you are familiar with the effects of Delta-8 THC and Delta-9 THC, the effects of HHC will feel "closer" to Delta-9 THC because of similarities in their binding affinities

But keep in mind that statements regarding how HHC feels or how potent it is are purely anecdotal. The best way to figure out the effects of HHC is to start in small amounts. For example, if you have HHC gummies, you should only eat a small part of that gummy to start. Then, you need to wait a bit to feel the effects, wait a bit more, and then decide if you want to take more. 

This process may take some time (maybe a night or two). However, you should be set for a while once you find the right amount. 

How Long Does It Take HHC To "Kick In?"

 The answer to this question greatly depends on how you consume HHC (consumption method) and how much you consume (serving size). 

Regardless of the cannabinoid, there is a faster onset of effects if consumed via inhalation, i.e. vaping, or by taking it sublingually with a tincture. 

The slowest effects will come from consuming HHC in the form of an edible, such as an HHC gummy. 

When trying HHC or any cannabinoids, take it slow. Don't be in a rush to consume too much because that can leave you overwhelmed.  

How Long Does HHC Last?

Interestingly, although edibles typically take the longest to "kick in," research shows that the effects of edibles last longer in the body than vapes.

Then, there's the factor (which we'll say again) that cannabinoids affect everyone a bit differently.  There's no universal answer for how long the effects of HHC last, but there could be a specific duration for how long it lasts for you. 

What Are The Effects Of HHC?

woman at beach

In general, psychoactive cannabinoids such as Delta-8, hemp-derived Delta-9, THC-O, and HHC can offer similar effects. 

These effects include the typical relaxation, relief, and euphoria, but nuances exist between each cannabinoid. 

Everyone experiences cannabinoids differently. However, consider that although HHC is technically not THC, you do not want to drive or operate machinery after consuming it. 

HHC For Tolerance Breaks?

We've all been there. Whether it's a vape, edible, or some other way to consume cannabis, we have a favorite go-to that doesn't do the "trick" like it used to. 

Naturally, most connoisseurs will take a "tolerance break" basically meaning abstaining from THC products for a period of time to return and get that same feeling again eventually. But is there a way around this? 

Now, as a preface, everyone's endocannabinoid system is a bit different, and we all experience the properties of cannabis in our own way. However, some enthusiasts have found that by switching up HHC for THC, they can keep their sessions "fresh." 

So, if you feel like you're hitting a brick wall with your THC sessions, trying out some HHC vapes or HHC gummies is worth considering if you're looking to get that spark again. 

How Much HHC Should I Take?

There is no right amount of HHC that everyone should take. There is only the amount that's right for you. In order to find the serving size that fits your needs, it's best to take the "low and slow approach." 

That means start with a low amount, wait for the effects (if any), and proceed slowly from where you want to go from there. Whether or not you should increase your serving is up to you and how you're feeling. 

The amount of HHC you should take will also vary among mediumsSo if you already found your "sweet spot" for HHC edibles, you will still want to take the low and slow approach if you move on to inhalation or taking it sublingually. 

How Long Does HHC Stay In Your System?

There is no "set" duration in which a cannabinoid will stay in your system. Do not drive or operate machinery if you have consumed HHC. And do not take HHC or any other hemp-derived cannabinoids if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to become pregnant. 

Does HHC Show Up On A Drug Test?

Drug tests are designed to detect metabolites of THC in the body. Although HHC is technically not THC, we recommend avoiding HHC products and hemp-derived cannabinoids if you have a drug test soon. 

While there is not much research out there on the subject of HHC and drug tests, the thing is that HHC is very structurally similar to THC. 

So it's not too much of a stretch of the imagination that the byproducts of your body breaking down HHC would be the same or similar (we're not scientists, but remember, there's only a slight molecular difference between HHC and Delta-8/Delta-9).

Is HHC Legal?

Yes, HHC is legal on a federal level because it is a cannabinoid derived from hemp. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp and its derivatives are legal as long as they don't exceed a 0.3% concentration of Delta-9 THC.

Because of this, you can find HHC in various concentrations versus Delta-9. As mentioned earlier, some enthusiasts have compared HHC as being pretty close to hemp-derived Delta-9.  However, because HHC and Delta-9 THC are two separate cannabinoids, there is no concentration limit on HHC—only Delta-9. 

Note: Although HHC is federally legal, state legality will vary. Some states have banned hemp-derived cannabinoids, while others have more open policies. Check with your state laws first.

What is Hemp?

Hemp and marijuana are the same species—cannabis (in a formal sense, Cannabis sativa or sometimes Cannabis indica, though there is a debate on whether they're different species).  Hemp is not a specific "type" of cannabis. Instead, "hemp" is more or so a legal distinction between federally illicit and illegal cannabis. 

To put it simply, hemp is cannabis with a 0.3% or lower concentration of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Delta-9 THC) by dry weight

Where To Buy HHC?

HHC gummies with strawberries on a pink background

Wondering where to get HHC? Look no further. Right here, you can shop Hometown Hero's premium collection of HHC products online, including our Strawberry HHC Gummies and Blue Raspberry HHC Gummies

Like our other gummies, these products are expertly infused (as opposed to sprayed) with hemp-derived cannabinoids to ensure flavor and consistency. This is not only better in terms of delivering the best effects but also great for cutting up into precise amounts.

Not to mention, each of these fruit-flavored edibles features live rosin from Indica and Sativa-forward cannabis strains like Bubble Gum and Jack Herer, respectively. Coupled with the euphoric effects of HHC, these relaxing or energizing terpenes are sure to lift your mood!

You can also find HHC in our wide selection of disposable vapes. These convenient, USB-C rechargeable devices allow you to experience the mood-lifting effects of HHC via inhalation, alongside potent Delta-8, terpene-rich live resin, and other cannabis or botanical extracts.

Not to mention- you can enjoy free priority shipping on every order...

Final Thoughts

And that just about covers it for what is HHC!

Until next time, happy exploring, and Mind Your Mind!

FDA Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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