Updated: Jan 12, 2022
Hexahydrocannabinoid (HHC) is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid that is a hydrogenated form of THC, which means that it is very similar to THC but has more hydrogen atoms. To be specific, HHC has two additional hydrogen atoms in comparison to THC, which causes it to have a longer shelf life than its popular cousin.
The double carbon bonds that make up THC’s molecular structure are separated during the hydrogenation process, and thus, HHC is created. Scientists and stoners are curious about HHC’s ability to be absorbed more efficiently in the body than the naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Certain naturally occurring cannabinoids like THC and CBD are not fully absorbed by the body because they aren’t completely bioavailable, meaning the proportion of these cannabinoids that enter the circulation isn’t as high as it could be. This results in us not experiencing the full benefits of the compound.
When it comes to HHC, scientists believe that more of the product would get metabolized and our endocannabinoid systems would be able to fully utilize the compound in a manner unlike we’ve ever seen.
How Is HHC Made?
Since HHC is a semi-synthetic compound, it is made in a laboratory where smart people isolate the molecules in our favorite plant to deliver specific cannabinoids that have the potential to rival their family tree. This hemp-derived cannabinoid is created when a specific amount of hydrogen is added to a cannabis compound, influencing its chemical structure. Then a metal catalyst is used to cause a reaction with the compound.
These catalysts make the chemical reaction more rapid and active without adhering to the cannabinoids and tarnishing the product. The catalysts, usually nickel, palladium, or platinum, are taken out of the mixture once they do their job.
This chemical reaction is what gives the cannabinoid its chemical properties that wouldn’t otherwise occur in nature. This changes the molecule, as well as how it is absorbed by our bodies.
Out of all the cannabinoids that have been introduced lately, HHC has the potential to be the most similar to Delta 9 THC in terms of effects. Its close chemical structure could be the reason why users report effects like:
Cerebral and body high
While many studies are still forthcoming in regards to HHC, there have been some studies that link HHC, among other natural and synthetic cannabis compounds, to the shrinking of tumors in cancer patients. This is promising news for HHC and its possible future medicinal benefits.
HHC vs THC
On a molecular level, both THC and HHC have an almost identical structure. The main difference is that THC has a double bond on the top in its top ring structure, which HHC doesn’t.
Potency-wise, HHC is estimated to be 20% less potent than THC. However, other studies say that it can be even more potent.
Other than that, both cannabinoids share almost identical attributes.
Will HHC Show Up On A Drug Test?
Some studies have pointed out that HHC metabolites trigger Delta 9 drug tests, so we advise you to avoid using HHC if you got an incoming test.
Does Hemp Contain HHC?
HHC is derived from hemp, but remember, it is a semi-synthetic compound which means that it is made in a laboratory. Molecules are isolated from the plant and mixed with a catalyst to form a new compound with similar properties as natural hemp.