HHC 101 – The How, the Why & the Wherefores
Written by Megan Lane
Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a type of cannabinoid that was first created in 1944 by Roger Adams, an American chemist. He added hydrogen molecules to Delta-9 THC, a process known as hydrogenation, which converts THC to HHC. The process of hydrogenation is not limited to the production of cannabinoids. In fact, a similar approach is taken when you’re converting vegetable oil into margarine.
HHC is typically derived from hemp, which is a low-THC cannabis plant that was made federally legal by the 2018 Farm Bill. The major difference between HHC and THC or Delta-8 is the presence of a hydrogen molecule in HHC that is absent in THC. Consumers and scientists have observed that HHC produces less potent and psychoactive effects compared to conventional Delta-9 THC.
The process of making HHC involves several steps, starting with the extraction of CBD from raw hemp, distillation, and isolation of the compound in powder form. CBD acts as the base for the chemical reaction that creates HHC. According to Kyle Ray, the Chief Operating Officer of Colorado Chromatography, the process of creating HHC takes place in a chemical reactor, which he describes as a “black box.” The end result of the process is a gold-colored dark oil that is refined and distilled.
Richard Sams, Scientific Director at KCA Laboratories, said that HHC can be safely produced in well-equipped laboratories… However, if production is scaled up, the risks increase, including the potential for explosions.
Colorado Chromatography only produces HHC in an explosion-proof space to minimize these risks. The effects of HHC on the body and mind are not well understood, as there is a lack of consensus on its potency.
The complexity arises from the fact that when the cannabinoid is manufactured, the end result is a mixture of two different HHC molecules: 9R HHC binds to the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors while 9S HHC does not.
According to Richard Sams, When consuming a sufficient dose, HHC can produce effects similar to Delta-8 THC, according to Richard Sams. But it takes a much higher dosage of the compound to do so.
Kyle Ray of Colorado Chromatography stated that the ratios of active and inactive HHC molecules can vary from batch to batch, and they need to be at least 50% active to be considered a viable product.
Liam Burns of Bearly Legal, a client of Colorado Chromatography, believes in the effects of HHC, saying that he feels energetic, sharp, and pain-free when using the compound. The benefits are remarkable.
How is HHC different from Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC?
HHC is not a recognized term in the field of cannabinoids. On the other hand, however, THC is known for being a psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. THC is recognized for producing the “high” associated with the recreational use of cannabis.
Delta-8-THC is a minor psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant and it is structurally similar to THC. People are boasting about the similar effects D8!.results in — the “buzz” Delta 8 users are experiencing is not unlike THC, aside from the lower potency and less negative side effects like anxiety and paranoia.
How is HHC made?
HHC is an abbreviation for hexahydrocannabinol This chemical compound is synthesized from Delta-9 THC and several other cannabinoids. The process includes a chemical reaction, which is technically called isomerization.
The reaction involves rearranging the atoms within the molecule to create a different chemical structure. The exact method used to create HHC often varies, but the goal is to produce a molecule that has a similar effect to THC but with a different potency level or chemical properties.
It’s important to note that synthesizing HHC and other cannabinoids generally requires specialized equipment and expertise. And the making of HHC should only take place in a controlled laboratory setting for safety reasons.
What effects does HHC have on the body and mind?
There aren’t too many studies on HHC, leading to a lack of knowledge about its effects on the mind and body. In the near future, we hope to have a better understanding of how HHC can affect us. Some anecdotal evidence suggests that HHC can produce effects similar to other cannabinoids such as THC, including relaxation, altered perception, and mild euphoria.
However, much like other substances, the individual experience you’ll have isn’t the same as another person would have — even if the same dose and form are ingested. The effects are somewhat unpredictable.
It is crucial to exercise caution and understand the potential risks and side effects when using even heavily researched cannabinoids like CBD. We also recommend consulting with a healthcare professional before self-medicating with HHC for mental health, chronic pain conditions, and seizure disorders.
How potent is HHC?
The potency of HHC is not well studied and information is limited. The strength of HHC varies depending on the source and production method. The experiences people have reported have shown us that the effects are different from person to person. We can only assume that this is a result of how the cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors located in the brain and body.
Does HHC show up on a drug test?
It is unknown whether or not HHC will show up on drug tests. However, since HHC is not a well-studied compound and it’s not widely used or commercially available, there is a lack of information available on its detection in drug tests.
Drug tests have different levels of sensitivity and some cannot detect all compounds — including HHC. It is advisable to speak with the drug test administrator to gain more information on what substances are tested for and how the lab detects them.
Can you vape HHC?
Yes, HHC can be vaped. However, it is important to note that the safety and long-term health effects of vaping HHC are not well understood and more research is needed in this area.
Additionally, the use of any form of HHC, including vaping, is not legal in all regions and jurisdictions. Before purchasing HHC products, it is important to research the laws and regulations in your area while keeping the potential risks to your health and well-being in mind.
Is hexahydrocannabinol legal?
Yes, hexahydrocannabinol — nicknamed HHC — is legal throughout most states in the US. This is due to the fact that it’s derived from hemp. The regulations in your area, region, or country may make buying natural, medicinal supplements like cannabinoids impossible. In some regions, HHC is legal, while in others it’s still prohibited.
In the United States, the legality of HHC is uncertain due to the laws that have been determined on state and federal levels. We urge you to perform adequate research so you can understand the legalities in your area before purchasing or consuming HHC products.
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