What is HHC, and How Does it Compare to THC?

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HHC, or Hexahydrocannabinol, is a lesser-known cannabinoid, similar to THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), found in cannabis plants. It is structurally related to THC and is known to have psychoactive effects, although milder compared to THC. HHC is gaining attention within the cannabis community due to its potential therapeutic benefits and unique properties.

What is HHC?

While both HHC and THC are psychoactive compounds, many are still wondering what is HHC vs THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as HHC, is a phytocannabinoid that offers mellow feelings of relaxation and euphoria. It can be found naturally in low concentrations in the cannabis plant or is created through hydrogenation. This involves adding hydrogen atoms to the THC molecule. HHC is more potent than delta-8 and delta-10 THC but less potent than THC itself. This makes it a perfect cannabinoid to use in high-THC products like edibles and vape juices.

While there is little scientific data on long-term effects, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is helpful for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It also reduces pain and nausea and stimulates appetite.

However, because it can cause psychoactive effects, it’s crucial to consume it in small doses. If you plan on using a product containing HHC, look for third-party tested products to ensure quality and consistency. HHC may not appear on drug tests, but checking local laws and regulations before purchasing is good. Many online and retail stores sell HHC in different forms, including vape cartridges and infused edibles. If you’re interested in purchasing HHC products, choose one from a reputable brand and ensure the product is third-party tested to guarantee consistency and quality. 

How does HHC work?

As a cannabinoid that is new to the market, not much research has been done on HHC. However, anecdotal reports suggest that HHC produces similar effects to THC – namely, a psychoactive high that can cause changes in perception and cognition. It is also known to help with pain relief and anxiety.

It is thought that HHC works similarly to THC by binding to the CB1 receptors in the brain and nervous system. This causes euphoria and alters perception, heart rate, and body temperature.

Unlike THC, which can cause side effects like anxiety or paranoia, HHC is generally considered to be less of a psychoactive cannabinoid. It has a lower potency, but many find it to be more effective than delta-9 THC and may be used as an alternative for those with cannabis sensitivities.

HHC is produced in a lab using a process called catalytic hydrogenation. This modifies the structure of delta-9 THC by replacing a double bond with two hydrogen atoms.  Currently, HHC is available in various hemp-derived products, including low-THC hemp flowers and resin onto which HHC has been sprayed or mixed (these look and smell like normal cannabis), vaporizer pens, and edibles and oils. 

How does HHC get you high?

As with most other cannabinoids, HHC’s high will vary from person to person and is affected by your tolerance level. Some people report feeling exhilaration, bodily relaxation, and increased sex drive. Other people feel more sedative effects, such as pain relief and better sleep. Because of this, it’s important to start with a low dose and gradually increase your dosage until you find the right balance.

HHC can also cause side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, and changes in perception and memory. It can also increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety levels. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may experience nausea and vomiting. In some cases, higher amounts of HHC can lead to paranoia or panic attacks. Because HHC is a relatively new cannabinoid, it hasn’t been extensively studied. However, it has anti-anxiety and anti-pain properties and can help suppress cancer cell growth. A 2011 study found that some synthetic HHC analogs could inhibit angiogenesis, which leads to tumor formation.

Does HHC have any side effects?

Despite its popularity, HHC hasn’t been extensively studied, and there are few reports of side effects. Preliminary research shows that HHC produces a mellow high similar to THC and can be used for pain relief, mood stabilization, and sedation. It also alters perception and cognition, increasing heart rate and body temperature. In higher doses, it can lead to paranoia and hallucinations.

HHC may also bind to other neural receptors, which could produce additional, potentially negative effects. Regular use of cannabinoids like THC and CBD may reduce the brain’s sensitivity to these compounds, making it take more of them or larger doses to achieve the same psychoactive effect.

Additionally, HHC metabolizes more easily in the body than THC and can be eliminated more quickly. This can make it harder to detect in drug tests that look for THC and its metabolites. Finally, it’s important to note that products that contain HHC are not federally regulated and can vary widely in terms of quality and content. 

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