Updated: Jun 1
HHC, short for hexahydrocannabinol, is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid found in small amounts in the hemp plant.
To obtain enough HHC to make HHC products, companies need to create this relatively newly discovered compound from either THC or CBD.
While newly available, HHC was first created in 1944. American chemist Roger Adams added hydrogen molecules to delta-9 THC, transforming THC to HHC. Today, companies can produce HHC by converting hemp-derived CBD.
HHC effects are described as THC-like, but with an added mental clarity. However, HHC is not a THC compound, making it an attractive option for consumers looking for a THC-like experience but who prefer or need to avoid THC.
How is HHC Made?
HHC does appear naturally in cannabis plants like hemp, but only in small quantities. When delta-9 THC breaks down, a small concentration converts to delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, and HHC.
However, because the natural concentration of HHC is so low, the HHC that you find in the products available today are produced safely in a well-equipped laboratory.
HHC comes from a multi-step process that starts with naturally occurring hemp-derived CBD. Using a proprietary method involving acids and filtration, scientists can transform hemp CBD into enough HHC to infuse into products like gummies, tinctures, vape cartridges, and more.
What are the Benefits of HHC?
Users of HHC have shared that the compound offers a pleasant, mild relaxation sensation without any cerebral fogginess. It’s generally considered a good choice for those times when you’re hoping to take the edge off while staying mentally sharp.
With these unique mellowing effects, HHC can be beneficial for enhancing hangouts with friends, getting lost in a book, or spurring creative thoughts.
Researchers have yet to fully understand the positive impact HHC can have on your body. Like all cannabinoids, HHC elicits its effects by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. This regulatory network is responsible for restoring and maintaining balance through neurotransmitters and hormones to keep your body running at its best.
HHC Effects: How Does HHC Make You Feel?
HHC is regarded as having similar, yet milder, elevating effects as you would experience with conventional delta-9 THC. Those who use it regularly say it’s calming but produces a clear-headed euphoria.
The effects you experience from HHC can vary from person to person due to differences in tolerance, age, genetics, and more. But, the average experience suggests that HHC is felt more strongly than delta-10 THC, and less intensely than delta-8 THC.
HHC vs THC vs CBD: How Do They Differ?
There are notable differences between HHC and other commonly-used cannabinoids like CBD and THC. All three compounds provide benefits by stimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system. However, they interact with the system’s receptors in different ways for varying effects.
The main difference between HHC and CBD and how it works is that HHC will provide you with sometimes powerfully-felt uplifting sensations, while CBD is non-intoxicating and used for general wellness. HHC binds with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor, while CBD indirectly influences the system’s CB1 and CB2 receptors.
When it comes to HHC and THC, they share an almost identical molecular structure. THC has one double bond in its top ring structure, while HHC has two additional hydrogenated carbons. Both bind directly to CB1 receptors, so they share similar effects, but HHC has a weaker affinity than THC, explaining why it's not as potent or strongly felt for most users.
How Safe is HHC?
With HHC so new to the scene, there have yet to be any safety studies for the compound completed. However, anecdotal reports indicate that it shares a similar safety profile to THC.
Many people use HHC regularly, and there have yet to be any reports of adverse effects from using HHC or HHC products. Those who have used HHC have shared that HHC side effects are comparable to those you would experience with THC.
To help ensure your HHC is safe, make sure that the products you buy are third-party lab-tested products and come from a reliable manufacturer. All cannabinoid products should be created using cGMP practices and then examined at an independent lab to confirm HHC safety and quality.
As with any new hemp cannabinoids, there is no standard serving size for HHC. As you first start out using the compound, begin with a small serving and wait at least one hour to see how HHC impacts you. Then, if you’d like, you can gradually increase your intake until you determine the amount of HHC that works for you.
Is HHC Legal?
Currently HHC is not 'scheduled' in South Africa. This means that there is no legal control over the substance. We have liaised closely with SAHPRA on this matter, and they have agreed that as long as the products do not contain any D9-THC or levels of CBD that do not adhere to the scheduling on CBD, then HHC is legal.
Any THC-O products sold in South Africa have been tested by the independent UIS Organic Laboratory, and have been certified to contain no THC or CBD
Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?
Whether HHC shows up on a drug test is still unclear.
There is anecdotal evidence from HHC users that the compound can evade drug tests. Some have argued that the compound never converts into 11-hydroxy-THC, the common metabolite detected by most drug tests.
It's important to point out that there is no hard evidence showing that HHC does not register on conventional 12-panel drug tests. So, it's better to err on the side of caution and avoid using HHC if you're subject to drug testing.
Where Can I Buy HHC Online?
You can buy HHC products like HHC gummies and more from Koi CBD, your trusted brand for cannabinoids since 2015.
Regardless, when shopping for HHC and other cannabinoids, take a little extra time to make sure that the products you buy are safe and reliable.
Check for the following three quality and safety standards when buying HHC:
The product comes from a reputable, trustworthy company with positive verifiable reviews from other consumers.
The company follows current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP).
The products have been third-party tested by an outside, independent laboratory.
Reliable HHC companies will also provide you with access to the product’s Certificate of Analysis, or COA. This document by a third-party independent lab verifies that the product is free of toxins and that it meets advertised specifications, such as HHC concentration.
More on HHC and Other Hemp Cannabinoids
There are many more beneficial cannabinoids in the hemp plant. Learn even more about new alternative cannabinoids like HHC, THC-O, as well as well-known CBD, through the Koi CBD blog.