Just about everyone has heard about the holistic benefits of CBD. Our bodies have endocannabinoid receptors built-in for a reason–to receive cannabinoids into our bloodstream.
Hemp-derived products containing Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 THC, THC-O, THCv (the list is ever-growing) are flooding the market and it can be, understandably, confusing and overwhelming to determine which cannabinoid is right for you.
While we at Hemp Living can personally attest to the therapeutic benefits of a hemp-derived ‘high’, there is a new dealer at the table that is closer to Delta 9 THC, both chemically and perceptually, than any other hemp-derived psychoactive cannabinoid: HHC.
What is HHC?
Hexahydrocannabinol, or “HHC”, is a cannabinoid very similar to THC in structure and effects.
DailyCBD puts it simply: “HHC is to THC, what margarine is to butter.”
The greatest attribute of HHC may prove to be its impressive shelf life. Especially considering how remarkably similar its effects are to THC! Saturating the molecule with hydrogen atoms through hydrogenation substantially increases the shelf-life of this cannabinoid.
Why does hydrogenated vegetable oil (margarine) last so much longer than regular vegetable oil? Because the saturated hydrogen atoms “insulate” the other atoms in the molecule, making them less susceptible to oxidation. Oxidation is what breaks down a molecule. Just like oxidation breaks down the beater truck in your neighbor’s driveway into rust!
While THC is the most naturally abundant cannabinoid, it breaks down rapidly due to oxidation. HHC’s extra hydrogen atoms protect it from oxygen exposure and breakdown. Meaning an HHC product could, in theory, be just as potent 10 years from now as it is today. HHC is considered to be about 80% as potent as THC, but otherwise shares virtually identical traits.
How Does HHC Affect Us?
While most psychoactive hemp-derived cannabinoids can have a similar effect as the well-known Delta 9 THC, each has its own unique therapeutic or recreational benefit. The additional hydrogen atoms in HHC molecules make them geometrically compatible to bind with our body’s CB1 and CB2 endocannabinoid receptors as well as our TRP pain receptors. This means that HHC can be used for many of the same ailments that Delta 9 THC is adept at relieving.
The best part: hemp-derived HHC (with less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC) is Federally legal and can be shipped to consumers in all 50 states!
Is It Safe and Legal?
Although HHC is found naturally in cannabis, it has only recently become a viable consumable cannabinoid thanks to recent advancements in extraction and conversion techniques. As such, there is very limited research or clinical trials associated with the long-term effects of HHC.
HHC is made by hydrogenating THC. This process involves subjecting concentrated THC to hydrogen, high pressure, and a catalyst. There are no harmful chemicals used in this conversion process and the end product is chemically the same as naturally occurring HHC. At Hemp Living, we use independent, 3rd-party labs to test all of our products for potency, foreign matter, and harsh chemicals.
Currently, there is no reason to believe it is harmful to humans in any way. HHC is said to have therapeutic benefits of mood and appetite regulation, anti-anxiety, and pain relief. As with anything, you should consult your doctor before treating any of these conditions on your own.
Does HHC Show Up on A Drug Test?
It is not clear whether HHC will show up as THC on a standard drug screen. THC drug screens typically detect the presence of 11-hydroxy-THC which is produced when your body processes THC. Some research has suggested that HHC does not metabolize as such, but no concrete studies have been conducted to support this… yet.
The bottom line is that everybody metabolizes cannabinoids differently and all cannabis/hemp products inherently contain at least trace amounts of THC. If your job and/or livelihood is on the line, it’s probably best to steer clear until formal studies can confirm this.