We’re officially in an alternative cannabinoids era. Conventional Delta 9 THC and CBD are no longer the only big names on the block, nor are they fully enough to satiate the cannabis community, which is why we’re here talking about HHC. Even if you’re a seasoned member of the cannabis community, you may be asking yourself “what is Hexahydrocannabinol?” Let’s dive into this HHC cannabinoid review and tackle what it is, the known effects, and why it’s becoming increasingly popular.
Cannabinoids and HHC Explained
First and foremost, we need to explain what cannabinoids are. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring chemical compounds found within cannabis. The two most prominent and popular are THC (usually Delta-9 THC) and CBD. There are, however, over 400 known chemical compounds within cannabis, and over 100 of these are cannabinoids. They all work together to form what is known as the entourage effect, wherein the most medicinal beneficial aspects of cannabis are experienced. Each cannabis strain has a unique combination of these cannabinoids and other compounds to create a specific entourage effect, resulting in different medicinal benefits and effects (both physical and psychoactive).
There are now quite a few well-known alternative cannabinoids on the market that have been extracted from cannabis and sold in concentrated form. Delta-8 THC provides a more relaxing body high, while Delta-10 THC offers a subtler, more stimulating experience. There are others, as well, including THCP and THC-O, which are thought to be a more psychedelic experience. The newest of these alternative cannabinoids is HHC, which is found in very small, trace amounts. It is found in such small amounts, in fact, that it must be synthetically created for it to be viably collected and consumed (let alone distributed). Hexahydrocannabinol is the most stable cannabinoid there is. it is resistant to a lot of the things traditional Delta-9 THC is sensitive to, such as heat and UV radiation, and it has a much longer shelf-life than other types of cannabinoids because of its extra hydrogen atoms. The HHC you find on the market is semi-synthetic, isolated from Delta-9 THC to form what is naturally found in the cannabis plant. HHC is nearly identical to THC but has two additional hydrogen atoms, and it is more efficiently absorbed by the body.
What are Hexahydrocannabinol Effects?
When you compare HHC vs THC, there are a lot of similarities, including their structures and their effects. This similar chemical structure results in very similar effects when consumed. An HHC cannabinoid high is similar to a Delta-9 THC Indica strain, although it is slightly less intense. It is thought to provide some potential medicinal benefits similar to Delta-9 THC, as well, including:
- Manage chronic pain
- Reduce inflammation
- Alleviate nausea and vomiting
- Provide easier, more restful sleep
- Ease anxiety and depression
Unfortunately, there are hardly any studies that give legitimacy to any benefits. What we do know is that, since its physical structure is so similar to THC, it makes sense that the effects would also be similar. We’re hopeful that more research will be conducted soon so we can provide more informed analysis and hopefully deem the HHC cannabinoid safe.
What is the Legal Status of HHC?
HHC is technically legal, even though it can still get you high like THC. This is because of the 2018 Farm Bill (the Agricultural Improvement Act), which legalized hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids so long as they contain less than 0.3% of Delta 9 THC (this is the same technicality that allows Delta 10 and Delta 8 THC to be legal, even though they are a type of THC). That being said, while HHC is technically legal federally, some states may soon prohibit its sale and consumption. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah. These are all states that have prohibited Delta-8 or Delta-10 THC because of either a striking similarity to Delta-9 THC or because they haven’t been studied enough to determine efficacy and safety. HHC just hit the market by storm, so there hasn’t been time yet for states to create policies against it; however, you should check back in here from time to time for policy updates on the state level. Until more research is conducted on HHC and these other THC alternatives, there’s a chance that they could be prohibited on the state level. This is especially true since HHC on the market is being semi-synthetically created, which may result in this technicality having a less effective argument.
Can You Buy HHC?
Additionally, while HHC is legal and can be bought online and shipped almost anywhere in the country, be aware that HHC is not regulated and is very under-researched. Several companies sell HHC products, but we recommend doing some serious research before you dive into the world of HHC. There are companies out there pretending to sell HCC. You can also check out your local dispensaries and smoke shops to see if they sell HHC products, such as HHC gummies, HHC vapes, and HHC oils and tinctures. Ask your local budtenders about HHC, what is known about available products, and when they might begin to sell HHC products. And, of course, check back here for updates as HHC is better understood and more research is conducted.