The hemp industry had a busy year in 2021 with a new wave of hemp-derived cannabinoids sweeping the country. Many consumers took a liking to products with Delta 8, Delta 10, and THC 0 because they are widely available, federally legal, and provide a similar experience to Delta 9 THC.
HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is an emerging, but lesser known cannabinoid. Many consumers describe it is THC lite because it offers similar effects to THC with less intoxication.
The main difference between HHC and Delta 8 is that HHC is not an isomer of THC, but rather it’s own cannabinoid.
What exactly is HHC, anyway?
HHC was first produced in 1944 by an American chemist named Roger Adams. He used a process known as hydrogenation, which is also used to convert vegetable oil to margarine. This process added hydrogen molecules to Delta 9 THC.
The current process was innovated by Colorado Chromatography, a processor outside of Denver, and uses CBD as the starting material instead of Delta 9 THC.
The main difference between what Adams did and the current process is that Adams used Delta 9 THC whereas Colorado Chromatography uses CBD as their starting points. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, the current process makes HHC hemp derived and federally legal.
Where does HHC come from?
Making HHC is an intricate process that should only be performed in professional laboratories. This is because there can be potential for explosions or dangerous residual byproducts if not done correctly.
Similar to Delta 8, we consider hemp derived HHC a semi-synthetic compound because it is synthesized in a lab, but is naturally occurring in some cannabis plants.
The reason HHC isn’t extracted directly from the plant like CBD or THC is that it only occurs naturally in very small amounts. The process to extract it from the plant would be far too expensive to produce a very small amount of HHC.
Is HHC safe?
There is very little information on HHC and any immediate or long-term effects. This is no different with other cannabis compounds including THC and CBD. Research is still in its infancy due to federal prohibition of cannabis.
This is a big reason you want to know where your products are coming from. Make sure your suppliers are using tested raw materials from a reputable lab to avoid potential dangerous residuals or contaminated products for end customers.
Unfortunately, a lot of companies cut corners to get cheaper prices on raw materials and bigger margins for themselves. Like anything else, you get what you pay for.
HHC vs Delta 8
Most HHC and Delta 8 products are either vape cartridges or gummies. If both cannabinoids give a similar effect to Delta 9 THC with slightly less intoxicating, which one is better?
The answer is different depending on who you ask. The effects of HHC are more potent than Delta 8. It is also described as a much more relaxing feel when it comes to how it effects consumers. Think heavy Indica. When it comes to doing business, we prefer HHC to Delta 8, Delta 10, or THC 0 for the following reasons:
- Legal Status: Unlike the Deltas (0, 8, 9) HHC is not an isomer of THC. Many states across the country have moved to ban Delta 8 and other THC isomers like Delta 10 and THC 0. If additional states try to ban the the Deltas, HHC will be the most well known alternative.
- Way less harsh: Those of you that have tried Delta8 vape cartridges know that they can be harsh on the throat. HHC is incredibly smooth in comparison. In our opinion, HHC gives one of the smoothest hits on the current market.
- Shelf Stability: HHC is a much more stable compound than Delta 8 or even Delta 9 THC. Products with HHC have longer shelf lives and are more resistant to heat and light than other cannabinoids.
There is no way to predict what law makers will choose to do when it comes to Delta 8 and other isomers of THC. Recent history shows us more states may try to ban Delta 8. If more states move to ban Delta 8, HHC will be the last man standing. If you are looking for more information about HHC, Leafly put out a good article HERE.
For those of you that are looking to get products that provide similar, but much less intoxicating effects than THC, you may have fewer options to choose from in the not too distant future. For now, if you are looking to check out some high quality HHC products, check out our offerings HERE.