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The amount of cannabinoids on the market has only grown since the 2018 farm bill unleashed hemp onto the United States wellness market.

Now, it’s not just CBD and THC as the banner stars of the cannabis industry. Today, we have THCV, Delta 8, CBG, and CBN. You would be hard-pressed to blame the consumer for their confusion.

With this many cannabinoids purporting to be the answer to a handful of wellness needs, discerning truth from embellishment can be challenging. 

HHC is the newest in a long line of cannabinoids that has surfaced as a possible THC or CBD alternative.

HHC’s mild psychoactive effects could give it a novelty and appeal that is not present with many of the other types; in a sense, HHC has room to grow where CBN and THC do not.

However, the flipside of this is that HHC could go the way of Delta 8, which is currently mired in a patchwork of state laws that allow it on its shelves vs. ones that have outright banned it or decided to regulate/or limit it.

While we wait to see what the fate of HHC is, let’s take a deeper look at its composition, its commonality with other cannabinoids, and some of its positive and negative side effects. 

HHC: A Rarer Cannabinoid With a Human Touch

Are you familiar with the process of hydrogenation? Hydrogenated oils are sometimes in our foods and get a pretty terrible reputation.

It is the process by which hydrogen molecules are added to a given substance; in the case of the food example, these molecules are added to vegetable oils to provide them with a longer shelf life.

This manifests itself in harmful trans fats, which are solidified fats that increase bad cholesterol. 

However, adding hydrogen molecules THC does not result in artery-clogging cholesterol.

Instead, it results in a very long-lasting form of THC with some altered characteristics.

Its psychoactive qualities are reduced and increase its resistance to heat. Thanks to human intervention, this makes for a highly durable product, much more stable than THC.

HHC: Parallels with THC

You can’t get much more “parallel” with THC than HHC, mainly because its chemical composition is the same but for the added hydrogen molecules. So what does this mean for HHC as a wellness product?

HHC can be considered a psychotropic compound, though its strength is markedly reduced, with anecdotes putting it around half the psychoactive experience of your average cannabis joint.

Unfortunately, this also means that you are likely to see HHC show up as a signifier of THC in your bloodstream, so unless your job is 100% a-okay with your testing positive for THC in your system, you may want to exercise caution if you are tested regularly for anything on the schedule 1 list.

HHC is fully legal on the federal level, at least as of this current writing.

This may be on a technicality, the same way Delta-8 was still considered federally legal before states began to crack down on its use, claiming it was a loophole that allowed synthetic or otherwise altered cannabinoids to be abused as drugs.

Now, Delta-8 is much harder to find than it once was, with even highly libertarian states like Nevada restricting its use. 

HHC and the Comparison With Delta 8

Though both of these compounds can be considered psychoactive, the levels with which it is deemed psychoactive are a pretty low barrier.

Anecdotal reports from users say that both are around half marijuana’s strength, with some variation on the higher and lower ends. 

But we already have explained what HHC is – what exactly is Delta 8, and what makes it psychoactive at all?

The answer is that it is an isomer of THC, its only difference being a lack of double bonds between carbons.

Delta 8 is also very closely related to CBD, which can be thought of as the precursor to Delta 8. Some researchers compare CBD to an incomplete circle, whereby closing this semi-circle gives you Delta 8 in all its glory. 

So, you can comfortably say that HHC and Delta 8 are like “junior” versions of THC, psychoactive but only up to a point, and usable for virtually everyone – so long as you are either not required to drug test or do not care. 

HHC’s Positive and Negative Side Effects

HHC is not exactly a ubiquitous product, with many reports about its positive and negative side effects. Still, at PureKana, we feel that our research has given us at least a bit of insight to work with. 

So far, users love the clear-headed, slightly euphoric, and very mild effect they get from HHC, either by vape or wax dab. 

On the other hand, some users dislike the price (this is bound to change), and some feel that the drowsiness can be too “apparent” and long-lasting.

However, this product’s cons list is concise, and it seems perfect for both beginners/novices and seasoned cannabis users alike. 


What is HHC? Hydrogenated Cannabinoids & Apocalypse-Ready THC

What Is HHC?

HHC: Frequently Asked Questions

Boston Hemp Explains HHC

HHC: A cannabinoid with potent antinociceptive activity

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