Hey cannabis lovers and e-cigarette enthusiasts!
It’s a great time to be alive, right? Especially if you’re a cannabis lover and an e-cigarette enthusiast.
Following the splash we’ve seen delta-8 and delta-9 THC make in recent years, the industry has been on the prowl to find a new, not-so-known cannabinoid to present to the starving cannabis audience that’s always looking for new vapables to load into their CBD vape pens.
And they’ve hit the jackpot with hexahydrocannabidiol.
So if you’re curious about this new addition to the cannabinoid family, and want to learn more about it — what is it, what are its effects, and whether or not it’s legal on the federal level — dig in. I cover all of that in this post.
What is Hexahydrocannabinol [HHC]?
HHC is a naturally occurring cannabinoid. It can be found in all cannabis plants, including the hemp plant, cannabis sativa, and cannabis indica.
That said, it’s a minor cannabinoid. It only appears in small amounts that are not commercially viable. Hence, it has remained invisible until now.
But, with the boom of the cannabis and vaping industry, things are looking on the up and up for hexahydrocannabinol.
History & Current Production of HHC
HHC was first discovered in the 1940s by Roger Adams, a chemist and a cannabis researcher. He created it by adding hydrogen atoms to the THC molecule. So instead of hydrogen double bonds, HHC gets two additional hydrogen atoms This process is called hydrogenation, and it modifies the structure of delta 9 THC to create HHC.
But this is where things get interesting…
There are several different types of HHC… and HHC can be created from THC precursors, as well as CBD and a terpene called citronellol. These days, companies making HHC usually stick with hemp because avoiding THC altogether improves their claims of legality. This is important, as the laws across different states are still pretty blurry, even though cannabis is well on its way to becoming legal in the US.
Like most cannabinoids, it can be produced from other cannabinoids through molecular manipulation. HHC is mostly derived from CBD because this makes it legal in the United States. Technically, this makes it one of the synthetic cannabinoids… but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any benefits to using it.
What Are the Benefits of Using HHC?
This is a tough one… but then again, that’s the case with every cannabinoid out there.
The truth is — we don’t know just yet if HHC has any health effects.
Hexahydrocannabidiol hasn’t been in use for a long time. And it wasn’t that interesting to researchers, unlike delta 9 THC or CBD. The studies that we do have show that it does have some therapeutic properties.
For example, a Japanese study from 2007 describes it as a potent pain-blocker… but this was a study done on mice. Another study paints HHC as having a strong potential to inhibit breast cancer cell growth. This is all still speculative as a long period of time needs to pass before researchers can really delve into the benefits of HHC.
For now, anecdotal evidence shows that HHC might be beneficial when it comes to:
·Potentially managing chronic pain
·Managing anxiousness and depression
·Promoting better sleep quality
·Alleviating nausea and vomiting
But, as I said, it’s a wait-and-see type of game. So we’ll just have to wait… and see.
Can HHC Get You High?
Yes, it can.
Hexahydrocannabinol is not like CBD in this respect, and its psychoactive properties are not minor. It has similar effects to a watered-down THC. However, the potency of an HHC high depends on two things: how much you take and what you take.
Since HHC is lab-made, most of the time it contains both active and inactive molecules. The active molecules bind with CB1 and CB2 receptors in your endocannabinoid system. However, the inactive ones do nothing.
Manufacturers still haven’t figured out the way to separate high potency HCC from the other kind — the process is too expensive and complicated. So buying it means you’re pretty much gambling — you could get a great batch… or a piss-poor batch.
If you stumble across the high-potency kind, you can expect a strong physical and mental experience — relatable to a mild THC high. The couch-lock effect is not excluded it rarely happens according to anecdotal evidence. Low-potency HHC can vary in effect — from a similar but milder feeling to feeling nothing [as if you’ve just taken CBD or CBN, or another minor cannabinoid].
Can You Vape HHC?
Yes, you can!
Like most other cannabinoids, you can get HHC vape cartridges for your vape pen. There are several manufacturers out there who are making huge strides in this area.
Unfortunately, as this cannabinoid is still relatively unknown, getting your hands on high-quality HHC carts can be a bit of an issue.
As I’ve already mentioned, HHC is a bit of a gamble — there is the active kind… and the inactive kind. And it’s all mixed in the same batch! So before you load up your vape pen with a crapshoot product, I advise doing due diligence on several manufacturers so you can rest easy knowing that you’re not wasting your money.
HHC vape cartridges are not as abundant as THC vapes, which are pretty popular products these days [popular enough to be found in disposable vapes these days], but you can still find a few reputable sources around you. Just make sure to double-check their third-party lab information before pulling the trigger.
The drill is the same as with CBD and delta-8 THC vapes — you connect the cart with HHC oil to your vaporizer, hit the fire button, the oil hits the heating element… and you’re good to go!
What About Side-Effects?
There isn’t much to go on when it comes to HHC side effects.
Most active users report mild side effects similar to those experienced when using delta-9 THC. So if you go overboard with it, you can expect bouts of anxiety and paranoia, coupled with dry mouth, red and dry eyes, insomnia, or the munchies.
All in all, nothing too overly concerning.
Is HHC Legal & Will It Stay Legal?
This is another difficult question… so I’ll be brief.
Hexahydrocannabinol is a natural phytocannabinoid that, technically, isn’t even THC. As such, it should be okay under the 2018 Farm Bill.
Most HHC is made synthetically. This means that it could catch the eye of the Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA], which keeps tabs on analog counterparts of Schedule 1 drugs. If the DEA sniffs out HHC, it might very well ban it. Also, various states might also interfere, especially if this new derivative becomes super popular.
For now, HHC is flying under the radar… but we have no idea what the future will bring.
Will HHC Show on a Drug Test?
Worried about drug testing?
Well, if you’re using HHC, as a vapable oil or a tincture, you might not have to be concerned about your drug test coming back positive to THC… if you’re ever tested.
This is not 100% certain just yet, because it hasn’t been studied.
However, HHC does not break down in the same way that delta-8, delta-9, and delta-10 forms of THC break down, which means that it doesn’t metabolize into 11-hydroxy-THC. This 11-hydroxy-THC is what most drug testing panels look for.
If there’s no metabolite that can trigger the drug test panel, then the test can’t be positive.
That said, all of this is still murky, murky waters. If your employer is subjecting you to drug testing, you’re better off skipping HCC altogether. You can try CBD, which is relatively safe in comparison. Yes, it’s a different experience — but better safe than sorry, right?
Should You Pull the Trigger on This Novel Cannabinoid?
Well, the jury is still out on it.
Personally, I like the buzz that comes with vaping HHC. It’s a bit more mellow… a bit more subdued… than your normal THC buzz. But it definitely has its uses.