How Strong is HHC?

Cannabis leaves in an indoor cannabis farm

Introduction

If you haven’t had a chance to read our prior posts on HHC, we’ll give you a brief recap here. HHC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the product of hydrogenating Delta-9 THC.

THC may be converted into a whole new molecule by adding hydrogen molecules to it.

Hydrogenation is not a new concept around the globe. When we transform vegetable oil into margarine, we can witness the process.

We gain something new and interesting by doing it for cannabis. HHC may now be extracted from hemp components other than Delta-9 THC.

The result is the same: a delicious cannabinoid that is gaining popularity!

Hydro Hydro Cannabinol (HHC) is a naturally hydrogenated cannabis extract. This technique yields a molecule that has been scientifically proven to have neuroprotective effects, as well as other cannabis-related advantages.

When THC is chemically hydrogenated, HHC, a semi-synthetic version of THC, is formed. Its effects are comparable to but milder than THC, with greater dosages producing a more sleepy impact and lower levels producing a more stimulating effect.

Table of Contents

Is HHC Synthetic or Natural?

Scientist holding test tube at a cannabis farm

HHC, or Hexahydrocannabinol, is a cannabinoid present in marijuana that is formed when THC is broken down.

HHC is reported to have up to 80% of the euphoric effects of THC, and it can be synthesized to provide useable treatment for patients who are sensitive to THC.

As a result, HHC is both a natural health vitamin and a semi-synthetic cannabinoid!

Only when THC oxidizes into CBN does HHC form. It comes in modest amounts alongside delta-8 THC and delta-10 THC, but it all contributes to the same one-of-a-kind experience that only aged cannabis can deliver. When HHC is used in some cannabis strains, it produces considerable psychedelic effects.

When hydrogen combines with another organic molecule, a hydrogenation process takes place. Since cannabis has such a low natural content of HHC, producing HHC from it is not possible.

Producers hydrogenate THC in this method to enhance its concentration, making it simpler to manufacture HHC compounds that cause tiredness and nausea.

Hydrolysis converts THC to HHC. THC is converted into HHC by mixing it with hydrogen atoms and then exposing it to a nickel or zinc catalyst.

The addition of hydrogen makes it more stable than THC, as indicated in the chart below, with stronger heat and UV resistance.

It is an abbreviation for high-hydrocarbon cannabis, which is also known as hydro-active cannabis or “incense.” It is semi-synthetic or synthetic cannabis created by a chemical process known as hydrogenation.

The native molecular weight and geometric form of the THC molecule are chemically altered during this procedure.

As a consequence, hemp oil has the same advantages as high-quality flowers but is viscous and concentrated enough to be smoked or vaporized without leaving smoke particles in the air.

Is HHC detectable on a drug test?

Urine drugs test sample for Cannabinoids
Urine drugs test sample for Cannabinoids

It is unknown whether HHC will show up on a drug test.

THC-COOH, a major metabolite of THC generated in the body following THC ingestion, is detected by drug testing.

According to preliminary research on animal test subjects, HHC metabolizes into 8beta-hydroxy-HHC and 8alpha-hydroxy-HHC, both of which are identical to THC-COOH.

Does this imply that HHC metabolites may be detected through drug testing?

The researchers are unsure. There have been no further investigations to determine if HHC metabolites are detected by drug tests or are responsible for false-positive outcomes.

There is also the issue of residual or remaining THC in HHC products following chemical hydrogenation. If the amount of leftover THC in your urine exceeds 50 nanograms per milliliter of THC-COOH after metabolization, you risk failing a drug test.

If you have an impending drug test, we recommend avoiding HHC and related products simply to be cautious.

How Strong is HHC?

When we talk about how strong is HHC, we mean its capacity to interact with (or inhibit) endocannabinoid receptors and produce a psychotropic effect. In short, the stronger the cannabis molecule, the more powerful the sensation.

The molecular structure of hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is strongly connected to its potency. As previously stated, the structure of HHC is similar to that of delta 9 THC, but instead of the normal THC double bond, it has more hydrogen atoms.

The strength of THC and its analogs that provide a psychoactive experience is determined by the number of carbon atoms in the molecule.

Delta 9, delta 8, and delta 10 all have five carbon atoms, but their binding affinity to the CB receptors is changed due to differences in their chemical structure. As a result, the potency of each differs.

The ideal compound to fit exactly into CB receptors would have eight carbon atoms — and would be awarded the most powerful cannabinoid.

Because such a molecule does not exist, THCP (seven carbons) is the most powerful cannabinoid at the moment.

How Potent Is HHC In Comparison To Other Cannabinoids?

Let’s compare this cannabis to other intoxicating cannabinoids to get a feel of its potency.

THCP — The Strongest of All

Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP) is the strongest of all cannabinoids, with a potency up to 33 times that of delta 9 THC. Because HHC is somewhat less strong than delta 9, THCP is even more potent.

The effects of THCP are virtually equivalent to those of THC and are practically hallucinogenic. One of the primary distinctions between the two is that THCP is more physiologically active, therefore it must be used with caution.

This cannabinoid was found in 2019 and is naturally present in cannabis, but extremely low doses.

THC-O Is The First Runner-Up

THC-O is a THC homolog with a molecular composition similar to delta 9. The THC-O molecule contains a distinct acetate group linked to it, which distinguishes it from the other.

The additional molecule makes it three times stronger than delta 9 THC and four times stronger than HHC.

THC-O is likewise a delta 9 THC prodrug. It is a synthetic cannabinoid, not a naturally occurring cannabinoid. It is classified as a prodrug since it becomes active in the body after being digested by the liver.

Delta 9 THC Is The Starting Point

When compared to the principal active cannabinoid in cannabis, delta 9 THC, the potency of HHC becomes clear.

Early information suggests that HHC has roughly 80% the potency of delta 9 THC, however, some users don’t detect any difference between the two.

Delta 9 THC is the most common cannabinoid in marijuana plants with psychoactive characteristics.

It has five carbon atoms and a hydroxy group, which allows it to connect to CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.

Delta 8 THC — The Sister

Delta 8 THC, arguably the most popular of all psychoactive cannabinoids, upset the hemp industry and soared to prominence within a year of its introduction.

This cannabinoid has a molecular structure that is essentially equivalent to delta 9 THC but is less powerful than HHC. Delta 8 THC is around 70% of the potency of delta 9.

The only variation between the two is where the double bond is placed. The double bond in delta 8 THC is on the eighth carbon chain, whereas it is on the ninth in delta 9 THC. Because the molecule is saturated with hydrogen atoms, there is no double bond in HHC.

Our Delta 8 THC Gummies, for example, are not as strong as our Delta 9 THC Gummies. However, they are ideal for anyone searching for a nice, mild high that will keep them busy throughout the day.

Edibles take longer to take effect, therefore it’s best to wait until the first symptoms appear. You should anticipate feeling relaxed, calm, and with little paranoia or anxiety.

THC Delta 10 — The "Half" Sister

Delta 10 THC is significantly less strong than delta 8 THC but almost half as potent as delta 9 THC.

This cannabinoid has a molecular structure that is almost comparable to THC. The sole change is the location of the double bond in the tenth position.

Delta 10 THC produces a slight intoxication, enhances attention, and elevates mood and vitality.

THCV stands for Maximum Number of Double Bonds

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is another molecule with a structure that is virtually comparable to delta 9 THC.

The key distinction is that the alkyl side chain of THCV has three carbon atoms. For comparison, delta 8, HHC, and delta 9 all have five carbons, with delta 9 being the most stable.

Cannabinol — Minimum Carbon Count

Cannabinol (CBN), like other THC isomers, has five carbon atoms in its chain, but it also has two extra double bonds in the ring.

Chemically, HHC has no double bonds in its structure, whereas CBN has the greatest amount of double bonds.

Cannabinol is a byproduct of THC decomposition and is about 10% as powerful as delta 9 THC. It is significantly less likely to connect to CB1 receptors due to its shape.

Cannabinoids' Non-intoxicating Potency

Cannabinoids such as CBC, CBD, CBDV, and others, in our opinion, cannot be matched in potency to the aforementioned cannabinoids.

One explanation is that non-intoxicating substances do not directly activate the CB1 receptors, therefore even in high dosages, they do not elicit psychoactivity.

That being stated, they will offer you a physical sensation and make you feel relaxed and tranquil, but they will not change your mental state.

Does HHC Result In A Psychoactive High?

Again, the immediate and long-term consequences of HHC remain mainly unclear. So far, no serious or life-threatening negative effects from utilizing HHC or its products have been reported.

However, because the effects of HHC are comparable to those of THC, we expect the adverse effects will be as well. Possible HHC side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia and sleep disruptions
  • Lowers blood pressure and increases heart rate
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Red eyes
  • Mouth dryness
  • Nausea

Conclusion

Although HHC appears to be promising, its safety is uncertain.

All HHC products use semi-synthetic HHC that has been chemically hydrogenated from THC.

Semi-synthetic cannabinoids are not inherently hazardous, but the process by which they are created can be.

Because of inadequate manufacturing or hydrogenation procedures, your chosen HHC product may have additional pollutants or impurities.

We encourage purchasing from trustworthy and authentic HHC sellers whose goods have been third-party tested.