There’s a new family of chemical substances hitting the hemp cannabinoid scene.
After delta 8, delta 10, and delta-O THC, the spotlight is on hexahydrocannabinol or HHC. This cannabinoid is readily available in a variety of products, including flower, pre-rolls, gummies, and vapes.
This cannabinoid is structurally similar to THC, so you might be wondering what it feels like. Is it pleasant and relaxing or uplifting and stimulating? Will it get you high & does it have any side effects? Most importantly, how does it fit into your health and wellness routine?
In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about HHC flower and where to purchase top-shelf strains.
What is HHC Cannabinoid?
Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a very rare cannabinoid identified in trace amounts in Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant contains 400+ chemical compounds, out of which over 100 are known as cannabinoids. This compound is a hydrogenated form of THC, making it the most stable form.
If you’re familiar with delta 8 THC, you know this substance is created in a lab from hemp-derived CBD, which makes it semi-synthetic. HHC is on a similar boat.
This cannabinoid is present in hemp in trace amounts, so natural extraction is not financially viable. Therefore, manufacturers use CBD or delta 8 to create it in a controlled lab environment.
What is HHC Flower & Where to Buy?
Similar to delta 8 flower — or CBD flower sprayed with delta 8 oil — HHC flower is a cannabinoid-rich CBD flower generously sprinkled with evenly-distributed HHC isolate. So, you won’t actually find natural flower rich in HHC, but CBD flower coated in potent hexahydrocannabinol distillate.
Mr. Hemp Flower is the industry leader for organic, freshly picked CBD flower. Our garden is abundant in unique cannabinoid-rich hemp flower containing the widest variety of cannabinoids and terpenes.
We are dedicated to pushing the boundaries and bringing you innovative and novel cannabinoids like HHC.
When it comes to buying this substance, please make sure you are getting it from a trusted company. Mr. Hemp Flower is a reputable brand that works closely with established labs to craft pure and safe HHC oil for our products.
There are a lot of scam companies that will willingly sell you untested and unsafe products and won’t be transparent about manufacturing processes and ingredients.
Our hemp flower comes from the best local farms in North Carolina, Oregon and Washington. We grow this plant within a greenhouse, so you receive quality and beautiful buds.
In addition, we use clean, solvent-free CO2 extraction to create our oils and whole-plant extracts. Third-party, certified lab tests all our products for purity and potency, and all lab reports are displayed on our website.
Are HHC Flower and THC Flower the Same?
No, they are different. THC flower comes from the marijuana plant, which is high in delta 9 THC. HHC comes from hemp-derived compounds and is made in a lab, making it lawful in the US under the Farm Bill (although this is debatable, see below).
The main difference is THC flower is naturally grown and harvested, while HHC flower is, in essence, a CBD flower sprayed with HHC oil. Because this flower looks, smells, and tastes like THC flower, there’s not much difference when you smoke it.
Which Strains are the Best?
After years of trial and error of pairing cannabinoids with hemp flower, we’ve found Dutch Delight and Sour Space Candy the best strains for an HHC combo, and here’s why.
This CBD flower has a rich mossy green color. It oozes a fragrant scent of eucalyptus and lavender with a hint of fruity notes. The Mr. Hemp Flower Dutch Delight’s sticky flowers are overbearing with rich resinous oil and leave behind a sweet flavor.
This soothing sensation goes incredibly well with the HHC oil, bringing the user a slow-wave release of any tension, aches, or pains. Most importantly, Dutch Delight elicits calming effects on the body when smoked.
Mr. Hemp Flower’s Dutch Delight is packed with primary cannabinoids like CBD, CBDA, CBCA, and THCA, as well as terpenes like linalool and caryophyllene. The Dutch Delight + HHC combo is perfect for evening use.
Sour Space Candy
This is another naturally calming strain that pairs well with the HHC cannabinoid. Sour Space Candy is a sativa strain high in CBD that benefits the tired, stressed body and mind. This hemp flower expresses an intense citrus aroma and fruity flavors. Sour Space Candy is packed in terpenes like myrcene, terpinolene, caryophyllene, and cannabinoids like CBD, THC, CBC, and CBN.
Regardless if you pick Dutch Delight or Sour Space Candy, you will regain a sense of calm, comfort, and of relaxed focus. You can adjust the dosage to fit your lifestyle and use them during the day or before bed.
This cannabinoid will likely hit within 15 to 20 minutes because it’s inhaled through the lungs, which is the fastest delivery route. The effects may last 2-3 hours, as the flower is rich in other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Will HHC Get You High? What Are The Effects?
One of the main advantages of HHC — from a legal perspective, at least — is that it’s not THC. But, as a THC derivative, it produces similar effects.
Lab-made HHC is a blend of active and inactive molecules. So, when this substance enters your body, the active HHC molecules bind well with your endocannabinoid receptors, while the inactive don’t.
Unfortunately, manufacturers have yet to find a more cost-effective way to separate active, high potency HHC from low potency molecules. As a mix of the two forms, commercial HHC is sort of a gamble for the buyer — especially in terms of effects.
Yes, it does get you “high”
According to anecdotal evidence, the effects of this substance are very smooth — even smoother than delta 8 and delta 9. In some instances, people refer to it as the “love child” of delta 8 and delta 9.
Users describe it as more potent and intense than delta 8, but one that keeps you clear-headed. If your THC tolerance is high due to previous delta 8 use, give HHC a try — its effects are closer to delta 9 but a bit mellower.
If combined with delta 8, this compound creates uplifting and powerful effects. But, a blend like this takes things to another level, causing closed eyes visuals, total relaxation, reduced anxiety, racing thoughts, and severe chronic pain.
Sensitive to THC, but want to try it?
Some people are more sensitive to THC and build a tolerance very slowly. Anecdotal evidence shows that HHC hits faster and more intensely than delta 8 in sensitive users.
In these users, this substance produces a distinct body high, but much heavier and more pronounced than delta 9. It can also bring hypnagogic imagery more readily than delta 9 and other major psychotropic cannabinoids. It reminds them of being “minorly cross faded but without the severe motor discoordination.”
How is HHC Made?
This cannabinoid is not new to the scientific realm. The American chemist Roger Adams discovered it in the 1940s. Adams created HHC by treating the THC molecule with hydrogen and altering its physical properties. This process is known as hydrogenation, and it modifies the structure of THC by replacing a double bond with two hydrogen atoms.
Hydrogenation changes THC’s molecular weight and makes it more stable. This is good news for sellers and consumers because HHC has a longer shelf-life and is less prone to heat and UV-light damage. Just for reference, THC’s shelf life in dried cannabis is from 6 months to a year, after which it starts to lose aroma and potency.
This cannabinoid can be made from CBD, delta 8 THC, or delta 9 THC. Some research groups have synthesized it from citronellol terpene.
Any side effects of HHC Cannabinoid?
Most users agree that this substance is safe to consume if used in moderate doses. It’s a potent cannabinoid but has no notable side effects.
Because sensitive users react to it more strongly, it can make them more prone to anxiety — so it’s not the best daytime compound. Some users report feeling a set of side effects similar to delta 9 THC, including:
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Hunger or “the munchies”
Benefits of HHC Cannabinoid
This minor cannabinoid hasn’t been studied abundantly, but there is some promising research. As a hydrogenated cannabinoid, it offers extended shelf-life because the hydrogenation process improves stability and makes it active for a longer time.
The structural similarity between HHC and THC could indicate similar behavior of these substances in the body. They are slightly different, but that affects this substance’s binding affinity to CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system. As a result, HHC’s effects are incredibly similar to THC’s. This substance can help with:
Chronic Pain Management
According to a 2007 paper published by Japanese researchers, HHC expresses impressive pain-blocking capability in mice. Although several other studies show promising results in areas like inflammation and tumors, it’s too early to say whether this cannabinoid has a future as a therapeutic agent.
An Anti-Inflammatory Compound
Cannabinoids are widely known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and hydrogenated cannabinoids like HHC are no different. These compounds can help reduce inflammation within the whole body, assist its healing and reduce chronic pain.
One study looked at the effects of hydrogenated cannabinoids on inflammation. The study concluded that this class of cannabinoids binds well with the CB1 receptor and produces varying results, including a substantial impact on hyper-inflammation that could reduce joint pain and swelling.
May Eleventate Mood for Restorative Sleep
HHC produces psychotropic effects resulting from its likely interaction with the CB1 receptors in the brain. This compound leans more towards creating a sense of relaxation over stimulation, which makes it similar to delta 8.
Although we don’t know how HHC binds with the CB1 receptor, it seems like its relaxing effects are triggered by the potential activation of this receptor. When activated by delta 9 in particular, the CB1 receptor leads to an induction of sleep.
Is It Safe to Make HHC?
If made in a lab by professionals, creating this compound is safe.
Creating it involves using a catalyst or heavy metals such as copper, palladium, or zinc, which are then removed from the product at the end of the procedure.
This chemical reaction carries the risk of explosion, so it has to be done within a protected lab environment.
Key Differences: HHC vs. THC, CBN, CBD
HHC vs. THC
HHC has slightly less pronounced psychotropic properties than THC, so it might not give as strong “high” to some users. As THC in cannabis breaks down naturally, a very small concentration is converted to HHC.
Structurally, these two cannabinoids are nearly identical with THC having a double bond in the top ring structure, which is absent in HHC.
Such a difference makes the compound more stable than THC long-term and alters the way it binds to receptors in the body. This cannabinoid is considered about 80% as potent as THC and shares nearly identical traits.
HHC vs. CBD
Unlike this cannabinoid, CBD is non-psychotropic. It’s psychoactive, which means it affects molecules in the body and brain to exert a reaction, but it doesn’t produce intoxicating effects when consumed.
CBD doesn’t bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system but increases receptor sensitivity to endocannabinoids or internally produced cannabinoid-like molecules. Right now, we know much more about CBD and its pain-relieving, antiemetic, and anti-inflammatory effects than of HHC’s.
HHC vs. CBN
Both are minor cannabinoids found in the hemp plant in minimal concentrations. CBN is also a by-product of THC’s natural degradation when the hemp flower ages and oxidizes.
The main difference between these two is that CBN doesn’t carry any significant psychotropic properties. Unlike HHC, it’s nearly impossible to get “high” from CBN. Instead, this cannabinoid is known for its relaxing properties that help people sleep.
Will HHC show on a drug test?
For now, we don’t know for sure if HHC will pop dirty on a drug test.
There’s speculation that it doesn’t register on conventional 12-panel drug tests because it’s not THC and doesn’t break down in the body the same way THC does. THC breaks down into its metabolite 11-hydroxy-THC, the primary metabolite drug tests detect.
No studies have proven the validity of this claim. Although we don’t know for sure if this substance will leave evidence in your blood, urine, hair, or saliva, we recommend avoiding it if your employer tests for drug use. Be careful because it’s often mixed with THC derivatives like delta 8 and delta 10.
Is HHC Cannabinoid Legal?
HHC is a delta 9 THC relative, but it comes with a significant legal advantage that delta 8 could dream of — it isn’t THC.
From a legal perspective, HHC is similar to delta 8 THC. This substance is made from hemp-derived CBD through hydrogenation and infused in a variety of products. Because it’s created in a lab using cannabis and non-cannabis materials, it’s unclear whether this cannabinoid is considered synthetic or natural.
The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized hemp and all its derivatives on a federal level — unless they are contained in products with a concentration of over 0.3% delta 9 THC. Although HHC isn’t THC, it’s still not fully legal because it’s lab-produced from CBD under pressure and with the use of a catalyst.
This means that both natural and synthetic compounds are involved in its making, which could prompt the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to ban this substance. Like delta 8 THC, HHC could be deemed illegal in states, but it’s going undetected so far.
If deemed illegal, this cannabinoid will be considered at the same level as delta 9 THC federally. Therefore, users using it will face the same repercussions as using delta 9.