What Is HHC? The Ultimate Guide

what is HHC

If you enjoy using traditional, Delta-9 THC, you’ll be excited to learn that there are other cannabis products that are making major waves in the industry. Not only do these products deliver a psychoactive high, but they’re also gentler in nature and generally more accessible than Delta-9.

This includes x cannabinoids such as Delta-8 and Delta-10 HHC as well as another substance you might not be as familiar with: Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC.

What is HHC, how do you use it, and what kind of high does it give you? Today, we’re taking a closer look at this cannabinoid and sharing everything you need to know in this exclusive, ultimate guide.

What Is HHC?

While many of us are just now learning about HHC, it’s far from a new substance. In fact, HHC traces its origin all the way back to 1947, when a chemist named Roger Adams first synthesized it. Adams completed the process using natural THC found in the cannabis plant.

The process he used was a synthetic one, and it involved the process of hydrogenation. While HHC and THC are chemically similar, HHC has a greater number of hydrogen molecules than THC. Another molecular difference is that HHC does not have double bonds in its cyclohexyl ring, while THC does.

While researchers believe that trace amounts of HHC might occur naturally in the cannabis plant, those quantities are very little. There isn’t enough of the substance to extract and market it commercially. In response, manufacturers stick to synthetically reproducing HHC in a laboratory instead.

When they do so, they don’t make it from THC like Adams originally did. Rather, they create HHC from CBD derived from federally-legal hemp. This allows them to sell HHC in regions where other types of cannabinoids, including Delta-8 and Delta-9 THC, are currently prohibited.

Common Types of HHC

Today, there are certain vendors that sell HHC products for personal consumption. Some of the most common products include:

  • Disposable vapes
  • Edibles, including gummies
  • Tinctures

We sell a variety of HHC products in our online shop, including our popular disposable vapes. Our Cotton Candy 2 Gram HHC Disposable is a favorite in this category, delivering two grams of HHC with every use, this is a hybrid strain developed by crossing Lavender and Power Plant.

While you’ll first taste the bright, bold cherry flavor and subtle flower undertones, you’ll soon feel the effects. The Cotton Candy strain is known to deliver an energy boost, followed by a euphoric effect, delivering long-lasting relaxation and effective stress relief.

In addition to our disposable HHC vapes, we also offer delicious HHC gummies. Our HHC Gummies Party Pack contains a total of 500mg of HHC in each container, with 25mg of HHC in each gummy.

Made from plant-based ingredients, our HHC gummies also contain USDA organic flavoring and hemp-derived, full-spectrum terpenes. Each container includes 20 individual gummies!

what is HHC

Experiencing an HHC High

As HHC is a minor cannabinoid, you might wonder if it will really get you high. Especially if you’re used to traditional Delta-9 THC products, this is an understandable concern!

Thankfully, we’re here to tell you that HHC can get you high. However, this isn’t the full-force, whole-body high you’ve come to expect from Delta-9. Instead, an HHC high tends to be more mild and mellow, with fewer adverse side effects.

According to one report outlining the differences in HHC vs THC, HHC is about 70% to 80% as strong as THC. Conversely, Delta-8 and Delta-10 THC tend to be around half as potent. This means that HHC is stronger than most of the other minor cannabinoids on the market today.

Moderate doses of HHC typically create a psychoactive effect and sense of euphoria, similar to THC. However, you should find that the experience is more relaxing and sedative in nature compared to most forms of THC, including Delta-8. In fact, there’s a scientific reason why this is the case.

HHC vs. Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10

It’s interesting to see how HHC stacks up against the other minor cannabinoids making waves right now, including Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 THC.

In general, HHC is more potent than Delta-8 THC but not quite as potent as Delta-9. Understanding how these different compounds work and the different effects they produce, research associates HHC most closely with Delta-10.

HHC and Your Endocannabinoid System

When manufacturers produce HHC in the lab, the final batch contains both active and inactive HHC molecules. Only the active HHC molecules biind tightly with the cannabinoid receptors located throughout your body. These receptors are part of your endocannabinoid system (ECS) and their state has a direct effect on many of your physiological functions, including:

  • Pain sensations
  • Emotional behavior
  • Hunger
  • Sleep
  • Temperature regulation

When endocannabinoids bind to the receptors, they send a signal to your ECS that it’s time to take a certain action. There are two different kinds of receptors, including:

  • CB1 receptors: Found primarily in your central nervous system
  • CB2 receptors: Found primarily in your peripheral nervous system (especially immune cells)

When endocannabinoids are released, they can bind to either receptor. In the case of HHC, the active molecules bind mostly to the CB1 receptors found throughout your central nervous system.

To date, manufacturers have not developed an effective and economical way to separate high-potency HHC molecules from low-potency ones. As such, commercial HHC, which combines the two forms, can be difficult to get just right.

Side Effects of HHC

To date, most of what we know about HHC has been anecdotal in nature. However, there are some generalities shared by most users. In terms of side effects, a majority of people experience symptoms that are similar to the ones associated with Delta-9 THC, which can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Dry, red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Hunger

To avoid these effects, it’s important to get your HHC dose just right. Whether you’re vaping HHC or enjoying an edible, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and keep it conservative, at least at first. For instance, this might mean taking half of an HHC gummy if you haven’t tried this cannabinoid before, rather than a full one.

To learn more about HHC potency and how to measure the proper dose for you, check out our recent guide.

Is It Legal?

As long as HHC is derived from hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC, it’s considered legal on the federal level. This is due to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the regulated production of hemp as long as the plants meet certain standards and conditions.

Due to this clause, if states follow the federal guidelines in terms of legality, most of them also allow HHC. However, this isn’t the case around the board. There are some states that prohibit the production, distribution, and sale of HHC altogether.

It gets even more murky when you consider the semi-synthetic nature of commercially-available HHC. As we mentioned, this substance is derived synthetically because it occurs only in trace amounts naturally. The issue is that certain state laws prohibit the sale of any type of synthetic cannabinoids.

However, the issue lies in the fact that the substance might be only partially synthetic. If the research holds true and small amounts of HHC are indeed present in the cannabis plant, then it would not be considered fully synthetic, and such restrictions are less cut and dry.

This site displays an interactive map of the United States, with up-to-date data on where each state stands in terms of HHC legality.

Does HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?

When you’re enjoying your HHC gummies or disposable vape, you might not think too much about an upcoming drug test. However, a failing score could cost you your job, a promotion, or another important decision in your life.

This is why it’s important to know if HHC products will show up on a drug test. Unfortunately, we can’t say with 100% certainty that it will not. However, it isn’t all bad news.

It appears as though HHC does not break down and metabolize in your body in the exact same way that THC does. Most deratives of THC metabolize into a compound known as 1-hydroxy-THC, including:

  • Delta-8 THC
  • Delta-9 THC
  • Delta-10 THC

Why is this important? The 1-hydroxy-THC compound is what most drug panel tests are designed to identify. If it’s present in your system (including your blood, urine, or hair), it could render a positive result.

While it’s encouraging that HHC doesn’t metabolize into this compound, we aren’t entirely out of the woods. Until researchers can say for certain that this substance won’t show up on a drug test, we recommend steering clear if you know that you have one coming up.

How Long Does It Take To Kick In?

It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly how long it takes for the HHC high to kick in once you consume it. In most cases, it depends on the type of HHC product you’re using.

An edible or a gummy will typically take longer to take hold simply because the substance has to go through your digestive system and get metabolized by your liver before it can enter your bloodstream. This process can take up to an hour or more to complete but the upside is that once it’s they’re fully in your system, HHC edibles tend to last longer than other forms.

On the other hand, smoking or vaping HHC allows the cannabinoid to enter into your bloodstream almost immediately, usually in only a few minutes. Think about when you want your high to take effect, and plan your HHC experience accordingly!

Also worth mentioning is that many users report feeling high for a longer period of time when taking any form of HHC compared to THC. While there needs to be more research performed to understand if this is always the case, it definitely helps this minor cannabinoid score a major point.

what is HHC

What Should You Look For in an HHC Product?

When you’re ready to try HHC for yourself, it’s important to only purchase your edibles, tinctures, or vapes from a reliable and reputable company. Read reviews, ask around, and perform an online search to learn more about some of the top companies in the market.

To make sure you’re getting a high-quality product, it’s always best to shop from reputable, trusted suppliers, like our team at Lit Vapes. To check credibility and efficacy, look for third-party lab testing reports. You’ll find ours here.

These reports indicate that an independent laboratory team tested each product for purity and quality. Then, they published a certificate of analysis or a lab report detailing their findings. Sharing these reports online speaks volumes about a company’s transparency and visibility.

In addition to posting their lab test reports online, the top-tier cannabis distributors will also include other features to gain your confidence and optimize your shopping experience, such as:

  • Detailed product descriptions
  • Posted customer reviews
  • Service personnel to answer questions
  • Articles, blog posts, and FAQs to demonstrate thought leadership

This isn’t a purchase to make lightly. Take the time to do your due diligence, making sure to only purchase HHC from a company you can trust.

Discover Your New Favorite HHC Products

What is HHC? We’re still discovering everything there is to know about this cannabinoid, but it’s already making a splash for all the right reasons.

This is a hemp-derived, semi-synthetic compound that can produce a gentle yet powerful high similar to what you’re used to with Delta-9. Due to its origins, it’s easier to find and generally less restricted than traditional marijuana.

At Lit Vapes, we have a variety of HHC products available in our online shop. Learn more about the benefits of HHC by checking out one of our top sellers, like the Lemon Cherry Gelato HHC Disposable Vape!