HHC

Where is HHC Legal in the U.S? A Guide

is HHC legal

It’s no secret that scientists have already discovered more than 100 cannabinoids that grow naturally in the cannabis plant. While Delta-9 THC might be one of the most familiar ones, others are quickly rising in the ranks. This includes new compounds such as Delta-8 THC, Delta-10 THC, and THC-O.

Now, we can add another one to the list: Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC.

If you’re interested in trying this cannabis product out, you naturally want to make sure you’re not breaking the law when you do so. Is HHC legal? What does it feel like and what effects can you expect?

Today, we’re sharing everything you need to know about HHC, including up-to-date details on its legality and use.

What Is HHC?

Before we dive into the details of HHC products, let’s take a step back. What¬†is this cannabinoid in the first place and why is it so intriguing? Relatively new to the cannabis space, HHC is still being widely researched.

As such, there’s not a¬†ton that scientists and researchers can say for sure about its effects, potential benefits, and applications. Right now, only a few retailers are supplying it, and those products are mostly limited to vape carts. Yet, that doesn’t mean we’re¬†totally in the dark about HHC and its future.

In fact, though it’s only recently hit the market, HHC has actually been around for nearly 80 years. In 1944, a chemist named Roger Adams¬†first made this substance. The process to do so was remarkably simple: Adams simply added hydrogen molecules to Delta-9 THC.

This process is called hydrogenation, and it’s widely used across other industries, including the food and beverage (F&B) space.

Modern Production

While Adams used conventional, cannabis-derived Delta-9 THC to make¬†his version of HHC, manufacturers today start with hemp. Put simply, hemp is a cannabis plant that’s low in THC. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp federally legal, as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC.

If hemp contained more HHC, this process may not be necessary at all. After all, cannabinoids like Delta-9 and Cannabidiol (CBD) grow abundantly in cannabis, and they can be extracted directly from the plant.

However, this isn’t the case with HHC. While it¬†does grow naturally in the hemp plant, it’s only available in very small, trace amounts. The amount¬†isn’t enough to support commercial production, so manufacturers must synthesize HHC in a lab instead.

HHC vs. Delta-8 and Delta-9

Why should you consider taking HHC, especially if you’re already familiar with the high you get on Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC? While HHC is similar in many ways to these two relatives, its main benefit is that it produces a¬†calmer high than you’ll get with either of them.

Though more research is needed before we can pinpoint the exact reason, scientists suggest that this could be because of the extra hydrogen molecule that HHC contains.

Compared to both of these alternatives, HHC can be most closely compared to Delta-8 THC. Like Delta-8, it creates a relaxed, soothing feeling that affects both your body and your mind. Yet, it’s important to note that the way¬†you feel on HHC might not be the same as someone else’s high.

Factors That Affect Your HHC High

Not only does your physical makeup affect your high, but the type of product you consume, the amount you take, and your personal tolerance also play a role in your experience. Variability can also occur due to the way HHC is produced.

When this cannabinoid is manufactured, two different kinds of HHC molecules are formed: 9R HHC and 9S HHC. The 9R HHC molecules are considered “active” because they actively bind to your body’s¬†natural endocannabinoid receptors. On the other hand, the 9S HHC molecules have a slightly modified molecular structure and don’t bind as well, rendering them essentially “inactive”.

The ratio of 9R to 9S HHC can vary depending on the manufacturer and product. Thus, you may experience a slightly more intense high with certain products than you do with others.

Is HHC Legal?

Right now, the technical legality of HHC remains a little unclear. This cannabinoid is still emerging on the commercial cannabis scene, and federal lawmakers haven’t come right out and explicitly said whether it’s legal or not. To stay on the safe side, the best idea is to fully understand how the rules work in your state.

As we get into this section, keep in mind that laws are fluid. They are constantly changing, updating, and revising. The information we’re sharing here is accurate as of the date of publication, but if you’re asking “Where is HHC legal?” it’s always smart to check your local regulations before proceeding.

A Closer Look at the 2018 Farm Bill

If all hemp plants that contain less than 0.3% THC are technically legal under the Farm Bill, then any HHC product made from federally-legal hemp is also legal, right?

Here’s where it gets a little tricky.

Yes, HHC¬†is molecularly different than THC. It’s derived from low-THC hemp and contains hydrogen molecules that THC does not. However, if we’re getting technical (and we must), it’s also considered a THC isolate.

When you view it in this light, it’s possible to see how HHC could also be considered to be a federally illegal substance. Plus, this is only taking into account the cannabinoid’s legality on a¬†federal level. Individual states follow and uphold their own rules, even making some cannabis products illegal though they’re federally permissible.

HHC Laws: A State-by-State Overview

To date, there are no states that have explicitly declared their legal stance on HHC. Yet, there are states that have officially restricted the use of other, similarly intoxicating cannabinoids, including Delta-8 THC.

It’s understandable that a state that restricts or forbids the use of Delta-8 THC would¬†also restrict or forbid HHC. These two substances are close in molecular makeup and produce the same general type of mellow high. That said, let’s take a look at where each state stands.

Alabama

In Alabama, all hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal. Thus, hemp-derived HHC should also be legal here.

Alaska

In Alaska, all¬†THC isomers (including Delta-8 and Delta-10) are classified as Schedule 3 prohibited substances. As HHC is a THC isomer, it’s likely illegal here.

Arizona

In Arizona, all THC isomers are classified as Schedule 3 prohibited substances, though¬†standard Delta-9 THC is permitted for recreational use. As HHC is a THC isomer, it’s likely illegal here.

Arkansas

In Arkansas, all¬†modified cannabinoids are banned from use and distribution. HHC is likely illegal here because it’s technically modified. Though it’s found in trace amounts in hemp plants, it’s usually extracted from CBD, not the plant itself.

California

In California, all hemp-derived products that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal. Thus, HHC is likely legal here, too.

Colorado

In Colorado, all modified cannabinoids are prohibited, though standard Delta-9 THC is permitted for recreational use. As a modified cannabinoid, HHC is likely illegal here.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, the sale of all cannabis extracts is legal, including HHC. Thus, HHC is legal here.

Delaware

In Delaware, all THC products and their isomers (including Delta-9) are prohibited. Thus, HHC is likely illegal here.

Florida

In Florida,¬†cannabinoids like Delta-8 THC are legal, along with all hemp-derived products and extracts with less than 0.3% THC. Thus, it’s likely that HHC is also legal here.

Georgia

In Georgia, there is no restriction on the sale of hemp extracts, although the state has banned the sale of synthetic cannabinoids. If lawmakers consider HHC to be synthetic, it could be deemed illegal down the road. Viewed as a hemp extract, it would likely be legal.

Hawaii

In Hawaii, there are no laws on the legality of specific cannabinoids, though the state does allow hemp products with less than 0.3% THC. However, smokable hemp products, as well as hemp-infused foods and beverages, are illegal here. Thus, smokeable HHC would likely be illegal, too.

Idaho

In Idaho, all THC isomers are illegal. This includes HHC, THC-O, Delta-8, and Delta-10 products.

Illinois

In Illinois, lawmakers recently updated their policy regarding hemp and hemp derivatives.

In March 2022, they outlawed¬†all hemp¬†products used to¬†synthesize intoxicating substances. This includes, but is not limited to, Delta-8, Delta-9, and THC-O. As HHC also falls into that category, it’s likely illegal.

Indiana

In Indiana, cannabis laws follow federal laws. To date, all hemp-derived extracts containing less than 0.3% THC are legal in Indiana, so HHC would likely be legal, too.

Iowa

In Iowa, both Delta-8 and CBD are considered illegal substances. Thus, we can assume that HHC is likely illegal.

Kansas

In Kansas, the state law follows the federal law. All hemp-derived products with less than 0.3% THC are considered legal, which should include HHC.

Kentucky

In Kentucky, THC isomers, including Delta-8 and Delta-10, are banned. This means that HHC is likely banned, too.

Louisiana

In Louisiana, the 2018 Farm Bill is upheld. This means that HHC should be legal.

Maine

In Maine, all hemp-derived products that contain less than 0.3% THC are legal, which includes cannabinoids, isomers, and extracts. Thus, HHC is likely legal here.

Maryland

In Maryland, the federal law concerning hemp-derived products is upheld. This means that HHC should be legal.

Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, all hemp derivatives containing less than 0.3% THC are legal. Thus, HHC should also be legal.

Michigan

In Michigan, HHC should technically be legal, but there’s a caveat. According to state cannabis laws, any¬†hemp or marijuana-derived cannabinoids you consume must be purchased from dispensaries and manufacturers specifically licensed¬†by the state.

Minnesota

In Minnesota, THC isomers like Delta-8 are legal. Thus, HHC should also be considered legal.

Mississippi

In Mississippi, all forms of THC are outlawed and considered Schedule I substances. This includes HHC, which makes it likely illegal.

Missouri

In Missouri,¬†hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC are permitted. While state law doesn’t mention HHC yet, it’s likely legal given these circumstances.

Montana

In Montana, all forms of THC are considered illegal. This likely includes HHC.

Nebraska

In Nebraska,¬†THC isomers like Delta-8 and others are legal, though lawmakers are currently evaluating the legality of Delta-8. Thus, while HHC is likely legal right now, its status could change in the future, as it’s similar to Delta-8.

Nevada

In Nevada, all THC isomers are considered to be controlled substances. Thus, HHC is likely illegal here.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, state law follows federal law. Under the 2018 Farm Bill, HHC should be legal here.

New Jersey

In New Jersey, all THC isomers, cannabinoids, and hemp derivatives are legal. Thus, HHC should be legal, too.

New Mexico

In New Mexico, federal law prevails. All hemp extracts, cannabinoids, and isomers are legal. This should also include HHC.

New York

In New York, THC isomers like Delta-8 are outlawed. Thus, HHC is likely illegal as well.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, state law follows federal law. Thus, HHC should be legal.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, THC isomers like Delta-8 are illegal. This means HHC would also be illegal.

Ohio

In Ohio, Delta-8 is considered legal. Knowing this, HHC should also be legal.

Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, hemp derivatives are legal. Thus, HHC should also be legal.

Oregon

In Oregon, all cannabinoids, including THC and Delta-8 are legal. This means HHC should be legal, too.

Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, federal law prevails. Thus, HHC should be considered legal.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, hemp derivatives and cannabinoids are legal, but state law prohibits Delta-8 and defines it as THC. This means HHC is likely illegal, too.

South Carolina

In South Carolina, Delta-8 is legal. This means HHC should also be legal.

South Dakota

In South Dakota, THC isomers, including Delta-8, are legal. HHC should be legal, too.

Tennessee

In Tennessee, THC isomers are legal. This means HHC should be legal.

Texas

In Texas, modified isomers like Delta-8 are outlawed. As HHC is derived from CBD similar to Delta-8, HHC is likely illegal here.

Utah

In Utah, cannabinoids like Delta-8 and HHC are specifically prohibited.

Vermont

In Vermont, isomers like Delta-8 are prohibited. Thus, HHC is likely illegal here.

Virginia

In Virginia, lawmakers uphold the 2018 Farm Bill. This means hemp products with less than 0.3% THC, such as Delta-8 and HHC, should be legal

Washington

In Washington, THC isomers like Delta-8 and HHC are considered controlled substances. Thus, they are illegal.

West Virginia

In West Virginia, state law follows federal law. Thus, HHC should be legal.

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, THC isomers such as Delta-8, are legal. This means hemp-derived HHC should be legal, too.

Wyoming

In Wyoming, isomers such as Delta-8 are prohibited. Thus, HHC is likely illegal here, too.

Stay Up-to-Date on HHC Legal Statuses

Is¬†HHC legal? As you can see, there isn’t a universal answer that will apply to everyone.

While this advice is meant to guide you, your local lawmakers and the statutes put forth by your state’s General Assembly will be the ultimate voice of authority.

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