What is HHC?
HHC might seem like a new kid on the block, but it was actually discovered decades ago. As with the over 100 other cannabinoids found within cannabis plants, HHC carries many useful benefits–which is why it’s becoming so popular lately.
You’ll probably be seeing HHC around a lot more, so you should get up to speed with this cannabinoid and even give it a try for yourself.
So, what is HHC?
HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, was discovered by chemist Roger Adams back in 1944. Adams is kind of a big deal when it comes to cannabis: he was also the first to isolate and synthesize CBD and was a big advocate for cannabis at a time when it was very controversial.
The HHC cannabinoid is considered a minor cannabinoid because it is not as abundant as others, found only in trace amounts within hemp and marijuana. This is why most commercial production of the compound is done synthetically via a process of hydrogenation, where additional hydrogen atoms are added to other more abundant cannabinoids. Adams first synthesized HHC from THC, but these days, HHC tends to be more commonly hydrogenated from CBD. (Speaking of CBD, check out our sister brand, R&R, for potent CBD-forward relief.)
The process of HHC hydrogenation has an added benefit as well: it makes cannabinoids more stable and resistant to light and heat. This means that, typically, HHC products will have longer shelf lives than plain ol’ non-hydrogenated THC or CBD products.
How does Summit THC make HHC Gummies?
While it’s possible to synthesize HHC from both marijuana and hemp plants, Summit THC uses hemp-derived HHC for our tasty HHC Gummies.
We work with a trusted Colorado partner that uses state-of-the-art methods to yield a high-quality and pure form of HHC. With hydrogenation, the double bonds of hemp-derived delta 9 THC are broken down and hydrogen atoms are added to create HHC.
Summit THC’s stable HHC cannabinoid is tested according to all of our other hemp standards (for pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, mycotoxins, microbes, and more), as required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Our input HHC and finished products are rigorously tested to ensure they are of the highest quality.
Does HHC get you high?
HHC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, so yes, it will get you high. If you’re wondering how high it will get you, well, that’s a trickier question.
The jury’s still out when it comes to determining just how potent HHC products should be, but they sometimes can be lower in potency while producing similar effects of THC. This is because the synthesization process produces two types of HHC molecules (9R and 9S), and each interacts differently with our bodies’ endocannabinoid system receptors.
A cannabinoid called 9R HHC efficiently binds to ECS receptors, producing the feeling of being high. But another version, called 9S HHC, isn’t able to bind to receptors as well. Because a mixture of these cannabinoids exists within HHC products, and since manufacturers haven’t yet figured out how to separate the two molecules, the presence of 9S HHC tends to lower the potency of HHC products. This is why you’ll often find HHC products containing higher potencies (more milligrams) than other products such as delta 9 gummies.
What is an HHC high like?
The effects of HHC have been described as relaxing, clarifying, euphoric, and even pain-reducing. We like to think of HHC as a “hybrid” or “balanced” experience: an in-between on the spectrum of delta 9 and delta 8 THC’s effects.
As always, keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to cannabis products. Individual experiences may be influenced by factors such as the person's tolerance, the amount consumed, and the person's overall health and well-being. It is also important to note that the effects of HHC can vary depending on the strain of the plant and the method of consumption. The best way to figure out how it feels to you is to try it for yourself.
HHC vs THC
So, how does HHC measure up against regular THC in terms of the experience you’ll get?
Overall, the experience of taking HHC will be similar to taking THC. Two popular forms of THC, the classic delta 9 and newer-to-the-scene delta 8 each carry slightly different effects, so let’s compare these two with HHC.
HHC vs delta 9
Delta 9 can be described as producing an energized, inspirational, and euphoric experience, great for creativity and activities. HHC has been reported as having similar effects to delta 9 THC, although slightly more mellow and sedative.
HHC vs delta 8
Delta 8 is another form of THC that’s naturally found in cannabis plants, but its effects have been found to be more relaxing and better suited for a close-to-bedtime kind of experience–one that can help you drift off into a restful slumber.
Some users report that HHC is more akin to delta 8 than delta 9. We like to think of our HHC Gummies as a bit more active than our Delta 8 Gummies, giving you more of a boost while also enabling you to enjoy a super chill experience.
The benefits of HHC
There are many reasons people take HHC. Thanks to its similarities with THC, many of the same benefits can likely be reaped from this cannabinoid: namely, addressing symptoms related to sleep, pain, and mood. Although there haven’t been any studies on the benefits of HHC just yet, many users report the following experiences.
HHC for anxiety
HHC may have calming properties–that’s why we like to characterize the experience as “mellow.” Thanks to its ability to bind to CB1 receptors in the nervous system, HHC is thought to produce feelings of calm, helping to mitigate stress and allowing you to relax.
Keep in mind, however, that everyone experiences the effects of cannabinoids differently thanks to our unique biochemical makeups. Some folks might experience more mentally soothing effects than others. For some, taking too big of a dose can actually cause anxiety, which is why we encourage folks to start out with a low dose–we recommend a quarter of a Gummy–to determine how your body and mind react. From there, you can increase your dose if needed. We consider one-half of a Gummy to be a full dose.
HHC for sleep
HHC can likely be effective in helping to promote healthy sleep cycles. Especially when taken in the evening–a couple to a few hours before bed–this cannabinoid may help you drift off into slumber. HHC has been likened to delta 8 THC, which provides a weighted, full-body experience that can be perfectly conducive to sleep.
HHC for pain
Both delta 8 THC and delta 9 THC can be helpful in mitigating pain, so while there aren’t any studies on HHC specifically, it should come as no surprise that some people report the pain-reducing benefits of HHC.
Is HHC safe?
HHC is generally considered to be safe. As with much of the cannabis industry, more research is needed to determine the precise level of safety, particularly around long-term use.
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to give its official stamp of approval to HHC products, but this doesn’t mean that they are illegal nor dangerous when consumed in moderation. Yet as with THC, it’s possible to consume too much HHC and experience some of the following side effects:
- Dry mouth
To ensure you have the best experience with your HHC Gummies, follow the two adages that are well-known in the cannabis world:
Start low and go slow. Especially when you’re a first-time user of HHC, start with a low dose–a quarter of a Gummy, for example. Then, wait at least an hour before consuming more if you’re feeling like upping the ante. Remember that edible cannabis products hit everyone at different speeds based on things like your metabolism and how recently you ate, so products can sometimes take a little while to kick in.
Know thyself. Get a feel for your limits and respect them. Draw from previous experiences you’ve had with intoxicants, whether things like alcohol or other cannabis products, to get a sense of your tolerance level.
Of course, you should never drive a car or operate other heavy machinery after consuming psychoactive products.
Follow this advice, and you’re likely to have a nice experience with HHC products!
Is HHC legal?
The all-important 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and hemp-derived products at a federal level as long as the plants contain less than 0.3% THC based on dry weight. This is what enables Summit THC to craft all of our Delta 8, Delta 9, and HHC Gummies–we use high-quality, USDA-organic certified hemp extract with THC limits below the mandated concentrations. That’s why we can ship our HHC Gummies to all 50 states!
Still, individual states in the U.S. shape the legal landscape. Because HHC is not technically THC, which remains classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, it’s allowed in many states. Other states, such as Alaska, have laws regarding THC-related compounds–so be sure you understand your local laws when using a product that contains HHC.
Does HHC show up in a drug test?
Don’t believe the hype: HHC might not be THC, but that doesn’t mean you’ll pass a drug test with flying colors.
Because HHC is not exactly THC, some believe taking HHC will not cause any hiccups when it comes to passing a drug test. Unfortunately, this is false and could wind up landing you in hot water.
Drug tests are designed to detect the presence of drugs or other substances in the body, including the metabolized forms of cannabinoids. Because HHC is molecularly so similar to delta 8 and delta 9 THC, the metabolites from HHC can be picked up by tests, which may cause you to fail.
Urine tests tend to be the most common type of drug test. After HHC is metabolized by the liver, the metabolites are eventually excreted in urine. The amount of time it takes for HHC to be completely metabolized and eliminated from the body can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the person's age, weight, metabolism, and the amount consumed. Estimates can range from one to 30 days–yep, that’s a big range.
So if you’re subject to drug testing, you will want to skip HHC products for at least 30 days before your next test. Better safe than sorry.
HHC is definitely worth trying out. Giving a nice, mellow, euphoric ride that possibly helps with pain and other uses, this cannabinoid is here to stay–and we think you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the years to come.
So jump on the bandwagon and start exploring what HHC is all about!