Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is one of the newer cannabinoids to hit the markets in the United States, so most cannabis consumers don’t know much about it. Thankfully, researchers have known about this THC analog since 1944, so they’ve had plenty of time to figure out how it works. Anyone interested in trying this newcomer to the cannabis market can read on to find out what they need to know about hexahydrocannabinol before using it.
What Is HHC?
HHC is a hydrogenated form of THC that produces the same psychoactive, euphoric effects when taken in high doses. The compound has nearly the same molecular structure as naturally available THC, except that the hydrogenation process replaces a carbon bond with hydrogen molecules. This chemical reaction produces a more stable compound with a longer shelf-life but also reduces the potency somewhat.
Where HHC Comes From
High-quality HHC extracts are made by converting the delta-8 THC found in hemp plants into a new cannabinoid via a process similar to that of transforming vegetable oil into margarine. Most HHC made in labs is semi-synthetic, but the compound does occur naturally in certain high-potency types of cannabis and is thus technically considered a minor cannabinoid. Interested buyers can Learn More about how reputable suppliers create their HHC formulations online.
How HHC Affects the Body
Because HHC has a chemical structure that is very similar to THC, it should be no surprise that it binds to the same receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The psychoactive aspects of HHC’s effects on the body occur when it crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, altering things like perception, mood, and appetite.
Although HHC acts on the same receptors in the brain and produces the same effects, it is less potent than THC. As a result, users must take it in higher concentrations to experience the compound’s psychoactive and therapeutic effects. Those effects can include:
- Elevated mood
- Heightened chemical senses
- Increased appetite
- Heightened relaxation of the body and mind
- Lower nausea
- Pain relief
Unsurprisingly, the side effects of HHC are also similar to those of THC. No official research has been performed into the side effects of this plant-based compound, but anecdotal evidence suggests that people can expect their reactions to HHC to be similar to those that occur in response to ingesting regular marijuana.
The Legality of HHC
Unlike THC, which is unequivocally illegal on a federal level, HHC exists in something of a gray zone. When it’s hemp-derived, HHC is considered federally legal according to the provisions regarding hemp products found in the 2018 Farm Bill. However, many forms of HHC are semi-synthetic, and lab-made compounds aren’t covered under this bill.
So far, though, the DEA doesn’t have semi-synthetic cannabinoids on their radar, so they continue to exist in something of a loophole. Just keep in mind that some states have banned THC analogs, which means that the use of HHC may not be legal under certain state laws even if it is on a federal level.
Quality Is Key
Anyone who wants to buy HHC should purchase it online from a reputable retailer. Fully synthetic versions of this chemical compound may not be safe, so be sure that the vendor uses hemp-derived Delta 8 THC to formulate its products. Other indications of quality include Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) certification and third-party lab testing.
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