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HHC vs THC: Comparing the Cannabinoids

HHC vs THC: Comparing the Cannabinoids

Tatum Blakeney

There is another cannabinoid on the block that is quickly gaining momentum, and for a good reason too. Introducing HHC. HHC is gaining popularity in the hemp community because of the variety of positive effects users have reported it has. However, with HHC only being on the market for a short period of time, many questions have been asked about it. Such as, what is HHC? Is HHC different from THC? What are the differences between the chemical structures as well as the effects? What kind of HHC products are available? For the answers to all these questions and more, keep reading to explore the fundamental differences between HHC vs. THC.

HHC Chemical Structure
The chemical structure of HHC discovered in the 1940s by Roger Adams

What Is HHC?

HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, occurs naturally in very small concentrations in hemp plants. It must be converted from CBD to be produced in usable quantities. First synthesized in 1944 by Roger Adams, HHC shows much potential when isolated from CBD. We currently know of at least ten types of this cannabinoid.

HHC was first created using a process called hydrogenation. This process adds hydrogen molecules to alter the chemical structure of CBD (hemp derived CBD), producing HHC cannabinoid effects. To create hexahydrocannabinol, two hydrogen molecules are added to the CBD. To learn more about HHC, read our complete guide to HHC here.

What Is HHC Derived From?

Today, HHC is cultivated by growing high-quality CBD flower, as HHC occurs naturally in the seeds and pollen of these cannabis plants. Then, the compound is extracted, distilled, and powdered before being processed into HHC. 

HHC contains no THC whatsoever but still retains benefits commonly associated with more well-known cannabis-derived compounds.

What Is THC?

THC is one of the main chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, and one of the most popular. THC is a cannabinoid that is only found in the flowering buds of cannabis plants. More specifically, it’s one of many compounds found in resin secreted by cannabis plants. THC is found in high concentrations in marijuana and can easily be extracted which is why it is so well known throughout the world. This compound is primarily responsible for many of the psychological effects of standard marijuana flower. THC is the main intoxicating compound found in the cannabis plant and has been praised for the variety of benefits it provides. 

Cannabinoid chemicals are made naturally by the body, and the THC molecule act much like these chemicals. Receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors, for cannabinoids are located in areas of the brain that control memory, pleasure, thinking, perception, and coordination. 

Hemp derived THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine and interferes with how information is processed in the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories.

Try our Euphoria THC + HHC Gummies

What Is the Difference Between HHC vs. THC?

When it comes to HHC vs. THC, there are actually a lot of similarities. The two are close in potency and structure, and users report similar effects on their moods, pain control, appetite, coordination, ability to relax, and memory. 

There are differences between the two, however. The five main differences between HHC vs. THC are:

  • Different levels of bioavailability
  • HHC has a much longer shelf life
  • Different prominence levels in the cannabis plant
  • Structurally, HHC has no double bonds in its chemical structure
  • Different plant derivations

Under current US legislation, another thing that sets THC and HHC apart is legality. While HHC is legal at a federal level, Delta-9 THC is only legal when its products meet the requirements of the 2018 Farm Bill. This means that legal THC products must be derived from hemp and thus contain no more than .3% THC. However, both HHC and THC may be prohibited in your state due to varying state-by-state regulations, so it’s always important to research your local and state regulations before shopping HHC products or THC products. 

Woman using an HHC product
HHC products are more likely to be taken during the day because of its effects.

What are the common effects of HHC?

According to many user reports, the effects of HHC vs THC are very similar. Most users note the similarities in effects with many claiming HHC could be used as a THC alternative. Furthermore, preliminary research shows no early evidence of severe HHC side effects, and HHC appears to share a comparable safety profile with THC. While HHC shares similar effects to THC, HHC has less rules and regulations when it comes to cannabis laws. At VIIA Hemp Company, all of our HHC products are legal and ready to ship to all 50 states. 

Some minor HHC side effects that have been reported include insomnia, increased hunger, high energy levels, rapid heart rate, euphoria, and mental stimulation. 

At the same time, many users report pain relief as one of the more pronounced HHC cannabinoid effects, and a more relaxing or sedative quality than that offered by Delta-8 or Delta-9 THC. 

HHC & THC interact with the Endocannabinoid system

You may wonder why our bodies are so responsive to the effects of cannabinoids. As you probably know, our bodies are equipped with many intricate systems that keep our bodies working at their most optimal function. Some of these systems include the nervous system, respiratory system, and more. However, we bet you didn’t know about one of the largest and most important systems - the Endocannabinoid System. The Endocannabinoid System is the reason why we experience the effects of cannabinoids such as HHC because this system’s primary function is to regulate homeostasis, aka balance, in the human body. How this system works is when we consume cannabinoids like HHC, the cannabinoids interact with our CB1 and CB2 receptors. Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids attach themselves to our CB1 and CB2 receptors. By doing this, the receptors interact with the cannabinoids to supplement the Endocannabinoid System. This helps regulate our body and push it to work at it’s most optimal function. 

HHC vs THC: Which cannabinoid is more potent?

As we have said, users of HHC and THC have reported similar effects from the two cannabinoids. However this raises the question, is HHC more potent than THC? In terms of potency, HHC is typically less potent than standalone THC or the THC found in federally illegal marijuana products. That said, it is only less “potent” in its ability to offer users pronounced psychoactive effects, though it may be considered more potent in this way than Delta-8 THC. 

HHC legal has gained popularity instead for delivering a more subdued, relaxing effect that can fit more easily into most users’ lifestyles. Additionally, because of this decreased “potency,” users find themselves better equipped to go about their day, workout, or favorite activities. What they can find in HHC is a pleasant boost that comes without the paranoia or other side effects linked to standard THC.

How does HHC and THC feel when taken together?

When HHC and THC are combined, the blend of the two can produce a unique and powerful experience. HHC has been reported to have a calming and relaxing effect on its own, while Delta 9 THC is known for its euphoric and psychoactive effects. When these two compounds are combined, the result can be a powerful yet more balanced and enjoyable high.

Users have reported that the combination of HHC and THC produces a more clear-headed and focused high, which can be a great option for those who want to experience the benefits of cannabis without feeling too spacey or out of control. Additionally, some users have reported that the combination of HHC and THC can produce a longer-lasting high, which can be beneficial for those who are looking for a more sustained experience.

What Should I Look for When Shopping for HHC Products?

There aren’t many retailers who sell HHC because it only recently reached the market. As the popularity of HHC continues to grow, new products will become available, but quality is sure to become an issue as well.

So to shop the highest quality HHC products right away, turn to us at VIIA. We offer HHC vapes with a smooth, powerful experience in portable, low-key packaging. While some hemp companies may put fillers or cutting agents in their vaporizer products, our vape products are all pure and uncut. All of our hemp is extracted and produced with the cleanest and highest quality ingredients. It is also important to note whether or not the vaporizer products you are purchasing have gone through a third party lab testing. When you order an HHC product from us, know that each and every product is tested through every stage of production. From seed to finish, our HHC and THC products are tested for quality, potency, and to ensure there are no contaminants. 

Tatum Blakeney

Tatum Blakeney

Tatum is the Digital Marketing Manager at VIIA Hemp Co. His passion for helping people finding the benefit in Cannabis flows through in the expert industry coverage and trending topics he provides. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn

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