HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) has been making waves among hemp enthusiasts.
But what does it exactly do?
That's what we're going to cover in this blog post.
In this blog post, you'll learn everything you need about the effects of HHC in simple English.
We'll go over:
Let’s start with the basics before we talk about HHC effects.
So what are cannabinoids?
If you've had Delta-8, hemp-derived Delta-9, or even CBD, then you're already familiar with them.
They're compounds found in the cannabis species, whether it's hemp or marijuana.
There are at least 113 known cannabinoids in hemp and marijuana.
The only difference between the two cannabis variants is one established by lawmakers.
Hemp has a Delta-9 THC concentration of no more than 0.3% by dry weight, while marijuana contains any concentration greater than this.
That's pretty much the only difference.
Hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC, is a cannabinoid that occurs naturally in small amounts in hemp and marijuana.
Some speculate that HHC is a byproduct of Delta-9 THC breaking down in the plant.
The Endocannabinoid System
So now that we've got cannabinoids down let's talk about the endocannabinoid system.
"Wait, there's an entire system in the human body dedicated to processing THC!? Sweet!"
Well, yes and also, no.
The endocannabinoid system or "ECS" is a vast network of cellular receptors and chemical signals throughout the human body.
According to Harvard.edu, ECS helps carry out many vital functions such as:
- Emotional processing
- Immune responses
- Temperature control
- Pain management
To send signals and "work," this system uses compounds made by the human body called endocannabinoids.
Cannabinoids such as THC or HHC are molecularly similar to endocannabinoids. Therefore, they can interact with this system.
A pretty neat natural occurrence, right?
So, in summary:
- People have known the effects of cannabis for thousands of years but don't know what caused those effects.
- Scientists then identified cannabinoids as the compounds in the plants that cause the effects, but people didn't know how they worked in the human body.
- Researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system when figuring out how cannabinoids work in the body.
So that about covers how the endocannabinoid system works.
Before we talk about HHC, the next step is to discuss how THC works since the two a very similar.
How Does THC Work?
THC (hemp-derived Delta-9 and Delta-8) binds to cannabinoid receptors.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors in the human body.
There are CB1 receptors in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
And then, there are CB2 receptors which are located throughout other parts of the body (along with CB1 receptors).
THC can bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors but has a high affinity for binding with CB1 receptors.
But let's get back to the CB1 receptors in the central nervous system.
In the brain, there are high concentrations of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum, brainstem, basal ganglia, neocortex, and hippocampus.
What do these parts of the brain do?
Here's a handy list:
- Cerebellum - coordinates movement, balance, and posture
- Brain stem - breathing, consciousness, pain processing, and sleep
- Basal ganglia - motor control, motor learning, emotions, and behaviors
- Neocortex - language, decision making, and perception
- Hippocampus - learning, and memory
It's important to note that these are parts of the brain with higher concentrations of CB1 receptors, but they're not the only ones with these receptors.
So that just about covers it for how THC works.
It binds to cannabinoid receptors with a particular "liking" to CB1 receptors, which are highly concentrated in the central nervous system.
And now, let's get into how HHC works.
HHC Effects On The Brain
So what are the effects of HHC?
Well, this is a bit of a trick question.
Because it depends on what type of HHC you're talking about.
HHC is basically hydrogenated THC.
"Hydrogenated" refers to when something is charged or combined with hydrogen.
There are several defining features separate HHC from THC.
Delta-8 and Delta-9 get their respective names because of a chemical bond on their eighth or ninth carbon chains.
HHC molecules do not have this chemical bond and have two more hydrogen atoms than THC.
However, there isn't just one type of HHC.
In commercial HHC products, you'll find two types of HHCs.
There is 9R HHC and 9S HHC.
All you need to know is that 9R HHC is the one that can bind to cannabinoid receptors and 9S HHC doesn't…do such a great job at it.
When derived from hemp, the two appear together (either in a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio), but separating them would drive up the cost of HHC products.
So they're usually just left together but in a greater quantity to make up for the inactive HHC.
For example, Hometown Hero offers 50mg HHC Gummies.
These gummies aren't a type of "Max HHC" product, but the ratio of active versus inactive HHC is roughly 2:1, which could be approximately 33.3mg of "active" HHC per gummy.
The active HHC will bind to cannabinoid receptors and carry out effects in the same range as Delta-8 THC and hemp-derived Delta-9 THC.
Effects: HHC vs. Deta-8 vs. Delta-9
How do the effects of HHC compare to Delta-8 and hemp-derived Delta-9?
People who have consumed these cannabinoids have reported feeling:
- The "munchies"
However, some may find that different variations of THC can lean into particular effects.
For example, one person might find one type of THC better for feeling energized, creative, and fascinated, while another might be better for relaxation and calmness.
Some who have tried HHC have lumped it closer to Delta-9 but are a bit more euphoric and energizing. However, it's important to know that these are only subjective experiences.
The only way to truly know the effects of HHC and where it can best fit in your life is to try it out yourself.
The best way to try out HHC or any cannabinoid you're unfamiliar with is to take the low and slow approach.
It means that you begin with a low amount, slowly wait for the onset of effects, wait a bit more, and then decide if you want to take more.
It may sound like a chore, but once you find your "sweet spot," you'll be set for many sessions ahead.
What should also be taken into account when discussing the effects of this cannabinoid is how it is consumed.
The effects of smoking HHC will differ from HHC edible effects.
For example, if you eat HHC gummies, effects will take longer to feel but will be more acute than if inhaled (or even taken sublingually).
HHC edibles effects may sound intimidating, but if you properly take the "low and slow" approach, you should be fine.
“Side Effects” of HHC
We recommend the low and slow approach because, like other cannabinoids, it’s possible to feel overwhelmed if you take too much HHC.
There is very little threat of physical danger regarding HHC cannabinoid effects.
However, you do not want to drive after consuming HHC. You also should not consume HHC if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or breastfeeding.
Why Try HHC?
Although the effects of HHC are within the range of hemp-derived Delta-9 THC, the two aren't interchangeable.
As stated before, some have described HHC as offering a greater emphasis on energy and euphoria than other THC types/variants, but these are only subjective reports. Results can vary.
A person might find that HHC fits better for outdoor activities or "powering through" chores, while they might find Delta-9 to be better for watching movies at home or attending a concert.
In short, if you enjoyed other forms of THC, it wouldn't hurt to try HHC.
The best scenario is that you find your new favorite cannabinoid, and generally, the worst that could happen is that you're like, "Well, this is nice, but I like Delta-8/hemp-derived Delta-9 better."
Well, that just about wraps things up for this blog post.
In short, the best way to think about HHC is that it's just another form of THC (with extra hydrogen and one less chemical bond).
All forms of THC will offer the same kinds of effects, but some may lean more into one effect than others.
Many have said HHC is closer to Delta-9 than Delta-8, but the only real way to gauge the difference is to try it yourself.
And that's it.