Everything You Need To Know About HHC

When it comes to cannabinoids, we usually hear about THC and CBD, but over 100 cannabinoids have been discovered in Cannabis sativa. Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) is a derivative of naturally occurring Delta-9 THC that is growing in popularity. Here are your HHC questions answered.


What is Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC)?


HHC was first discovered by cannabis chemist Professor Roger Adams at the University of Illinois in 1940. Similar to cannabinol (CBN), HHC has been found as a degradation byproduct of Delta-9 THC. Other similar hexahydrocannabinols have been isolated from Cannabis sativa plants.


HHC is produced in greater concentrations through the hydrogenation of cannabis extracts. Hydrogenation is a similar process of turning vegetable oil into margarine to prolong the shelf life of baked goods. The process involves adding hydrogen to saturate double bonds of THC isomers at the molecular level, producing the saturated HHC compound with a longer shelf life and less susceptibility to heat, UV light, and oxidization. 


What are the effects of HHC?


Although scientific research is limited, anecdotally, psychoactive effects include uplifting and euphoric effects similar to Delta-9 THC. The effects are likely due to agonist effects of HHC on CB1 receptors. Anecdotal reports include pain relief, reduced inflammation, and body relaxation.


Preliminary in vitro studies show potential as an anti-cancer agent. While further research is needed, early data from animal studies suggest that hydrogenated cannabinoids may perform as well or better than non-hydrogenated counterparts at reducing tumor size.


Is HHC safe?


More research is needed, but HHC likely has similar temporary side effects to Delta-9 THC, including anxiety, coordination problems, dizziness, dry mouth, increased appetite, insomnia, memory loss, paranoia, rapid heart rate, and red eyes.


Not all HHC products are created the same, so It is best to purchase HHC products from a trusted, reputable source with quality assurance and independent lab testing.


Is HHC legal?


The passage of the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the sale of hemp-derived cannabinoids and products in most of the United States. However, individual states may pass laws that make HHC a gray area, similar to state law changes regarding Delta-8 THC and other cannabinoids. It is recommended that individuals check with state laws to ensure legality in their state of residence.


Will HHC show up on a drug test?


There is insufficient data to confirm whether HHC will show up on a drug test for Delta-9 THC. Drug tests vary in specificity and sensitivity. It is recommended to avoid consuming HHC if you are expecting a drug test.


What kinds of HHC products are available?


HHC products are available in a variety of dosage forms, including vape, tinctures, and edibles. Quality in the market varies, and not all HHC products are created equally, so make sure you purchase HHC from a trusted source.




If you’re interested in trying HHC, purchase it from a trusted source. HHC is understudied, and there are many unknowns about the cannabinoid. To keep yourself safe, be sure it was sourced well and developed without any unfamiliar additives. Remember, HHC is safest when developed in a lab. Buy HHC backed by lab-test certification to be certain you’re getting all the best ingredients.


The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.