Delta-9 THC, CBD, delta-8 THC, THCv, and more — just when you thought you’d seen it all, a new and improved cannabinoid comes out!
This new and improved cannabinoid is called HHC. Short for hexahydrocannabinol, HHC is fast becoming one of the most popular THC alternatives. Keep reading to learn why, because this article will be looking at the similarities and differences between HHC and THC.
- HHC vs. THC: how they’re produced
- HHC vs. THC: the high
- HHC vs. THC: drug testing
- HHC vs THC: potential health benefits
- HHC vs. THC: legal status
- HHC vs. THC: finding them online
What is HHC?
HHC is a close relative to regular THC, just like delta-8 or delta-10 THC. Also like these other cannabinoids, HHC is only produced by cannabis/hemp in very trace amounts. That makes it a minor cannabinoid — not one of the “big six” cannabinoids that are usually seen in hemp products.
Research shows that HHC can match many of THC’s best effects. Not only that, but it’s also legal nationwide!
HHC vs. THC: how they’re produced
HHC was first discovered way back in the 1940s by American chemist Roger Adams. More specifically, Adams created HHC, which he did by hydrogenating regular THC molecules. 
THC, on the other hand, needs no hydrogenating to be produced. Most delta-9 THC is simply extracted from hemp plants directly. That’s not to say one method is better than another — both methods have pros and cons!
HHC, for example, is extremely shelf-stable. Its fully hydrogenated status means it can last longer without degrading or decarboxylating than most other cannabinoids. Chemist Mark Scialdone attests that HHC has a uniquely high “stability and resistance to thermo-oxidative breakdown.” 
HHC vs. THC: the high
While HHC isn’t technically a THC isomer, it still produces THC-like effects. Users report feeling that same blend of relaxation, openness, and euphoria that they’ve come to love from cannabis.
But HHC doesn’t seem to be quite as potent. That’s because any HHC product contains two different isomers (forms) of HHC — and one of them is far more active than the other.
Most users say that the intensity of HHC’s high is somewhere between delta-8’s and delta-9’s. It’s uplifting without being too strong or too relaxing. HHC also possesses some (but not all) of delta-9 THC’s effects.
HHC vs. THC: drug testing
HHC has somewhat of an upper hand over regular THC when it comes to drug testing.
While delta-8 THC, delta-9 THC, and delta-10 THC all convert into 11-hydroxy-THC within your body, triggering positive drug test results, HHC does not. It might not even be absorbed as fully as these cannabinoids, or it might be sequestered in one’s fat stores before being fully broken down.
But much more research is still needed in this area. Both HHC and THC can trigger ‘false positive’ drug test results. Talk to your employer before you take these substances and get drug tested!
HHC vs THC: potential health benefits
HHC hasn’t been widely studied, unlike THC and the rest of the big six cannabinoids.
But the available research still gives us some hints. One study from 2011 found that HHC analogs “strongly inhibited breast cancer cell-induced angiogenesis and tumor growth.”
Notice the trend yet? So far, studies have determined that HHC matches THC’s best benefits. It’s likely that HHC possesses other benefits attributed to THC, too.
HHC vs. THC: legal status
If HHC is so psychotropic, you might be thinking, then why in the world is it legal?
Good question. You can thank the same federal Farm Bill that legalized CBD, delta-9, delta-8, etc. for that. HHC that’s derived from hemp is fully legal, which allows it to circumvent federal restrictions that single in on delta-9 THC.
But not everyone fully agrees with this viewpoint. Some scientists call HHC ‘semi-synthetic,’ though the vast majority say that HHC’s presence within mature hemp buds puts it firmly into hemp-derived territory.
And things get even more complex. While HHC is indeed processed by cannabis and hemp plants, commercial HHC doesn’t come from these sources. It’s made in a lab using CBD, selective pressure, and special catalysts like palladium. This might mean HHC will be more closely regulated by the DEA in the near future. Hopefully 2022’s upcoming Farm Bill will shed some much-needed light on this subject. (This new bill will likely describe the legal statuses of THC isomers in more detail.)
Delta-9 THC, on the other hand, isn’t yet federally legal. Per the same 2018 Farm Bill we’ve been mentioning, products can only contain 0.3% delta-9 THC by dry weight — even if they’re derived from hemp. On the plus side, more and more states are fully legalizing high-delta-9 cannabis products.
HHC vs. THC: finding them online
HHC is still hard to find compared to delta-9 and other cannabinoids. On the plus side, it’s fully legal to buy all sorts of HHC products online. Our team at Direct Delta 8 is offering 13 premium HHC products to choose from.
The options include:
- Delta Extrax Hydro HHC Gummies
- Exhale HHC Gummy Cubes – Fruit Mix
- TRĒ House HHC Cookie – Birthday Cake 50mg
- TRĒ House Delta 10 Gummies + HHC + D9 – Blue Raspberry
- Happi Urb HHC Getaway Gummies – Watermelon Weekender
- Work Delta 8 + D10 + HHC Sledgehammer Disposable Vape (Watermelon Punch)
Stay tuned on our HHC page for more details, as we’ll likely have more products available in the near future!
HHC vs. delta-8 THC
One more thing you should know about HHC: it’s similar to (but usually slightly stronger than) delta-8 THC. These cannabinoids have all sorts of similarities…check them out below.
- Both are federally legal
- Both are psychotropic and uplifting
- Both can be taken via gummy, vape, other edibles, etc.
- Both have potential side effects when taken in large doses
Summing things up
Well, there you have it! HHC is similar to THC in some ways, yet more mysterious in other ways. It offers a fully legal high that’s strong — but not too strong — and an all-around good time. Here’s to hoping this legal status helps HHC become better understood in the near future!