What is HHC Cannabis
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What is HHC?

Sep 01, 2022

By J Gordon Curtis

These days, it seems easier to count the days in which there isn’t a major cannabis product breakthrough. Most recently, HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) has begun filling the markets. But what is HHC, how does it work, and is it worth even checking out?

Whether it’s cannabis or any other substance you’re putting into your body, nothing is more important than education. If you do not understand a product, you should not be using it.

For that reason, we wanted to make a quick guide on HHC. Keep reading for more information on what HHC is, how producers make it, and how strong it is.

In the end, we’ll tell you where you can pick some up along with some options that may be a better bang for your buck. Let’s dive in:

How is HHC Made?

HHC is the result after THC undergoes a process of  “hydrogenation,” or, the adding on of hydrogen molecules. The first scientist to accomplish this was doing so by using Delta-9 THC back in 1944.

Today, the bulk of HHC production takes place in (or for) states where Delta-9 THC and products made from it are illegal. As a result, the process of making HHC is not an easy one.

First, producers must isolate CBD from the plant. This process alone is quite lengthy as you have to remove it from the other 400+ chemicals in the plant.

After completing the extraction process, the next step is to convert the CBD into Delta-8 THC. Another arduous step, this one involves using different reactions to manipulate the molecule and transform it.

Only then can producers hydrogenize the form of THC and create HHC. Lab equipment for hydrogenization must exist within a blast-proof environment with heavy grounding to reduce the risk of static discharge.

If that isn’t enough to give it away, HHC is a dangerous and expensive cannabinoid to create. 

Is HHC Safe?

While the creation process can be risky, HHC on its own seems to be as safe as any other cannabinoid on the market. That said, the process is lengthy and does require some occasionally harmful chemicals.

Since hemp exists in a purely unregulated market, reporting on these products is often woefully inadequate. The main safety concern for consumers is in getting a product that contains heavy metals or residual chemicals from its production.

The risk for this is low, but it's important to state that it isn't 0%. If you do reach for an HHC product, make sure that you’re getting extensive reporting to make sure this is not the case.

Does HHC contain THC? 

Strictly speaking, HHC is its own cannabinoid. Though related to THC, it is not a form of it.

That fact inspires some to think that HHC might be safer from legal retaliation than Delta-8 THC or other forms. 

Does HHC Get You High?

HHC does have an intoxicating effect to it like that of THC. Many consumers of HHC do so as a replacement for or less intense alternative to THC

Is HHC stronger than THC? 

As with every other element of cannabis, there are very few reports on the efficacy of HHC. As a result, personal anecdotes are about as scientific as we can get.

From those, it appears that HHC is significantly less potent than THC. But is HHC Stronger than Delta 8 THC? That’s a little less cut-and-dry.

According to anecdotal reports, it seems as though it is slightly less potent than Delta 8 THC but some claim it to be more. It’s important to note here again that the endocannabinoid system plays a pretty large role in the placebo effect.

It seems likely that HHC is comparable to Delta 8 THC in terms of its effects but it’s much more time- and cost-intensive to make. 

Does HHC Show Up in a Drug Test?

At this point, we wouldn’t feel comfortable making a definitive statement one way or another on this but it seems unlikely. Most drug tests search for “metabolites” or residual chemicals our body metabolizes others into.

When testing for THC, the metabolite that is usually most prominent is 11-hydroxy-THC. HHC, however, turns into 11-hydroxy-HHC (another natural metabolite of THC but typically in smaller quantities.)

This means that it is technically different from the chemical that drug tests are looking for. The reasons we aren’t comfortable saying one way or another on this yet are:

  1. We simply don’t know if this will show up on drug tests or how often it will. This may result in a 20% pass rate and those who have experienced it are just getting lucky.
  2. Many HHC products on the market also contain THC in them. This may not even be in the report or on the packaging but it could be there as an added punch to the product to make it seem better. 

So, while it may be possible to avoid a negative drug test result with HHC, the evidence is still unclear at this time. 

Looking for a New Dispensary?

At Perfect Plant™ Hemp Co., we’re always trying to stay on top of the hottest trends in the industry. We believe strongly in the power of the plant and we truly get just as excited as everyone else over new developments.

When it comes to HHC, we only have one product – a vapable. Feel free to stop into one of our shops and give HHC a try for yourself (due to the POSECC Act, we cannot sell these online.)

It may be true that HHC is safer from criminalization than other cannabinoids and can have tremendous value in the future. At its current position, it’s simply too complex to make and vastly inferior to THC.

In the future, if the process becomes more accessible or those other cannabinoids face removal from their protected, legal status, HHC may have a chance to shine. Until then, we’re more focused on bringing quality Delta 8, Delta 9, and THCA products instead.


However you treat your endocannabinoid system, just make sure you’re treating it right. Health is Wealth.