Marijuana has received quite a bit of attention from both the media and from lawmakers in the past few years. Many states are pushing hard for the legalization of not only medicinal use but also recreational use. While this might seem exciting for potheads and weed enthusiasts around the country, many people still feel skeptical on the merits of legalizing such a drug. The learning curve is a steep one and using marijuana-infused products can be tricky if you’ve never tried it before. The effects can be overwhelming and debilitating if too much is consumed in a single sitting.
If you’re interested in consuming a psychoactive cannabinoid but aren’t quite ready to take the plunge into marijuana-infused products, there’s actually a legal alternative: HHC! This semi-synthetic cannabinoid carries very similar qualities to marijuana but is federally legal thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. In this article, I’ll be discussing what HHC is, how it’s made, how it compares to marijuana and much more. Keep reading to learn more about this fascinating cannabinoid and all it has to offer!
HHC: What Is It?
Hexahydrocannabinol, simply shortened to HHC, is a semi-synthetic cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant. It’s deemed “semi” synthetic due to scientists arguing whether or not it occurs naturally or is created in a lab. Similar to Delta-8 THC, HHC requires chemical processing in order to make it viable. Some scientists maintain that the psychoactive cannabinoid is indeed found naturally (just in very small quantities) and others argue that it is created from the already-low amount of Delta-8 THC found within the hemp plant.
The chemical process involves saturating a THC molecule with hydrogen using a catalyst and other extraction processes. This hydrogenation process allows the THC to become more stable, similar to how margarine is a saturated form of butter. HHC does not break down as quickly as traditional THC when exposed to heat, light, or oxygen. This also allows HHC products to have a longer shelf life.
How Does HHC Compare to Marijuana?
Before you can truly appreciate the effects of HHC, you’ll need to have a better understanding of traditional marijuana. More specifically, a better understanding of the psychoactive compound that’s responsible for marijuana’s effects: Delta-9 THC. Both cannabinoids have similar qualities but you may find yourself gravitating to one or the other depending on the desired effects. Let’s take a moment to go over what Delta-9 THC is and we’ll compare that to what we know about HHC.
What Is Delta-9 THC?
Delta-9, short for Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for getting the user high. It is one of the strongest cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and is the basis for determining if the derived cannabinoid is legal or not. When derived from hemp, Delta-9 THC is actually legal on a federal level (more on that in a separate article) but is most commonly found in marijuana. As the THC is absorbed into your bloodstream, your body CB-1 receptors in your brain and body forms a strong bond that can leave you feeling the effects of the high for hours on end. Intense relaxation, warm euphoria, spiked sense of humor/taste/touch, and drowsiness are all common side effects of getting high off of marijuana. Consuming too much Delta-9 THC can result in increased uneasiness, heightened agitation, and uncomfortable disorientation. It’s strongly encouraged to start off slowly with your dosages and gradually increase the consumed amount over time.
The type of strain consumed can also play an important role. Marijuana is typically divided into three categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Indica strains are preferable for nighttime use, as the heavy relaxation and increased drowsiness can help you unwind and fall asleep after a long day. Sativa are great for daytime use as it can help you focus, feel more creative, and experience less drowsiness than indica strains. If you can’t decide which strain to go with, hybrid strains incorporate both sativa and indica strains but can also be indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.
HHC: How It Differs
Many users are curious if HHC is stronger or weaker than traditional marijuana. Since psychoactive cannabinoids affect each user in a unique way, this question proves a bit difficult to answer with a simple yes or no. Many avid weed users swear that HHC feels identical to marijuana whereas others prefer the smoother and more uplifted high that comes from HHC products. HHC comes in indica, sativa, and hybrid strains but is most commonly recognized for its uplifting qualities. You may experience a heightened sense of humor and launch into fits of giggling and laughter. You might feel more creative and aware of your surroundings, both qualities of sativa strains. HHC also carries a sense of deep relaxation and couch-locking qualities, very similar to indica strains.
While there’s no exact answer of whether or not it’s stronger than weed, HHC offers users a smoother and more gradual high that can help alleviate any bouts of uneasiness or discomfort that often accompanies the traditional forms of marijuana consumption. HHC is also available for purchase online (provided that your state allows it) and comes in a vast assortment of both inhalable and edible products. Since HHC is so new, it may be difficult to confirm the purity and potency via independent third-party lab testing. When purchasing an HHC product for the first time, try to find companies that offer lab testing results for this specific cannabinoid.
Legality of HHC vs. Delta-9 THC
While it might seem like a new cannabinoid, HHC has actually been around since the 1940s. A Harvard-trained chemist by the name of Roger Adams was the first to successfully saturate a THC molecule with hydrogen. Adams was looking for a way to replicate the effects of marijuana but with a more stable cannabinoid. Since the HHC cannabinoid was (and still is) created from federally legal THC, HHC offered a legal alternative to the villainized marijuana. When the 2018 Farm Bill was passed, HHC was classified as federally legal and could be acquired much more readily than traditional marijuana.
Unfortunately, many states disagreed with the 2018 Farm Bill’s broad categorization of legal cannabinoids and decided to draft new legislation for their own state. Even if CBD and marijuana are deemed legal in the state where you reside, you should always confirm that HHC products are legal for consumption and purchase before attempting to purchase it. Delta-8 THC is classified as a controlled substance in a handful of states, meaning that other hemp-derived cannabinoids (HHC included) may also fall into this same category.
If you’re curious about HHC and how it may affect you, you’re not alone! There are many users who swear that HHC feels identical to marijaua and other users who feel that HHC is less intense and more enjoyable. The effects of psychoactive cannabinoids vary based on a variety of factors (age, weight, gender, previous exposure to THC products, etc), meaning that only you can decide if HHC is right for you. If you decide to try an HHC-infused product, you can expect to experience a rich and euphoric high that is smooth and incredibly relaxing. Whether or not it’s stronger than marijuana lies in the type of product consumed and the amount of HHC consumed in a single session.
Here at Two Hawk Hemp, we offer two forms of HHC: edibles and inhalables. Our White Peach Gummies come in a sample size and a full size, and our Melon Gum and Golden Goat disposable vapes promise a delicious high in a matter of minutes. All of our HHC products come fully tested by certified third-party independent labs that confirm the potency and purity of this fascinating cannabinoid. Regardless if you choose our gummies or disposable vapes, always start off with our recommended dosages and work your way up from there. Remember that you can always increase your dosage over time, but taking too much HHC in a single sitting can result in an intense high that may leave you feeling more stressed and uneasy than when you started! If you have any specific questions about HHC and its effects, feel free to drop a comment below and a member of the Two Hawk Hemp team will get back to you as soon as possible. In my next article, I’ll be talking about what federally legal Delta-9 THC is and how it compares to traditional marijuana. Hope to see you there!