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What Is Hexahydrocannabinol (HHC)?

by in Medical Marijuana April 7, 2023

New products are entering the cannabis market daily, promising more health benefits. One of the latest additions gaining more attention is hexahydrocannabinol, or HHC.

Not many have tried this cannabinoid. Those who have tried HHC only have good things to say about it. So what are the effects of hexahydrocannabinol that make it worth trying? Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about HHC.

What Is HHC?

HHC, or hexahydrocannabinol, is a minor cannabinoid found in trace quantities in the cannabis plant. It exists mainly in the seeds and pollen of the plant. This compound is the hydrogenated form of the famous psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9 THC. However, it’s much less known.

Its low levels in cannabis don’t make it a cost-effective compound to extract. That is why many companies are starting to manufacture their own HHC and offer it in various forms. Scientists are also looking closer at the unique properties and benefits of this cannabinoid so they can understand and utilize it better.

The Manufacturing Process of Hexahydrocannabinol

The first time HHC was produced in a laboratory was in 1944. An American chemist, Roger Adams, added hydrogen atoms to the delta-9 THC molecule through a hydrogenation process to change its structure.

Since then, scientists have built on the method. Companies now use a refined version of that process to create HHC on a large scale. First, they extract regular THC from the cannabis plant. Then, under high pressures and with the help of catalysts like nickel and palladium, they add hydrogen atoms to the molecules.


The main difference between hexahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinol is in their structures. As we mentioned, the double bond in THC is replaced by hydrogen atoms in HHC. This slight difference can change hexahydrocannabinol’s effects.

While HHC will be less potent than THC, it will also be less vulnerable to oxidation. This better stability means that HHC products will have longer shelf lives. You won’t have to store them as carefully as other cannabis-derived goods.


Since cannabidiol has a similar structure to tetrahydrocannabinol, its molecular makeup is also somewhat similar to hexahydrocannabinol. In terms of effects, CBD and HHC are more complementary than identical. HHC creates a more euphoric mindset with increased awareness, while CBD spreads a sense of calmness.

In terms of availability, CBD is much more widely available than HHC due to its more straightforward production process. Plus, CBD’s legality is clearer compared to HHC and other synthetic cannabinoids. There is also a higher chance of experiencing side effects with HHC.

Marijuana Strains for HHC Production

HHC exists in low amounts in the cannabis plant. However, companies use THC-rich cultivars to produce this cannabinoid in the laboratory. Some of the strongest marijuana strains that can be used for the production of hexahydrocannabinol include:

  • Gelato
  • Sour Diesel
  • Durban Kush
  • White Widow
  • Bruce Banner
  • Amnesia Haze
  • Brownie Scout
  • Gorilla Glue #4
  • Strawberry Cough
  • Girl Scout Cookies

Effects of Hexahydrocannabinol

HHC is a novel cannabinoid for scientists. They are only starting to assess this natural compound and its effects on the body. However, the resemblance of HHC to THC suggests that users might experience the same feelings.

Here is what the research and user reports tell us about HHC.

Benefits of HHC

Early studies show that HHC is a less potent version of THC, inducing the same effects in users. Just like THC, hexahydrocannabinol may be helpful for various health conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

Studies in 2011 also showed that HHC has the potential to become an anti-cancer treatment. Scientists found that novel analogs of HHC were able to suppress breast cancer tumor cell growth.

Another study in 2007 showed that HHC has pain-blocking potential in rodent models. These findings can be applied to large-scale human studies to develop more natural remedies for pain relief.

Side Effects of HHC

You might experience side effects after taking high doses of hexahydrocannabinol, just as you would with any other cannabinoid. Users report experiencing similar side effects to THC overuse.

Some of the side effects of hexahydrocannabinol that medical marijuana physicians raise awareness to include:

  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Red eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Rapid heart rate

Will HHC Get You High?

A woman lying in bed and smoking marijuana

Knowing that HHC shares many similarities with THC, you might wonder whether it creates the same high as the famous psychoactive cannabinoid. To some extent, it does. Due to its nearly identical structure to THC, HHC can create a high. However, it has to be consumed in higher amounts because of its lower potency.

Some argue that hexahydrocannabinol doesn’t really produce a euphoric effect; it creates a relaxing feeling. You can try it for yourself to see how it makes you feel. You can even stay high longer by increasing your dosage, but be careful not to consume too much.

Is HHC Safe?

The safety of HHC depends on several factors. First and foremost is the reliability of the brand. Are you purchasing third-party lab-tested products from a reputable company? If not, then you might risk entering contaminated products into your body.

Another factor is the dosage of hexahydrocannabinol you use. You might start with higher doses to feel the effects of hexahydrocannabinol faster. However, this can endanger your body and make you more prone to experiencing undesirable side effects.

The last factor concerns the studies surrounding this cannabinoid. While current research doesn’t point to any dangerous side effects, the long-term effects of HHC on the body are still unknown. So consult a physician before you try this new cannabinoid to stay completely safe.

Will HHC Show Up on a Drug Test?

Studies suggest that hexahydrocannabinol breaks down differently in the body than its psychoactive counterpart. When you take delta-9 THC, the cannabinoid metabolizes into 11-hydroxy-THC inside your body. Conventional drug tests look for this compound to analyze sobriety.

HHC takes a different route. Some suggest that drug tests can’t detect it since it doesn’t metabolize like THC. However, consuming too much HHC might make you test positive. So it’s best to avoid psychoactive cannabinoids if you’re subject to random workplace drug testing.

Is HHC Even Legal?

The 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and its products as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC. Since hexahydrocannabinol comes from the hemp plant and is less potent than THC, it’s safe to assume it’s federally legal.

The legality of HHC might differ on a state-by-state basis. For instance, products containing this cannabinoid are illegal in states like Arkansas. Meanwhile, they are legal in states such as Missouri and Oklahoma.

You can safely buy cannabis products for medical purposes by getting a medical marijuana card. You can get an MMJ card even if you’re under 18 and suffering from a medical condition that can benefit from the effects of hexahydrocannabinol.

HHC Products

Different types of cannabis products containing hexahydrocannabinol are available for you to try. Here are some of them:

  • HHC Flowers: Some growers spray their cannabis flowers with HHC extracts in the final step. These flowers will have high amounts of CBD and HHC. You can smoke them or use them to make baked goods.
  • HHC Oils: HHC oils are produced by hydrogenating regular cannabis oils. They come in different strengths and flavors that you can choose based on your preference.
  • HHC Vapes: You can also vape this cannabinoid using cartridges that contain HHC. Vape juices are available in different flavors to create a more pleasant experience.

Where to Buy Hexahydrocannabinol Products

You can purchase HHC products from reliable dispensaries across the US with a valid MMJ card. After reviewing the dispensaries closest to you, pick one and visit it to buy your HHC product. Not all dispensaries might carry these products since their production is more complicated.

What to Look for When Buying HHC Products

To safely feel hexahydrocannabinol’s effects, you should pay attention to a few points when shopping:

  • Shop from a dispensary with good reviews
  • Choose a brand with a good track record of selling high-quality cannabis products
  • Make sure the HHC product you’re buying is third-party lab-tested

How Much Hexahydrocannabinol to Take

The optimal HHC dosage will vary for each user based on tolerance level, age, weight, and metabolism. If you’re an inexperienced user who has never tried HHC, you should start with the lowest dose possible.

For instance, take 10 mg of HHC the first time and gradually increase your intake each time to reach the optimal dosage. You can use our edible dosing guide to get started.

Try HHC With Ozark MMJ Cards

A couple holding a cannabis joint

Do you want to feel the effects of hexahydrocannabinol for yourself? Ozark MMJ Cards can help. We offer affordable medical marijuana certifications and card renewals in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Apply risk-free. We offer a full refund if you don’t get certified.

Hexahydrocannabinol might be just what you need to better manage your health condition, and we can help you try it safely. Contact us now to talk to an expert and begin your certification. If you enjoyed this article, visit our cannabis blog for more fun reads!

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